National Parks

Majete Wildlife Reserve in Malawi

A land of fast-flowing rivers & thick forests, Majete Wildlife Reserve is the symbol of what can be achieved when conservation & tourism come together.

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Everything you need to know about Majete Wildlife Reserve

Imagine a land of fast-flowing rivers and thick forests, prides of lions prowling across savannah scrubland and hippos bathing in the sun. The Majete Wildlife Reserve is the symbol of what can be achieved when conservation and tourism come together. When African Parks took over Majete just 13 years ago, the forest was void of wildlife, but now, this is the only park in Malawi where travellers can find the Big Five. Over 12,200 wild and magnificent animals and birds now call Majete Wildlife Reserve home, and Ker & Downey® Africa can plan an exhilarating Majete safari, ensuring that adventurers can experience all of the unique sights, sounds and smells of southwestern Malawi.

Photo credit | Mkulumadzi

Where is the reserve located?

Majete Wildlife Reserve is located in southwestern Malawi in the lower Shire Valley area, close to the city of Blantyre. Comprising a tract of land of around 700 square kilometres in size, Majete is at approximately 15.9787° S, 34.5692° E. The protected reserve comprises endless mature miombo woodlands and towering granite hills for as far as they eye can see. Thick forests stand alongside fast-flowing rivers, providing life to more than 12,000 animals in the reserve and the hundreds of villages surrounding Majete. Fresh grazing areas quickly fill with antelope and zebra as the sun rises, followed by dangerous predators looking for their meal, and the forests are filled with countless birds and insects.

Conservation

African Parks took up its 25-year management of Majete Wildlife Reserve in 2003, and since then, various conservation initiatives have allowed the reserve to thrive and return to how it once was before being devastated by poaching. More than 2,500 animal species have been reintroduced into Majete, including rare black rhinos, lions, leopards and sable antelope. The ‘500 elephants’ initiative has reintroduced almost 500 elephants into the reserve, and poaching has almost been eradicated. Locals are employed in the reserve, and schools, clinics and housing has been funded by African Parks, along with scholarships for local students to study. In 2014, a large Malaria research centre was opened in Majete, reducing Malaria in surrounding communities by 80% by 2018.

About the reserve

What type of wildlife will we see?

Just 13 years ago, Majete Wildlife Reserve was barren, with most animals having been wiped out by poaching, but under the management of African Parks, once endemic animals have returned, putting the reserve on the map as the only park in Malawi that is home to the African Big Five. Black rhinos, elephants, lions, leopards, sable antelope, yellow baboons, buffalo and impala roam the lands. Since African Parks introduced the ‘500 Elephants’ initiative in 2006, the elephant population has expanded to 430 individuals.

Top experiences to enjoy at Tuli Block

If you ever wanted to visit a wildlife reserve that can demonstrate how successful conservation can be, then Majete will not disappoint. Embark on a game drive through the thick forests with an expert local ranger or take a boat trip along the many rivers and lakes throughout the reserve. You could hike to the top of the tallest hill in the region, Mabele Hill, to savour the views across verdant bush, or take a bush walk bringing you close to Africa’s largest animals.

When to visit

Game viewing is perfect throughout the year, but for the best experience, it is recommended that you visit Majete Wildlife Reserve during the dry season between April and October as this is when the watering holes dry up and the wildlife is concentrated in certain areas of the reserve. If you choose to visit during the wet season between November and March, the rivers swell so boat safaris are at their best.

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