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Research and Conservation with UmPhafa

Posted: 4th January 2016 09:30

UmPhafa Private Nature Reserve, situated in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa, is a 6,000 hectare reserve created by Colchester Zoo and its charity; Action for the Wild.  The reserve turns farmland that was previously used for cattle back into a natural habitat where wildlife species can flourish.  It encompasses a wide range of habitats from acacia savannah and bushveld to mountainous terrain and provides a haven for species that were previously lost from the area.

Over the years many animals have been released onto the reserve and UmPhafa is now home to a wide range of fauna including giraffe, kudu, impala, reedbuck, zebra, blesbok, red hartebeest, blue wildebeest, waterbuck, nyala, warthog, aardvark and porcupine, to name only some.  Leopard and spotted hyena have more recently returned to the area naturally and are regularly recorded through camera trapping, tracking, and – on rarer occasions – sightings!

UmPhafa Facts

  • Four different leopards have been identified on UmPhafa by looking at their spot patterns
  • Over 200 zebra live on the reserve; these are vital in helping to keep grass levels low in order to stop runaway fires
  • UmPhafa started its giraffe population with 10 individuals and now has over 20
  • UmPhafa’s herd of blue wildebeest have tripled since joining the reserve
  • The UmPhafa Reserve is named after the buffalo thorn or UmPhafa tree which can be found all around the reserve

Becoming an Intern

Internships at the UmPhafa Reserve are open to anybody with a genuine love of the natural world, whether you are looking to pursue a career in conservation or would just like to have the experience of a lifetime.  During your time at the reserve you will work alongside a highly experienced team and gain real, creditable work experience while having a direct influence on the wellbeing of the animals on the reserve.  Days as an intern on UmPhafa will be varied and some activities are seasonal but all interns will get the opportunity to take part in game counts, tracking, bush walks and night drives as well as other on-going management projects.  There are limited placements and stays are from four to 12 weeks.

Click This Link to Find Out More!

Staying at UmPhafa

Interns stay together at Elworthy Farmhouse situated inside UmPhafa Reserve.  The house is shared with other interns and researchers on placements, and has comfortable rooms, unlimited Wi-Fi access for emails and Skype and a fully supplied kitchen with cooking facilities and ingredients covered by the placement cost.

There is a post-office and ATM in the nearest town as well as a friendly pub and there will be regular opportunities to visit this at weekends and evenings.  When you are not visiting the town, evenings can be spent joining in with camp fires andgames on the reserve, and weekends give you the chance to visit many other local tourist attractions.

Contact

Website: www.umphafa.org

Email: umphafa@colchesterzoo.org

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/UmPhafaReserve
Twitter: https://twitter.com/UmPhafa
Instagram: http://instagram.com/colchester_zoo

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