In today’s blog, Robin Pope Safaris share with us an insight into how Malawi’s recent massive elephant translocation marks a contrast to such humble beginnings for African Parks in Malawi 20 years ago, when many of the country’s wildlife areas were depleted. Read on in their words as they unfold this historical event.
Last month, Malawi reached another conservation milestone as 263 elephants from Liwonde National Park were translocated to Kasungu National Park along with other wildlife including buffalo and antelope from Majete Wildlife Reserve. This comes 5 years after the monumental translocation of 520 elephants from both Liwonde National Park and Majete Wildlife Reserve to Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve. These translocations are an essential part of a national conservation initiative to maintain healthy habitats in national parks, establish viable elephant populations, and ensure the prosperity of local communities surrounding the parks.
While the success of these translocations is a formidable achievement in itself, what’s even more impressive is the fact that the parks supplying the wildlife were once heavily poached of wildlife, barren and the thought of them restocking other parks and reserves was unthinkable!
Flashback to 2003, Majete Wildlife Reserve was practically devoid of wildlife. The last elephants had been poached along with rhinos, lions, buffalo, even warthog – only a few antelope remained. It was a wasteland, with little to no hope for a revival. After nearly two decades under the management of African Parks, Majete’s conservation success story has put Malawi on the map, transforming from a wasteland into a thriving wildlife sanctuary, home to the Big 5, wild dogs, cheetah, giraffe, all of which were absent from the safari scene in Malawi!
Liwonde National Park has been at the heart of both of these translocations and like Majete, has also had a troubled past, staggering on the edge of total collapse, almost to the extent of not being able to be revived at all. In 2015 African Parks arrived and turned it around to the point where it is now thriving, and restocking other parks in Malawi with wildlife. The park has also undergone a metamorphosis of it’s own, with the arrival of wild dog, cheetah, lion as a well as one of the largest international rhino translocations to date, with the arrival of 17 Endangered Black Rhinos!
We have been privileged to have front row seats to watch the phenomenal transformations of both parks as well as been directly involved in the restoration of several apex predators in both Majete and Liwonde.
You can experience this incredible conservation success story for yourself, embarking on the same journey the elephants took during the historic 500 elephant translocation with our Conservation Malawisafari which includes a stay at Mkulumadzi Lodge in Majete Wildlife Reserve as well as Kuthengo Camp in Liwonde National Park before heading up north to Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve.
Many have referred to Malawi’s wildlife renaissance as a modern day Noah’s Ark and we couldn’t agree more.
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