The Buffelskloof Herbarium has links with some 40 herbaria, universities and research institutions across Africa and Europe. It is constantly exchanging specimens with other herbaria and receiving parties of university staff and students. The Herbarium is able to provide high resolution scans of representative samples from its collection, and frequently loans material to other South African institutions.
Memoranda of Cooperation have been signed with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (UK),; with the Naturalis Biodiversity Center (Leiden, The Netherlands) which holds the Dutch national collection and with the University of Pretoria, the nearest major university. There is also close cooperation with the Tshwane University of Technology and the University of Johannesburg.
The Herbarium has substantial links with the major South African herbaria at Kirstenbosch and Pretoria (the National Herbarium). It receives requests for specimens from international herbaria including the East African Herbarium in Kenya and major European herbaria in London, Edinburgh, Leiden (Netherlands), Brussels, Neuchâtel, etc. The Tropical Important Plant Areas (TIPA) project at Kew studying important tropical places under threat from exploitation, relies on the Herbarium to provide some specimens of plants from Mozambique.
The nearest major universities, Pretoria and Tshwane University of Technology frequently send parties of staff and students to work, and study retreats on thesis and paper-writing being popular. There are also long-standing links with the universities of Cape Town and Witwatersrand, as well as smaller institutions such as Limpopo and the Free State.
Buffelskloof has always welcomed visiting scientists who are welcome to stay as long as they need to with only a nominal charge made for accommodation. Staff are available to guide them to the many sites of exceptional interest within a few hours’ drive (which includes the Kruger National Park and the Highveld Escarpment). It is also a day’s drive to the wetlands of Maputaland and St Lucia, Zululand.
There is nearly always some intrepid researcher from as far away as China or the USA, often fresh from remote corners of the tropics. The picture shown is of a party of senior US lichenologists who discovered a new species within hours of their arrival at Buffelskloof.
In addition, two scientists from the Czech Republic recently discovered a species of fungus new to science in the Reserve.