African Parks moved 500 elephants to a new home in Malawi. This was one of the largest and most significant elephant translocations in human history.
Due to poaching, habitat loss and human-wildlife conflict, elephants are being decimated across Africa. “500 Elephants,” however, is a different story – one of hope and restoration and of securing the future for Malawi’s elephants.
When African Parks assumed management of Majete in 2003, all of the elephants had been hunted out. Today, after restocking the reserve, there are more than 400 elephants in the reserve and the area is a thriving tourism destination. Following Majete's success, African Parks assumed management of Liwonde National Park and Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve in 2015. Nkhotakota once had more than 1,500 elephants but due to poaching fewer than 100 remained when we assumed management of the reserve.
However, thanks to the historic 500 Elephant translocation, this once near-empty forest is alive with the sounds of a growing elephant herd. More than 520 elephants and 2,000 other animals were moved from Liwonde National Park and Majete Wildlife Reserve to Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve in northern Malawi between July 2016 and August 2017. We are already seeing some incredible results. Tourism is on the increase and the births of new calves have been documented in Nkhotakota.
350 elephants from Liwonde National Park and 150 elephants from Majete Wildlife Reserve were moved to Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve. Each elephant traveled approximately 350 km from Liwonde or 600 km from Majete to get to their new home in Nkhotakota. Ensuring the safety of both people and wildlife is our highest priority. We overhauled law enforcement to ensure the park was safe for the elephants to return. We also constructed reliable perimeter fencing, working closely with local communities, to decrease human-wildlife conflict and ensure that where wildlife thrive, people thrive.
Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, spent almost three weeks on the ground in Malawi with African Parks, where he served as part of the expert team.
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