As the end of the year fast approaches UmPhafa has finally seen some much needed rain and has a veld that is looking green and lush. Monstrous storms over the last few weeks have brought the much needed rain that the reserve required which is a huge relief to everyone after a year which has brought unimaginable fires and extensive damage to the land.

kudu calf

Lambing season is also in full swing on the reserve, and as expected, the Zebras, Red Hartebeest, Blesboks and Impalas have all begun to calve. Giraffe calves are also expected very soon with a couple of females looking heavily pregnant! The team have been keeping a very close watch on them for any updates!

ZebraThe final internship of the year is also coming to an end! Over the past month staff and UmPhafa’s existing intern, Jemma, have been joined by two of Colchester Zoo’s volunteers, Mary Ruth and Denise Farmer. It has been a fantastic month for them to see all the magic that this season brings to the reserve. They arrived to a very dusty and dry UmPhafa and will leave having experienced the fantastic summer season. During their time they have spotted over seventy birds, endless warthog piglets, fish eagles and their young soaring overhead, lambs, foals and calves galore, dung beetles, lizards and some very fast solifugue spiders which were not so popular! They have been lucky enough to see some beautiful sightings of the giraffe and have heard the hyena calling on a number of occasions. There have been storms bigger than our interns have ever experienced in their lives with lightning bolts all around and thunderclaps that have shaken the house! It has been an incredible few weeks; summer has definitely not disappointed us. 

We wish all of our interns from 2015 a very Merry Christmas. Thank you for all you hard work over this the year. You all make the projects that we undertake here on the reserve possible. We look forward to many new adventures over the next year and sharing our beautiful home with our interns arriving in 2016. 

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