Majete Game Reserve tells an astonishing story of wildlife restoration and is a true Phoenix amongst African Parks. By the late 1990s, this wildlife area had been poached to nothingness and most species of large game had disappeared. Great efforts were made to restore the hidden gem of Malawi to its former majestic self and in 2003 mass translocation of wildlife began. By the end of 2012, fourteen different species had been reintroduced and a strong conservation network was built. Majete Game Reserve is now considered the best place in Malawi to view the Big Five. It is an exemplary conservation area that touches and inspires.
Majete Game Reserve, also known as Majete Wildlife Reserve, is situated in the Lower Shire Valley in the south west of Malawi. It can be reached in one hour and a half from Blantyre’s Chileka International Airport, and three hours separate it from the famous Lake Malawi. The park covers an area of 700 square kilometers (270 square miles) and is marked by diverse vegetation, ranging from moist miombo woodland to dry savannah.
The animal rehabilitation program is still ongoing. Some of the lucky residents include elephants, black rhinos, leopards, lions, buffalos, sable antelopes, zebras, Lichtenstein’s hartebeests and elands. Artificial waterholes were created to provide strategic points for the animals and make the viewing easier. River Shire and Kapichira Dam are populated by hippos, crocodiles and riverine birds.
The wildlife is protected by a 142 kilometers long fence which surrounds the park and separates it from the surrounding areas. Positive working relations have been established with Majete’s neighbors who benefit from many projects and value the income generated from tourism.
David Livingston reached the Shire River on his 1859 Zambezi expedition, but was unable to proceed beyond the Kapichira falls. The grave of one of his companions, Thornton, is situated under a baobab tree at Maganga village a few kilometres from Majete, and can be visited during your tour of the park.
To view the spectacular wildlife, go on a game drive or do a bushwalk. For bushwalks, you will be accompanied by one of the park’s knowledgeable scouts. You can also cruise the islands and channels of the River Shire and Kapichira Dam. Evening is the best time to enjoy the breath-taking sound of the Kapichira Falls and experience the rapids. Visits to community projects are possible - you can take part in traditional music, dancing and cooking and learn about the local community.
When to visit
Majete is opened throughout the year. In the wet season, which stretches from November to April, it is advisable to visit with a high clearance, four wheel drive.