Conservation Education on UmPhafa - UmPhafa

UmPhafa has had an exciting but busy September 2022, hosting local conservationists, researchers. schools, orphanages and even an archeologist!

Our first guests in September were from the University of KZN – 37 Students and 2 Professors joined us to do the practical element of their course to study soil – whilst this may sound boring the students spent 4 days evaluating and researching the different types of soil found on UmPhafa working on foot and constantly being interrupted by the locals…..the giraffe were very inquisitive!

They all completed their studies and we look forward to hearing the results of the students work.

UmPhafa is currently working with a local school and this year we spent time with the students teaching them about recycling and the correct disposal of litter which is a big conservation issue here. 400 children were taught, they did debates and fun activities on recycling which hopefully they have shared with their family and friends. As a reward the top 17 learners, 2 teachers and the Head Master visited UmPhafa and went on their first ever Game Drive which they loved, one of the children was so excited about his special day out that the night before he didn’t sleep a wink!

Our next visitors for September were from the Howick Orphanage. Frances, a local guide and an expert on tracks and signs, invited children from the orphanage and the local community to visit UmPhafa to learn all about the animals, their tracks and sign. 10 eager leaners came and spent 2 days tracking and also seeing the animals that they have never seen before. One of the youngsters exclaimed that it was the ‘best time of his life’ and is keen to come back and learn more. One day these children could become budding conservationists, guides or even field rangers and we look forward to having them back and helping them fulfil their dreams.

Our final visitors for the month were from the Historical Society including an archeologist  – they have wanted to visit UmPhafa for some time after talking with locals about old human settlements in and around UmPhafa. With the interns in tow the 5 members of the Historical Society walked a section of the Reserve and indeed found at least 20 ruins of Human settlements which they believe to be from the ‘Iron Age’. They have taken their findings to the local provincial office where they are hoping to study the ruins in more detail to determine their age. As with many other ruins and historical sites in the area it is important that UmPhafa look after these sites so future generations can enjoy them.

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