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Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre

Certificate of Excellence
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Address: R40 Between Hoedspruit and Klaserie | Kapama Private Game Reserve, Hoedspruit 1380, South Africa
Phone Number:
+27 15 793 1633

Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre (HESC) focuses on the conservation of...

Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre (HESC) focuses on the conservation of rare, vulnerable or endangered animals. Cheetah Conservation is one of the core disciplines. HESC has established itself as one of the leading private research and breeding facilities for endangered species in the country. Governed by a progressive and modern management approach, it concerns itself with the breeding and maintenance of several endangered indigenous wildlife species in southern Africa. The centre places particular emphasis on the breeding and maintenance of cheetah in captivity. The excellent condition of these animals and the premises on which they are maintained, reflect the attention to detail, which is the hallmark of this facility.


The duration of each tour is 2 hours. Therefore it enables the visitor to have sufficient time to ask questions to the guide and do an in-depth tour of the centre.

Please note that our first tour can include the cheetah run, however bookings are essential. Prior reservations are essential.

Please refer to our rate sheet for more information on special packages and accommodation.


Visitors may enjoy a selection of home baked cakes and a light meal under thatched cover overlooking the Centre's enclosures. Refreshments such as coffee, tea, soft drinks, wine and beer are but some of the offerings available to a thirsty palate.

Groups can be catered for, but we advise bookings to guarantee efficient serving time.


One of the most imported sources of funding at the HESC is the curio shop; stocked to the brim with locally made artefacts, wildlife literature, and children's toys, visitors will no doubt enjoy the experience of browsing through the colorful shelves.

Many of the pieces for sale in the shop are made by local communities, renowned for their proficiency in beading and weaving.

All proceeds from sales in our curio shop from your visit will go towards the care and up- keep of our hundreds of animals and birds.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 641 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 295
  • 139
    Very good
  • 24
  • 12
  • 6
An admirable project

This is an interesting place. It would have been even more meaningful if we could have seen the cheetah roam in their natural habitat and not in small cages.

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed yesterday
Joan K
Wyncote, Pennsylvania
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641 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 476: English reviews
Wyncote, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
251 reviews
60 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 111 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed yesterday NEW

This is an interesting place. It would have been even more meaningful if we could have seen the cheetah roam in their natural habitat and not in small cages.

Thank Joan K
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

We chose the basic package, and I can tell you now, I will be going back for the full tour that includes a game drive in the nearby Kapama lodge and feeding of the animals. The first encounter we had was with a king cheetah... First time I saw one of these beautiful,magnificent beasts and we were told about the... More 

Thank Mpho m
Level Contributor
23 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

This is a great place to get a quick, but well delivered, understanding of the challenges facing some of our threatened wild animals. They do great work here. We didn't have children with us but others did and you could see that they were excited at seeing the animals but also interested in the 'message'. If you've got kids and... More 

Thank brendan2107
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 days ago NEW via mobile

We were impressed by the commitment of the people here. I must confess the visit clouded our fairytale journey in Africa, because we were no longer sitting in a vehicle happily clicking away at animals sauntering in the bush,...but I feel it was a very necessary visit. It was instructive about the situation of endangered species, and it seemed to... More 

Thank Jessica C
Swadlincote, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
460 reviews
217 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 197 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

Not really having a lot of time this seemed a good option for a game drive. The centre is small, you really have to do a tour. Great drive, friendly knowledgeable staff. Saw nearly all there was too see. A must do as alternative too a longer commercial drive.

Thank spamobile
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Excellent trip, Andre looked after us and we got close up with a lion, saw hippo, giraffe, rhino...an amazing 3 hour trip with young children.

Thank Hairpeebles
Shaka's Rock, South Africa
Level Contributor
310 reviews
74 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

HESC has really good facilities for their compromised wild animals. The entrance fees per adult are a bit pricey and much cheaper for children and pensioners. Feeding these animals on specialized diets and veterinary bills are terribly expensive, besides the upkeep and security of the property makes these entrance fees cheap by comparison. The animals are well cared for, well... More 

Thank Stephne A
Guilford, CT
Level Contributor
59 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Must see while in Hoedspruit. King cheetah just beautiful....just like our cats at home although bigger and much faster. All cheetahs incredible. Purred for us. Our cats listened to the video we took and went back to sleep. Domestication!! Wild dogs were incredible. Fantastic coloring. Top dog would be the place to be to be perfume free. Wouldn't want to... More 

Thank Hicks23
Tzaneen, South Africa
Level Contributor
3 reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

It was very interesting what they told is about the animals. And a bonus that you touch some of the animals. Very good for people who don't get in touch with wild animals.

Thank spy91713
Worongary, Australia
Level Contributor
175 reviews
51 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 182 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

This was my third attempt in several years to get to HESC due to unforseen circumstances on previous visits to the region (flat tyres etc.!). We had four friends with us, their first visit to S.A., and I booked us on the Cheetah Focus Tour, which included a stop at the 'Vulture Restuarant' (pooey!), viewing a cheetah 'run', and a... More 

Thank HappyTravelsQld

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