Colchester Zoo has always cared passionately about the world’s threatened species, and created its charity to assist projects worldwide.

In spring 2024, Action for the Wild changed its name to Colchester Zoological Society (CZS) which will eventually take over the running of Colchester Zoo from 1 January 2025.

Colchester Zoological Society provides both financial and technical assistance and aims to raise awareness among local people in community conservation programmes, as well as supporting conservation research.

Colchester Zoo established its charitable arm in 2004, which has since donated over £4.2 million to a broad spectrum of conservation projects worldwide. Projects over the years have included a wide range of species from orangutans to vultures, hornbills to Komodo dragons and elephants to moths.


Since 2005, Colchester Zoo has been working to set up the 6,000-hectare UmPhafa Private Nature Reserve in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa and in 2024, made the move to transition into a conservation trust which will ensure that the land has protected area status providing a safe home for wild species forever.

We have been working to rehabilitate the land, which was previously managed as separate cattle farms, to return it to a healthy state after the intensive grazing, and to release native animal species back onto the reserve. nature reserve, UmPhafa, our conservation trust in South Africa.

Many species have been released; these species include zebra, nyala, giraffe, red hartebeest, blesbok, buffalo, waterbuck, common reedbuck, blue wildebeest, ostrich and most notably, white rhinoceros. Since their release, many species have also given birth.

More on the projects supported in 2023 can be found on our annual report:

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