Shedding It's Old Skin
Hoedspruit Reptile Centre (HRC) is one of the oldest and most well-known reptile centres in Africa, having been in operation since 1984. It has grown from humble beginnings into a hub of innovative learning. It is a well-respected conservation, training and education facility. HRC is an accredited facility that is dedicated to the preservation and conservation of African reptiles and amphibians.
In January 2020, the reptile park was taken over by Chris Cooke. Chris had previously been a curator at the Centre between 2007-2011 before working at other renowned institutions such as the National Zoological Gardens, Johannesburg Zoo and Montecasino Brid Gardens. With the new ownership, the Centre, which has previously been known as Swadini Reptile Park, Khamai Reptile Centre and Kinyonga Reptile Centre, is shedding its old skin for the last time and starting fresh as Hoedspruit Reptile Centre. Chris and the Hoedspruit Reptile Centre team are looking forward to building on the Centre's reputation and upholding and maintaining the Centre's strict ethos of "conservation through education and research".
Hoedspruit Reptile Centre is situated in South Africa’s Limpopo Province, 15km outside of the nearest town "Hoedspruit" (Click "MAP" button below) and is located in one of the most pristine parts of the country in terms of natural heritage. This area has a particularly high concentration of snakes and therefore there is a high frequency of interaction between snakes and people, making this a prime destination for reptile-related research and public education.
Hoedspruit is situated in unspoiled "Big 5" country (Click "MAP" button below) with lodges and accommodation that suit all budgets and comfort preferences. Hoedspruit is well known for its nature trails and adventure activities such as river rafting, mountain climbing, hot air ballooning, cycling, camping and more. The lifestyle is clean and looked after by the friendly people who welcome tourists with a smile.
Lodges, farmers and local communities within the region often call upon Kinyonga Reptile Centre to help with reptile, amphibian and arachnid related problems. We will always come out to relocate animals back into the wild.
We are open every day of the year, including all holidays from 8:00am to 5:00pm and are on call 24/7 for any reptile related emergencies.
Baboon spiders are ground-dwelling that live in self-made burrows. They are usually never far from their homes but habitat destruction is a major threat.
What is a Reptile?
There are over 8000 reptile species in total, they belong to the class Reptilia, and are devided into four groups or orders.
The Old and the New
Hoedspruit Reptile Centre originally opened in 1984 as Swadini Reptile Park. From humble beginnings, the Centre has grown into a hub of innovative learning and is an internationally recognised centre for reptile and amphibian education and conservation. The Centre aims to continue to improve, modernise and upgrade its facilities and service offerings in order to remain competitive on an international scale.
This old photograph of our front entrance in 1984 shows how far the park has come already.