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Erik Nyman

Good people of Safaritalk!

 

It's time to shed some light on what is going on in terms of wildlife and safari life in the Warm Heart of Africa, namely Malawi.

 

A lot of us have been following the work of African Parks for many years now and they have done some extraordinary things in the name of conservation in Africa. Majete Wildlife Reserve is the first project that they took on and managed to pull off the mighty achievement of restoring and rehabilitating a depleted and barren reserve, putting it back in its former glory and providing a safe haven for all life that lives there.

 

I work as a guide for Robin Pope Safaris, and in 2016 I was offered the opportunity to move to Majete and practice my passion and interests in this beautiful part of Africa. It has been almost a year now and I think it's time for me to share with you all the wonders that this place has to offer.

 

I'm truly privileged to work for a company like RPS and be able to pass on their great legacy. Together with the guides, managers and the rest of the team at Mkulumadzi Lodge, we are striving everyday towards excellency in everything we do and to promote this up and coming new safari gem that is Malawi.

 

I will let the photos speak for how the season has been:

 

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The view from our lodge over the Shire River.

 

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Majete is home to the beautiful Nyala.

 

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Big old elephant bull.

 

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Lichtensteins Hartebeests are thriving in the reserve.

 

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Nothing gets your heart pumping like a Black Rhino sighting!

 

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Waiting in line at the water hole.

 

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Our beautiful Majete lions. We now have 8 lions in the reserve.

 

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Two brothers see to the protection of the pride. This is Chimwala ( the Big Rock )

 

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And this is Sapitwa (Don't Go There) with the pride's newest addition.

 

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Talk about a sighting! A Python that just swallowed a Warthog piglet!

 

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It's always special to see a Sable Antelope.

 

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Grysbok! A tricky one to find.

 

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Dark-Backed Weavers.

 

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Lots of Bateleur eagles.

 

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Simply beautiful beyond belief.

 

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There are plenty of leopards in Majete but they are still not habituated to people and vehicles and are not yet ready to share their secretive lives with us. We lucked out on a night drive and came across a female with two cubs, so they are obviously doing well.

 

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Mean old buff.

 

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So this has been a tiny little taste of what Majete is all about. To think that in only 14 years this place has been transformed from from an empty piece of land to a thriving wildlife reserve for Malawi to be proud of! That to me is what makes this place special. As humans we are capable of eliminating other species from the face of the Earth, but where there is heart and will, extraordinary things take place and we can give back what we have once taken out, little by little.

 

Stay tuned for more updates from Majete and don't hesitate to get in touch to find out more about this place.

 

Warm greetings from the Warm Heart of Africa.

 

/Erik Nyman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Game Warden

@@Erik Nyman Many thanks for your thoughts and photographs from Majete - I don't know if you had time to read my older interviews with Samuel C. Kamoto, Extension and Environmental Education Coordinator, African Parks. Majete Wildlife Reserve and Mike Eustace from African Parks, here and here respectively. If you get time, perhaps you can start a new topic in the Lodge, camp and operator news subforum with regular updates from Robin Pope Safaris in Majete. It would be great to get more Safaritalkers visiting.

 

Matt

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Game Warden

@@AfricIan Don't forget the trip report... And have you started a trip planning topic?

 

Matt

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douglaswise

As a result of @@Eric Nyman's post, I have become interested in visiting Majete. The fact that it is a fenced reserve of some 700 sq km is what attracts me. The area is adequate to maintain both predators (with the possible exception of wild dogs) and prey, but it is almost inevitable that, in the future, African Parks will need to manage numbers of some species - lions and elephants being the most obvious. I would like to learn what decisions were made to determine the initial re-stocking numbers and species ratios and how fast these numbers are increasing and also to find out about their management model for the future. I have the time to visit in November or December as a solo traveller and was contemplating staying for approximately 2 weeks. However, I cannot realistically expect to obtain the information I'm seeking from a safari guide. However, Earthwatch run volunteering courses which might allow some access to relevant scientists, though I may be too old and senile to be wanted. Some sort of hybrid arrangement might work if I could arrange it. I'm about to e-mail African Parks, Malawi, to find out. In April/May, my wife and I are visiting Tutwa Desert Lodge (South Africa) both to fish and to learn about their private 110 sq km game reserve and how stable the herbivore numbers are. Lacking predators, they apparently use a culling company to keep what they consider to be the correct numbers and species mix. A visit to Majete seems to be a logical progression.

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AfricIan

Majete has been a real success story under African Parks management @@douglaswise and is already acting as one of the "feed" parks for the restocking of Nkhotakota. Last year (2016) they relocated 250 elephants from Liwonde and plan to move another 250 from Liwonde and Majete this year (2017). In addition to the elephants, they are also have/are going to translocate thousands of other animals including sable, waterbuck, zebra, kudu, eland and warthogs into Nkhotakota with the goal of repopulating the picturesque but poached-out park. We've got a couple of days in Nkhotakota at the start of our trip and 3 in Majete at the end - I'm looking forward to seeing first hand how it's working out

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douglaswise

@Africlan:

 

Thanks for your reply. I shall look forward to your trip report. I was aware that Nkhotakota was being restocked, but considered that I wouldn't gain anything from a visit there because my walking abilities are considerably less than they once were. I am, however, slightly tempted by Liwonde NP.

 

It would represent a great success for African Parks to establish sustainable wildlife sanctuaries in Malawi, albeit and necessarily fenced ones. Human population density in Malawi is 182/sq km and growing. This should be contrasted with 399 for India; 143 for China; 268 for UK; 81 for Kenya; 43 for South Africa; 33 for Zimbabwe and USA; 17 for Zambia and 3 for Namibia.

 

One is already seeing land use problems in Kenya (Laikipia, albeit pastoralist-associated), when the country has less than half of the population density of Malawi.

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  • 3 weeks later...
optig

As part of my 52 day safari next year I'll be going to Malawi. I'll be spending 3 days in Nyika National Park, 3 at Lake Malawi,and 3

in Liwonde National Park. It was hard to choose between Majete and Liwonde. I'm so happy to see that Malawi is rapidly improving

as a safari destination. I know that I'll just love it.All the latest visitors have literally been raving about it.

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  • 4 weeks later...
Erik Nyman

Thank you for your replies and interest in Malawi. I'm back in Majete now, getting ready for April which looks like it's going to be a really busy month for us at Mkulumadzi. I hope I'll have some new photos and stories to share with you soon.

 

All the best / Erik

Edited by Erik Nyman
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AfricIan

Looking forward to more (only 9 weeks until our trip :))

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