– photo by African Parks Network, an NGO focused on conservation located in Johannesburg, South Africa
What comes to your mind when you think about Africa? Let us guess, a jungle safari amidst some of the most diverse wildlife in the world. Now, think about the Southern African nation of Malawi – are you still thinking of that African signature safari? Perhaps not. Even though tourism in Malawi revolves around its namesake lake and its beaches, the country has the potential to become a great wildlife watching destination and in the last few years, the country has done a terrific job to restock its wildlife. Read ahead to find out what they are doing.
Malawi has nine national parks and protected reserves and of which Majete Wildlife Reserve is currently known to be the country’s only Big 5 (lion, leopard, rhinoceros, elephant, and Cape buffalo) viewing destination. Majete used to be a poacher’s playground until 2003 when the government of Malawi signed a 25-year agreement with African Parks – an NGO focused on conservation located in Johannesburg, South Africa. With the help of Malawi’s Department of National Parks & Wildlife, they reintroduced several animal species to the reserve including rhino, elephants and lions which helped the park to regain its lost Big 5 status. Apart from Majete, the NGO also manages Liwonde National Park and Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve. In Liwonde, they had built an electric fence to decrease the clash between humans and wildlife along with reintroducing lions.
Malawi’s oldest and largest national park Nyika also saw some changes as around 30 elephants were translocated from Liwonde National Park a couple of years ago. Along with elephants, now the park has a large number of antelope, zebra and leopard. The park is also home to over 400 species of birds.
Thanks to the efforts of conservation and restocking, wildlife in Malawi is thriving and so are the eco-friendly camps and lodges. The country is slowly becoming a great safari destination in Africa which won’t burn a hole in your pocket and you won’t have to deal with a huge crowd. It is a good sight for Malawi’s tourism sector which rarely sees beyond Lake Malawi. It wouldn’t be surprising if Malawi becomes a top safari destination like its neighboring countries in the future.
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