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Dusty Boots Travel

HESC - Wildlife Conservation Experience - South Africa

The Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre (HESC) has established itself as one  of the leading private research and breeding facilities for endangered species in South Africa.

HESC offers the opportunity to experience, first hand, the work of the centre. This program is divided into 3 main sections: Participation, Conservation and Sightseeing. You will have the opportunity to work with cheetah, wild dog, white rhino and many other animal species.

  • Duration

    • 3 weeks - A basic conservation course, consisting of a theoretical component, followed by active participation in practical exercises. 1 week programmes are available on request.

    Aim of the Programme

    • To equip participants with the aptitude in conserving the wildlife of Southern Africa; to build awareness of conservation on a broader global scale; and to facilitate the experience of the beauty and rich diversity of South Africa.

    Programme Facilitators

    • Participants will work side-by-­side with the centre’s full-time personnel. All personel have a contagious passion for conservation, and are dedicated to sharing their knowledge and expertise about the African bushveld and its inhabitants. 


    • Be eager to learn and to participate in HESC’s conservation work
    • Have a desire to make a difference while gaining invaluable experience and knowledge
    • Be prepared to work hard and be a team player
    • Be willing to get dirty and work hands-on with the animals in their habitat
    • Have a true love of wildlife and genuine concern for conservation
    • Be prepared to have some fun

    Malaria & Vaccinations

    • Although HESC is in a low-risk Malaria area, participants may have the opportunity to travel into the greater Kruger National Park area which is considered a Malaria zone. We advise participants to consult with their doctor for any vaccinations or about the use of malaria tablets before their travels to South Africa

    Hands-On Experience

    • Working with cheetah, wild dog, white rhino and many other animal species (including those born at HESC and those rescued)
    • Preparation of food and feeding of the animals
    • Possibility of working with the wildlife vet (including darting and capturing for the purpose of operating, blood sampling or translocation of animals, as well as assisting with post-mortems)
    • Possibility of assisting in the hand-rearing of animals
    • Local community involvement (e.g. visiting schools in rural areas) 

    Informal Lectures

    • Conservation
    • Animal identification
    • Plants and ecology
    • Astronomy
    • Survival
    • Firearm handling and safety
    • Tracks and signs
    • South African history and cultural diversity
    • Veterinary procedures

    Fun Activities

    • A trip to the reptile park
    • Identification of plants on walking excursions
    • Tracking in the bush
    • A trip to Kruger National Park
    • Stargazing
    • Natural and traditional food preparation
    • Game drives

    Packing List

    • Sunscreen and hat
    • Insect repellent
    • Torch
    • Comfortable walking boots and socks
    • Camera
    • Books to read
    • Laptop or any other personal device

Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre

HESC is located in the Limpopo Province in Hoedspruit, South Africa

Get in touch or Book

Please get in touch if you need more information or go ahead and Add to Cart. (The Add to Cart button here will take you to the top of the page where you need to select your preferred options.)

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