Majete Wildlife Reserve is situated in the lower Shire valley in the South West of Malawi, approximately 70kms – (one and a half hour’s drive) from Blantyre’s Chileka international airport and three hours from Lake Malawi.
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 (142kms of an electrified perimeter fence, 300kms of roads, waterholes, 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, 2,559 animals from fourteen different species had been reintroduced including the big five, leopard, elephant, buffalo, black rhino and lion. Other mammals reintroduced were eland, sable, waterbuck, nyala, hartebeest, impala, zebra, warthog and bush pig. Making Majete one of the only reserves in Malawi where the BIG FIVE can be viewed.