2 Week Placement - UmPhafa

Your chance to make a difference to Conservation!

Action for the Wild are pleased to be able to offer a special two week programme with 10 places available to book for each two week placement. Whether you are a recent graduate, in employment or retired, this is a fantastic opportunity for those who are keen to lend a hand to nature and explore a beautiful part of the world outside of our usual busy season.

Over the two weeks you will be involved in every aspect of the reserves management, including: Animal studies, game counts, reserve maintenance, field patrols, data collection and night drives. You will also have opportunities to explore the local landscape and get immersed in local culture.

This in itself is much more fulfilling than simply visiting Africa as a tourist and you will have the satisfaction of being close to the animals, knowing that your contribution is having a direct influence on the wellbeing of the flora and fauna of UmPhafa Reserve.

We are looking for those who are committed and passionate about nature and are not afraid of a bit of hard work. Applicants must be prepared for physical work in South African summer temperatures (Activities will be tailored daily to try to suit the mean temperature). A full kit list is provided in the pack.

Action for the Wild is a non-profit organisation, and therefore the internships are self supported. 

Check out the video below created by Emma Barker, who spent three months on UmPhafa.

2023 two-week placement: Contribution of £800.

Please contact wendy@colchesterzoo.org for information about our Internship dates.

– Pre-departure support
– Airport pick-up and drop off (Durban King Shaka airport)
– Experienced staff
– Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared dorm rooms) 
– WiFi at the accommodation
– All meals
– Welcome induction and location orientation 
– All necessary project equipment and materials
– Research training 
– Wildlife identification techniques
– Teamwork experience 
– 24-hour in-country support
– Confidential professional reference (where requested)
– Return flights to Durban King Shaka airport
– Medical and travel insurance 
– Visa costs (if necessary)
– Personal kit
– Extra local excursions and personal shopping 

Apply Here

Download our application form

Please send your completed internship application form and an introductory email to:


East Coast Turing
30th April – 14th May 2024

Michelle – ‘It was such a lovely experience to be able to learn new things first-hand and see the cultural side.’

Ellie – ‘The placement was inviting, exciting and engaging, I’m very appreciative of the opportunity and couldn’t have imagined a better place to do it. It’s been an experience I’ll take with me forever. Thank you to everyone for being so hospitable and accepting.’

Tracy – ‘I have been waiting all my life for something like this and I cannot thank you enough for this amazing opportunity, I can’t describe how much I enjoyed it. I feel incredibly lucky and grateful.’

Alex – ‘Best placement! The staff are incredible, the animals were a great sight to see and the manual work was great! 

Ben – ‘I feel so lucky to be here and all the staff have made it wonderful – Thank you.’

If you are interested in taking part in a RESEARCH PLACEMENT please click here for more information.

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