4 - 12 Week Internships - UmPhafa

Explore your passion for African Wildlife Conservation!

UmPhafa Private Nature Reserve offers internships to people who have a passion and an interest to learn about conservation and Reserve Management. Whether you are studying some form of Nature Conservation or would just like to have the experience of a lifetime our internship is for you.

The internships are by run by our Reserve Management Team which ensures that interns are mentored by our most senior and experienced staff members. It is a fantastic and rare opportunity to work alongside a team with many years of experience and gain creditable work experience whilst knowing that your contribution is having a direct influence on the well-being of the flora and fauna on the reserve.

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

How to Become an Intern

Interviews are held at Colchester Zoo or by phone or Skype once an application has been completed. The minimum stay is 4 weeks, but you can join the team for up to 3 months, and placements are available year round. After successful application, scheduled dates of placement will be allocated based on the applicant’s preferred month of commencement.

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

2023 Four-week or more placement: Contribution of £1,320 for stays of four weeks will be required, with an additional contribution of £680 per four weeks thereafter.

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

– Pre-departure support
– Airport pick-up and drop off (Durban King Shaka airport)
– Long term experienced staff
– Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared) 
– 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 4 – 12 week application form

Download our full information pack.

Please send your completed internship application form and an introductory email to:
If you are applying for our 4 – 12 week internship please also include a CV.


Megan (3 months – September – December 2023)
“It was a beautiful Reserve and there was so much to see and learn. Every day was a learning opportunity as every day we saw or did something new. I was most rewarded my being able to identify different species especially birds and throughout the placement I found myself being able to identify more and more. I loved that!”

Amelia (3 months – September – December 2023)
“I have learned so much more and done much more that I thought I would. The coordinators gave more ‘lessons’ than I expected so I got much more out of the placement and being able to remember and use what I learned at the start throughout the placement and see myself improve at Id’ing and spotting what needed doing.”

Alyssa (6 weeks – July – August 2023)
“I loved every minute of my stay on UmPhafa, everything was a new experience for me, great value for money, the experience I had was priceless. A huge Thank you to all the staff being so welcoming and kind and making this an absolutely unforgettable experience for me.”

Isobel (6 weeks – July – August 2023)
“The placement was brilliant and was educational as well as being fun. I would love to return here in the future to have this incredible experience all over again!”

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

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