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African Parks and Safaris
Tel / Fax. +27 (0) 28 3161291
Skype.  zahndt
zahn@africanparksandsafaris.co.za

     
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Majete Wildlife Reserve
A Unique Wildlife Destination in Malawi

Help conserve and protect Malawi’s wildlife resource by visiting and staying at Malawi’s only protected area operated by African Parks. Majete Wildlife Reserve is a unique conservation and tourist destination for all visitors. The amazing success story of recovery and restoration and the continued protection of endangered species have led Majete to become one of the most popular reserves in Malawi. Majete Wildlife Reserve is situated in the lower Shire valley in the South West of Malawi, approximately 70 kilometres (one and a half hour’s drive) from Blantyre’s Chileka International Airport and three hours from Lake Malawi. Pick-ups can be arranged from Chikhwawa.

The Story of Majete Wildlife Reserve
Majete was once a prolific wildlife refuge but by the late 1990’s most species of large game, including elephant, had been eradicated. Remnant populations of a few resilient species remained but they had been reduced to very low, and in some cases critical numbers. Law enforcement teams were ill equipped and underfunded, illegal encroachment, agriculture and hardwood logging were all occurring inside the reserve and the resource was diminishing. In 2003, African Parks Majete (APM) a non-profit organisation, in partnership with the Malawian government and local communities, took total responsibility for the rehabilitation and long-term management of the reserve. The restoration of Majete has included significant infrastructure development (142 kilometres of electrified perimeter fence, 300 kilometres of roads, water holes, scout camps, fence camps and a complete tourism infrastructure), wildlife restocking and a complete overhaul of the law enforcement and scientific monitoring function.

The mass translocation of wildlife began in 2003 and by March 2012, 2 554 animals from thirteen different species had been reintroduced including elephant, black rhino, buffalo, leopard, sable antelope, zebra, Lichtenstein’s hartebeest and eland. In August 2012, three lions were introduced to Majete making it one of the only reserves in Malawi where the Big Five can be viewed. African Parks Majete has also engaged positively with local people and has made a significant contribution to fostering cooperative relations with the surrounding communities. A range of community outreach projects have been launched with donor support and continue to generate positive working relations with Majete’s neighbours and generate much needed income for the community. In the last five years, African Parks Majete has focussed on tourism development and made significant achievements in pursuit of its goal to restore, develop and improve the management of Majete Wildlife Reserve as a potential tourist destination.

Majete has become one of the most attractive parks in Malawi and is open throughout the year from January to December. Wildlife viewing can be done from the comfort of a game viewing vehicle or on a bushwalk for the more adventurous. You can also experience village life and culture and enjoy the music, dancing and traditional cooking of Malawi. Majete Wildlife Reserve has something to offer at all times of year. Game viewing is however far superior during the dry season (June to November). Due to its position in the Shire Valley, the terrain is rugged and undulating, and game viewing is best along the Shire River and around established water holes.

The weather in Malawi is reasonably predictable – although there are three recognised seasons, the weather doesn't vary much within the seasons. The rainy season lasts from December until about March and once it begins in earnest, it rains almost every day. In a single day as much as 15cm of rain can fall. Temperatures at this time are around 38°C during the day but cooler at night. Temperatures start to fall slowly in April when days and nights become more pleasant. The rains gradually finish and Malawi moves into its cool and dry season until September. Game viewing improves during this time as this is when the scrub starts to die down and temperatures are more enjoyable at around 20°C. October to December sees the highest temperatures, sometimes up to 45°C. As there is much less vegetation cover, animal sightings occur more often and groups of animals congregate at the waterholes.
 
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