I'm raising £1800 to volunteer at the UmPhafa Private Nature Reserve in South Africa with Essex Abroad.
I will be helping out by conducting scientific observations on the animals and plants, general maintenance, and visiting other reserves.
Hello! I'm Eden Plummer, a second-year student at University of Essex.
I study Biological Sciences with an emphasis on Ecology. I love the Harry Potter series, hot chocolates and dancing.
If you want to know any more information about what's below then feel free to ask!
What Is UmPhafa?
UmPhafa Private Nature Reserve in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa is linked with the Colchester Zoo's Action For Wild project and is the only project from Action For Wild successful enough to become independent. Due to previous agricultural practices many of the natural inhabiting species had been lost. UmPhafa aims to rehabilitate the habitat to its previous natural condition.
Essex Abroad has given me the opportunity to volunteer for 2 weeks with the Reserve Management Team. Some of the animals that have made UmPhafa their home include - White Rhino, Giraffe, Kudu, Impala, Reedbuck, Zebra, Wildebeest, Warthog, Porcupine, Leopards, Hyena, Jackal, Genet and Mongoose.
Why you should support Umphafa
Extinction is natural. But, an extinction rate increased by humans through loss of habitat, e.g. agriculture which is what happened to UmPhafa, and hunting puts ecosystems at risk, including ours.
I chose UmPhafa because this project will allow me to receive creditable work experience and develop necessary skills, especially if I decide to work in conservation, so you may be helping me get a job! Also, who doesn't want to go to help animals like giraffes and rhinos whilst they're wild?Another reason I decided to volunteer at UmPhafa is the location. I am half Jamaican meaning my ancestry is from Africa. Going to UmPhafa will allow me to learn and experience South African culture which will enrich the understanding of my ancestral roots.
What will I be doing on the reserve?
Some of the activities I will be doing are:
- Animal behavioural studies
- Feeding studies and game counts
- Species identification
- Camera Trap surveys
- Animal sighting data collection and analysis
- Bush walks, skills and night drives
- Fence patrols and erosion control
- Visits to other reserves and more!
How will the money raised be used?
The money raised for my target will be used for:
- Programme fee including training, excursions fee, accommodation, food: £750
- Flights and transport: £950
- Kit including some specific clothes and equipment (rain jackets, leather work gloves, head torch, sleeping bag etc.): £100
Any money over my target raised will be used for:
- Better quality/extra kit
- Better quality camera to document my findings and improve the video project
To thank everyone that donates, I have some brilliant rewards up for grabs so check them out!
You don't need to give me money to help me succeed. Please share this project in any way you can - Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, email, phone, a chat over the fence, shouting from the rooftops or on your blog. Share this with everyone you know! The more people that know about and see #EdenToUmPhafa the more likely I am to hit my target.
A quick reminder: CLICK is all-or-nothing funding so if I don't meet my minimum I get none of the funding. So please sponsor me and help make this happen, and thank you so much for reading!
Credit: Thank you to the team at Colchester Zoo for allowing me to use their beautiful photos.
Have you sponsored this project? If so, log in to comment on updates!
Unfortunately, I couldn't take a picture of the kit I bought since I needed to pack it but I am in UmPhafa and have unpacked so here are some of the things you helped me to buy!
Insect repellent and similar since there are lots of bugs around, a DSLR camera and lens so I can take wonderful pictures and videos for your rewards, gaiters for when we go in the bush so I don't get bugs crawling up my trousers and pricked with thorns in my legs, adaptors for the plugs, leather gloves and a lock knife to cut samples in the field, a large brimmed hat so that I don't overheat and the sun is out of my eyes, binoculars to see animals far away, a water and windproof jacket, muted colour clothes to not disturb the animals and a bag to put it all in! This isn't everything but it's most of it.
I will update you on what I've done later on in the week. If you want to follow what I'm doing I will be updating my biology blog elpbiologist and Alex, my friend and roommate for the trip will be vlogging so subscribe to her channel and get daily updates where I will feature: Day 1 Vlog See you soon!
Sorry I'm been a bit MIA, as a university student the deadlines seem to pile up but fret not, you have not been forgotten! I will be sending out requests for details so I can send out some rewards.
Here's a reminder for dates that you should receive your awards:
- £5 or more - Twitter thank you: Feb 2017 (you will receive this by the end of the week, I am so sorry for the wait)
- £10 or more - Thank you and shout out on chosen social media: May 2017 (this was supposed to be March, I will send these out soon so you'll get it even earlier!)
- £20 or more - Personal email and pictures: May 2017
- £100 or more - Personal email, video diary and blank postcard: Jul 2017
As for what I've been doing in this time, my project manager Jan has notified me that he was able to find a cheaper flight so the full cost of my project will be £1,290, what a bargain! That means I will have £853.85 raised by you, the donors, to buy my kit and equipment needed for the trip and a few extra optional bits and pieces.
I have some pictures of kit that I already own/I've managed to buy. This will be the basis of my kit that I can expand on and/or upgrade.
I will be having a meeting next week with Jan and a Colchester Zoo representative to learn more about the trip and do some team building with the rest of the students I'll be working. Then I'll be off to UmPhafa the week after so it's all very close.
I hope you're as excited as I am!
My pROJECT IS COMPLETE!
Thank you so much everyone that's donated, I couldn't have done it without you! But it's not over yet, I still have to go to Africa and reward you for your lovely donations.
Please be on the look out in your inboxes for more details on your rewards, I look forward to hearing from you!
100% target funding reached!
Wow, from 51% straight to 100+%, thank you so much to everyone that has donated, I have now raised all the funds I need.
Since there's just over 20 days left of this project meaning extra funds can be donated. As stated in my pitch these extra funds will go to more kit, better equipment and a better quality camera if I raise enough to get one.
Please keep sharing this project and donating as it's not over yet!
51% of my target funding has been reached with just over 20 days to go! Thank you for all your support. Keep on the look out for an update on some things I've bought for the trip!
25% of my target reached
I woke up today to find out that 26% of my target has been funded! Than you for your donations, you're all stars!
Alumni of the University of Essex matchfunded £900