Placement Details

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 is a relatively new reserve, with 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 fulfils all requirements of your research module. 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.

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Your methodology should be written and approved by the reserve co-ordinator prior to your stay to enable you to begin swiftly and equipment to be organised. 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

 Download Links

PDF IconDownload the Information Pack

PDF IconDownload the Priority Research List

CZ-WORD-iconDownload an Application Form




The area of UmPhafa has one of the highest ecological carrying capacities in the whole of South Africa

Number of species offically recorded on Umphafa

Mammals 49
Birds 186
Reptiles 24
Amphibians 10
Trees 62