Wildlife Conservation Experience - 3 weeks

Hoedspruit

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Activity Description

HESC offers the opportunity to experience, first hand, the work of the centre. This intensive 21-day program is divided into 3 main sections: Participation; Conservation; and Sightseeing.
Participation: WCE participants will be involved in the everyday care of the many animal species at the centre. This includes cleaning, feeding and, where required, assisting with or observing any veterinary activities that may occur during their stay. The knowledge gained about the animals and the work of HESC through this kind of participation is both specific and personal. Participants may also get the opportunity to learn more about the day-to-day operations at “Rescued Rhinos @ HESC”, a sanctuary for orphaned rhinos and rhinos which have been victims of poaching.
Conservation: This section of the program involves informal lectures on all aspects of conservation and includes specialist input on all animals, grasses, trees and basic biodiversity.
Sightseeing: The program enables participants to put theory into practice, either through direct observation in the wild or at other centres that specialize in other areas of research or conservation.
The program is based at the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre, which is home to cheetah, wild dogs, white rhino, lion, African wild cats, Ground hornbills, Sable antelope, to name a few. WCE participants will form part of a hands-on team which mediates the well-being of the animals. They will
also have the opportunity to visit places of interest and attractions in the area, including the renowned Kruger National Park.

Arrangements

ProviderHoedspruit Endangered Species Centre
DurationOpen Ended
WhenOpen all year round, except Christmas
WhereLocated in Limpopo province in Hoedspruit, South Africa, on the R40 between Hoedspruit and Klaserie. Telephone: +27 15 793 1633 / 1825 Fax: +27 793 1646 Email: students@cheetahcentre.co.za Website: www.hesc.co.za
WeatherThis service is weather dependent as it is conducted in open air.
What to WearWear comfortable clothing and shoes.
Things to BringBe sure to bring your camera, sunglasses, sunscreen and a hat.
Guests or SpectatorsNo spectators allowed.

Requirements

Minimum Age18 years
Minimum Height0.0 m
Maximum Height0.0 m
Fitness LevelAverage
QualificationsNot Applicable
Maximum Weight0.0 kg
CertificationNone Required
Experience LevelNo Experience Requirement

Inclusions and Exclusions

Inclusions

Accommodation consists of 6 twin thatched huts (max 2 people per hut/ 12 participants in total) in Nungu Camp, situated within the boundaries of the Big 5 Kapama Private Game Reserve. Separate facilities are available for male and female participants. Accommodation is simple, clean and comfortable, and each hut is fitted with adequate power points. Three meals per day are prepared by participants in the camp – a valuable team building experience in itself. There is a kitchen with a fridge
in the camp, as well as barbeque facilities.
The closest town is Hoedspruit, which is approximately 25 km from the reserve. Regular trips to town
can be organised for supplies, banking or internet facilities. Telephone facilities are available (at
participant’s own expense). Basic laundry facilities for hand-washing are available in the camp.
Sundays are spent at leisure.

ExclusionsFood and items of a personal nature.

Notes

As HESC is a conservation and animal care centre, and not a natural reserve, animals are housed within enclosures separated by fences.
As part of HESC’s policy, there is no direct interaction between man and animal, as their core focus is on giving these animals an environment as close to their natural one as possible.

Customer Reviews

I'm writing this review after being back home for one week. Missing South Africa and everything I experienced extremly. About the experience at HESC I can utterly reccomend it. Working with those magestic animals as Cheetahs, Rhinos and many more was absolutely amazing. The animals are treated very well and the curators look after them as they are their children. We also had the chance to see Dr. Rogers, who was absolutely amazing. We were given a lot of unique experiences. The volunteer coordinators were amazing too. They gave us the feeling of truly belonging to the family, they did an amazing job as well. Apart of all the highlights, I really loved the variation of the program e.g. going to the Kruger Nationalpark, visiting schools and much more! A very big THANK YOU to all the people at HESC who made this experience unforgettable. - Vanessa Ricca


It was a perfect mix between working lessons and sightseeing! I learned so much about the antiproaching , about rhinos and cheetahs! I could look deeper in what is doing HESC for the wildlife! I was happy and completely satisfied with all what HESC offered to me! I am proud that our group adopted a cheetah so we could give back a small part what we got! Thanks Ulrike Marschall - Ulrike Marschall


Dear HESC team, sorry for the delay of my review. I enjoyed the time with your organization very much as your entire team is very welcoming and gave me great insights into your work with the animals, life in / next to the bush and much more. I liked the way you split the program into vacation like excursions and the work at HESC. Things that you might want to think about could be : A 2nd fridge for when you get to host bigger groups as a lot of food has to be kept in the fridge due to your your climate. Splitting the lectures that refer to the topic of the week into smaller portions and discuss part of on a more daily basis rather than all in one session. For people from other continents or who do not work with animals there is a lot of information to process and it can become too much when hearing it all at once, especially as your team is very knowledgeable and liking to share a lot of their knowledge. If you held several shorter lectures I imagine that you could actually give more info and make it easier for your audience at the same time. That way you could get into a bit more detail which I would like then. Touch topics such as what are challenges of conservation and why, what are important factors of conservation that people tend to not see? At the same time having more shorter lectures it would also allow to have more discussion and you could make the group think. For example when talking about big cat conservation you could make a game out of it and have the group try to think about how lovers lane needed to be set up so that you can move the cheetahs to every camp without having to touch / tranquilize them - > make the group try drawing a map of how they think it should look like from above. I think it would be interesting for your groups to spend more time with the team to have a chance to getting to know them besides their job and find out what people they are and what's their drive. Things like a staff Braai or having lunch together. Of course this can only be a suggestion if you and the teams are fine with that. Finally I think you could make the group actually work more. You have been quite considerate with us in my opinion however the group was willing and ready to get things done. If you can work on some structures, you might cut idle times and get more value out of the Programm for your needs as well - and your volunteers won't be unhappy about that ;) Again I want to thank you for having me and give big hands to you for what you're doing on a daily basis. Maybe the world doesn't have to be such a bad place after as long as there is people like you Cheers Stefan - Stefan Bister




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