Majete is a Wildlife Reserve nestled in the south-western part of Malawi with an unlikely story of resurgence and restoration.
Majete Wildlife Reserve was the first park to fall under our management and was signed with the Government in 2003. It took three years to secure this agreement for an unknown and failing reserve in the south western part of Malawi. Prior to 2003, all of Majete’s wildlife had been hunted out – elephants, rhinos, lions, buffalo, even warthog – only a few antelope remained. Trees were being felled for charcoal; only 12 scouts were employed, and not one tourist had visited the park in three years. It was a wasteland, with no perceived value, and little to no hope for a revival. But it was the perfect place to put our model of delegated management to the test. We immediately began securing the area and working with communities. In our first year we reintroduced rhinos; elephants in 2006; lions in 2012 and a host of animals in between, including giraffe in 2018 and cheetah in 2019. In 2017 we were able to take surplus elephants and other animals and move them to help repopulate Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve. Majete has come a long way in the last 17 years – from being a sink to a source; to providing hundreds of jobs and supporting thousands of community members who have reaped education, health and other social benefits. Majete has benefitted too. Not one rhino or elephant has been poached from the reserve since they were reintroduced; and this once hopeless reserve has put Malawi on the map as a coveted wildlife destination. Today, Majete serves not only as our point of origin, but as one of our north stars, guiding a path along the road of possibility.
Malawi Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW) is the statutory organisation in charge of national parks, wildlife reserves and sanctuaries as well as wildlife management on communal lands in Malawi. We began our work with the DNPW in Majete Wildlife Reserve in 2003 and in Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve and Liwonde National Park in 2015.Partners
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