Research on the reserve

If you are currently enrolled in a relevant degree discipline at any University, it is possible to conduct your dissertation research on the UmPhafa Private Nature Reserve.

This is a fantastic opportunity to develop practical fieldwork skills and live and work in a reserve setting, surrounded by wildlife. All the data you collect is valuable in understanding the ecology of the reserve and informing conservation management. UmPhafa has constant work required to rehabilitate the land to its natural condition. Further research data is much needed and your hard work will really make a difference to UmPhafa!

Research Placement Considerations

It is essential all research contributing towards your degree scheme is agreed upon by your academic supervisor and fulfills all requirements of your research module. Your methodology should be written and approved by the reserve coordinator prior to your stay to enable you to begin swiftly and equipment to be organised.

Data collection should take place over a minimum of six weeks. Therefore a two month stay on the reserve is required. This will include an induction week to orientate yourself and learn about the reserve prior to working on your project.

Once you have completed your induction, most data collection work will be conducted independently. The UmPhafa staff can assist you with information and guidance for your project, but you should also maintain contact with your university and provide your academic supervisor with progress reports.

Interested in Research on UmPhafa?

• Download and read the Priority Research List and Research Placement Info Pack by clicking the icons below.

• Contact to inform us what research area you would like to pursue and discuss your ideas.

• Discuss your project with your academic supervisor and have your methodology approved.

• Once you have developed a feasible study, download an application form below, and send the completed form to

Information Pack

Priority List

Click here to download the Priority Research List

Apply Here

Download our Research Placement application form.

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


Annabel –  January to March 2022

“I had the best time, very informative and rewarding. Lovely family feel, good range of activities with unique opportunities. Gained experience in the bush, learning about the different animals and meeting different people, some who will be friends for life as well as experiencing the different cultures and learning Zulu. Thank you to the UmPhafa team I have had the most amazing 3 months and already want to come back. Memories for a lifetime.”

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