Thank You UmPhafa! - UmPhafa

Past Intern Emma, recounts on her career opportunities since her UmPhafa internship

From September-December 2022, I was an intern at UmPhafa and it was an incredibly eye-opening 3 months, where we were immersed into all aspects of conservation and reserve management. I was able to develop skills in biodiversity surveys, animal tracking, camera trapping and much more!

I was fortunate to meet other conservation organisations whilst I was out there, including Wildlife ACT, when they relocated wild dogs into the boma at UmPhafa. When I got home after my internship, I knew I wanted to pursue a career in African conservation. Therefore, I contacted Wildlife ACT and they had an exciting Masters opportunity, leading to where I am now.

Currently, a year on from UmPhafa, I am working with Wildlife ACT and the University of Chester to study leopard populations across Northern Zululand. It feels incredible to be back in South Africa, making a direct impact on leopard conservation. Over the next 9 months, I will study camera trap data from Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park and be involved with their camera trap survey at Ithala. During my time here I can also assist them with their priority species monitoring programmes and of course immerse myself into the beautiful wildlife!

I am so grateful for UmPhafa for providing a well-rounded conservation internship that has inspired me to develop my skills and knowledge further. After my Masters, I hope to study for a PhD in population dynamics and continue to make a positive impact to the African ecosystem.

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