Majete wildlife Reserve Malawi – The story of Majete Wildlife Reserve is perhaps the most interesting of all parks in Malawi. In the late 1990s most species of large game had been eradicated, mainly as a result of poor law enforcement and an inability to deal with poaching. In 2003, however, a project spearheaded by the government, in liaison with local communities and a non-profit organisation, took control of the situation and turned it around so that rehabilitation of the park could go ahead. Today, as a result of infrastructure development including new fences, tracks and waterholes, nearly 3,000 animals of 13 species have been introduced including black rhino, elephant, Lichtenstein’s hartebeest and eland. In fact, Majete Wildlife Reserve is the only protected area in Malawi where the famous ‘big five’ can be seen.
The Majete wildlife reserve is filled with about 300 bird species some of which have also been re-introduced into the reserve. The best way for one to see the birds is by taking a walk through the Majete wildlife reserve. The best time for tourists to go for birding at the reserve is during the wet season because this is the time when many of them can be seen in their natural habitats including the migratory birds that fly in from the neighboring countries. Make sure that you carry all the necessary equipment so that you enjoy .your birding sessions and some of the bird species that you can see when you visit the Majete Reserve include the white backed vulture, the Bohm bee-eater, the Bataluer, Livingstone fly catcher, the African fish eagle, the Palm nut vulture and many more others species.
The mass translocation of wildlife began in 2003 and by March 2012, 2,559 animals from fourteen different species had been reintroduced including the famed African ‘Big Five’: leopard, elephant, buffalo, black rhino and lion. Other mammals reintroduced were eland, sable, waterbuck, nyala, hartebeest, impala, zebra, warthog and bush pig and in late 2018, Majete received its first ever population of giraffe (thirteen in total). The introduced animals have been thriving and breeding well and current estimates put the total population of mammals over 11,000. Majete is a reserve completely transformed in a relatively short space of time and is now one of Malawi’s best game parks offering wonderful wildlife viewing. Safari activities available to visitors include boat safaris on the magnificent Shire River, as well as the usual safaris by vehicle and on foot.
Majete lies in the Lower shire Valley in the South West of Malawi, approximately 70km – (one and a half hour’s drive) from Blantyre’s Chileka international airport and three hours from Lake Malawi.
The Majete reserve lodge is another accommodation facility that you can use when you visit the reserve and it is well known for their mouth-watering meals and their good customer care services. They have self-contained rooms with all the privacy that you need but you will need to book in advance in order to avoid inconveniences especially during the peak seasons.
The community campsite is located near the gate at the reserve with a grass thatched bar and visitors are allowed to cook for themselves where necessary. The rooms are self-contained with hot running water, a dining area with solar power running the camp.
The Thawale lodge is divided into two that is the family chalet and the twin chalets. The twin chalet tents are six in number and have an en-suite bathroom, a clear view of the water holes in the park, and with the way that they are spaced from each other, you get all the privacy that you need.
The Majete wild life reserve can be visited for the whole year but the right time to visit is always majorly dependent on what you want to do when you get to the park. The right time for all those that want to visit the park for game drives is during the dry season which runs between the months of April to October and for all those that want to visit the Reserve for birding should visit during the wet season which runs from November to march.
There are vehicles that can be found in Blantyre that will take you to the Majete wild life Reserve for a small fee and the journey is roughly about an hour and half but you should get a 4by4 car to drive especially during the rainy season. Although there are if you can afford to fly to the reserve, an air strip is available but you will need to first inform them first so that they prepare for your landing.