Majete Wildlife Reserve
Located in the south of Malawi close to the city of Blantyre, Majete is an area of 70.000 hectares, part of Africa’s Great Rift Valley. The reserve is made up of mature miombo woodlands and granite topped hills that contrast with picturesque river valleys and lush riverine forest.
The Majete Wildlife Reserve is a pristine park in southern Malawi, bordered on its eastern side by the Shire River, cascading over rocks as it passes through the reserve.
For connoisseurs of wildlife many exciting encounters lie in store, with the chance to view many species including black rhino, elephant, buffalo, eland, kudu, sable, suni, klipspringer, Lichtenstein’s hartebeest and zebra.
Before the agreement between African Parks and the Malawi government in 2003, Majete was in a sorry state. Although the flora was intact, years of under-investment and rampant poaching had emptied the park of most of its large mammals.
The rejuvenation of the reserve began with law enforcement. Scouts received new equipment and training, and a 160km electrified fence was erected around the perimeter to protect local villages from marauding elephant, buffalo and hippo.
Infrastructure was improved with the clearing of 250km of new roads and the erection of new buildings including a Heritage Centre for visitors.
The reintroduction of more than 3,000 animals from other areas of Malawi and neighbouring countries began in 2003 and included black rhino, elephant, buffalo, eland, kudu, zebra, warthog, sable, waterbuck, impala and Lichtenstein’s hartebeest.
In 2006, a total of 70 elephants were imported from Liwonde National Park. Two years later their numbers had grown to 82, and further introductions increased the elephant population to 144.
The black rhino was introduced at about the same time, with scouts monitoring their progress on a daily basis. In July 2008 the first rhino calf was born and further successful births have brought the total number to nine, second in Malawi only to Liwonde National Park. Lion were recently introduced into the reserve in 2012.