Majete Wildlife Reserve

Just 16 years ago, Majete was an empty forest with nothing but a few remaining antelope, only 12 employees and zero tourists. Today, after we reintroduced more than 2,900 animals of 15 species, employment is up 10-fold with more than 160 full-time employees, and over 11,000 tourists (50% of whom are nationals) who contributed $500,000 back to the park through tourism revenue last year. Majete has become Malawi’s premier wildlife destination with several lodging options ranging from a budget community campsite, to the picturesque Sunbird run Thawale Tented Lodge to the stunning Robin Pope Mkulumadzi Lodge situated on the falls of the Shire River.

“I never gave up on the park, and in 2003 things began to change for the better. Today, there are now more than 12,000 animals living within Majete … Majete is a story for the ages; it’s about possibility and hope, even when it seemed none could be found.” – Ranger Tizola Moyo, Majete, African Parks

Black rhinos were brought back in 2003; elephants followed in 2006; lions in 2012, as well as a host of other wildlife making this budding reserve Malawi’s only Big Five destination with now more than 12,200 animals thriving within its perimeter.

We’ve maintained a 15-year track record of zero poaching of rhinos and elephants since their introduction; and tourism has increased 14 percent from last year, with over 9,000 visitors, half of whom were Malawian nationals bringing in over US$550,000 to the reserve and communities.

Majete is a tale of a park rising from the ashes – living proof of how a park deemed to be a wasteland can be revived and restored and serve as a life-source for wildlife and humans alike.

Majete Highlights

  • More than 2,500 animals have been reintroduced including black rhino, elephant, lion, leopard, sable antelope, impala and buffalo. The restocking of the park has led to Majete becoming a ‘Big Five’ reserve, and Malawi’s premier wildlife destination.
  • By 2017, the elephant population had grown to over 430 individuals since 2006 resulting in the ability to translocate 200 individuals from Majete to Nkhotakota to help repopulate that reserve as part of our historic ‘500 Elephants’ translocation.
  • Effective law enforcement and close community engagement have resulted in a significant decline in the number of poaching incidents in the reserve year after year, with not one rhino or elephant poached since 2003.
  • Employment has risen more than ten-fold at Majete since African Parks assumed management in 2003.
  • The local economy has been transformed by creating economic opportunities and provisioning of services through the construction of infrastructure, including schools, clinics and safe roads.
  • Tourism has been on the rise, with over 9,000 tourists visiting the park in 2017, a 14% increase from 2016, generating more than US$550,000 in revenue in 2017.
  • In 2014 a state-of-the-art malaria research and prevention centre was constructed in Majete with the goal of reducing malaria by 80% in surrounding communities by 2018.
  • A scholarship programme has been set up to provide school fees for local children who otherwise may not have had the opportunity to attend school.
  • In 2018, four new lions, two males and two females, were translocated to the reserve from South Africa in order to increase the population’s genetic diversity

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