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  • Alumni of the University of Essex matchfunded £800

UmPhafa Nature Reserve - South African Volunteering Project

A project by: Rhiannon Aylward


WE RAISED £1,605

from 13 donors

This project received donations on Sun 05 Mar 2017
I am volunteering in South Africa researching wildlife at the UmPhafa Nature Reserve

My Project

I am raising £1,800 so I am able to go on a fantastic volunteering programme in South Africa to work at the UmPhafa Nature Reserve. The project involves working alongside the animals and plants of the reserve and working to conserve the environment.

About me

My name is Rhiannon and I am 19 years old. I am a first year Psychology student at the University of Essex.

Why i am taking part in this project

This trip is a once in a lifetime opportunity which will allow me to travel to a private nature reserve owned by Colchester Zoo in South Africa. Colchester Zoo's charity 'Action for the Wild' purchased the 6,000 hectares in 2005 to create a private reserve to protect the wildlife in the area.

During this trip I will support the reserve by helping to collect important data. I will also be learning important skills in conservation and will have a direct impact on the animals and their well being.

Some of the activities I will be taking part in include:

  • Vegetation Surveys (important in regards to animal carrying capacities)
  • Feeding studies and game counts
  • Animal sighting data collection, entry and analysis
  • Animal behavioural studies
  • Species identification and large mammal tracking and monitoring

As I have a great interest in animals and the environment, this trip would give me the perfect opportunity to see wild animals living in there natural habitat (instead of zoo's). It would also allow me to gain invaluable experience which will hopefully help me to progress into my dream career choice.

The information I help collect will be used by UmPhafa Nature reserve in order to help their conservation aims. This information will help the animals on the reserve for many years. It will also help the reserve make important changes to ensure the animals well being.

Where will the donations go?

All money raised will go towards this project in one way or another.

In short:

  • Programme fee - £750
  • Flights and transport £700-£900

What this includes completely:

  • Transport to and from the airports (both in the UK and South Africa).
  • Return flights to Durban
  • Accommodation
  • Food and water
  • Necessary training and 24/7 field leader support
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal kit that is required (sleeping bag, leather work gloves, walking boots etc.)
  • Excursions

Any money that has been donated that is not needed for these costs will be used to improve the experience. This may include buying better or extra kit/equipment or even additional volunteering at Colchester Zoo post-trip.


If you are able to donate (even a small amount!) there are multiple rewards in which you can choose from!

Help Me take part in this amazing opportunity!!

Any amount that you are able to donate will be greatly appreciated, even if it is just £1!

Don't worry if you are unable to donate as you can still help me take part in this once in a lifetime opportunity just by sharing this page with anyone who you think can help!

Keep updated!

In order to keep up to date you can follow me on my Instagram and Twitter pages. These will also be regularly updated whilst I am in South Africa with information of what I am getting up to!!

Instagram: @RhiannonUmphafa

Twitter: @RhiannonUmphafa