While visiting South Africa, you can experience wildlife up close and personal at the Moholoholo Rehabilitation Center near Hoedspruit. Educational tours are operated Monday through Saturday at 9:30 am and 3 pm. The cost is R130 ($9 USD) per person for adults 13+, R60 ($4 USD) for children 7-12, and no charge for children under 6. The tour guides are fantastic and passionate about wildlife conservation. You will learn much about the various species found in South Africa, the current state of wildlife and endangered species, the major poaching problems faced by the country, and the battle to protect lands and species. You will learn how the poaching of a single species can have drastic and negative effects on the entire ecosystem.
The rehab center has many bird and eagle species, vultures, honey badgers, lions, leopards, cheetahs, hyenas, and wild dogs, to name a few. It is also home of Stoffel, the YouTube famous honey badger. All of the animals that live on premises were not candidates for release back into the wild and now act as ambassadors for their species. The educational tour includes time to pet a cheetah and feed vultures. You may even get to see the tour guides feed a lion or hyena if you are lucky!
Moholoholo Rehab Center also educates local farmers and children to teach them how to handle nuisance animals with options besides capture in inhumane traps. By creating awareness about the option for relocation and rehabilitation of the animals, locals have learned that there are other options to handle an animal that causes problems at their farm. Definitely make time to visit this wonderful establishment if you can. It can provide a more thorough understanding of South African culture and will leave you with memories for years to come!
Featured Photo Credit: Cambridge Brewing Co. // Additional Photos by Crystal Anderson