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VIew of Shire River from Mkulumadzi, Majete Wildlife Reserve, Malawi

Majete

Under the management of African Parks, Majete is a rags-to-riches success story that acts as proof of what can be done in Africa, when local communities and sound wildlife management principles collaborate.

Situated in the Lower Shire Valley, in the south-west of Malawi, Majete is approximately one and a half hours from Blantyre and three hours from Lake Malawi. The Shire River forms the park’s eastern boundary, with the Mkulumadzi River cutting through the north-east corner.

Low thicket covers the park, interspersed with small gullies, sandy openings and the occasional larger tree, including palms. By the river, the landscape is more open – a mixture of rocks and sand, bordering short grasses. This verdant environment is a haven for herbivores; it is packed with waterbucks, impalas, nyalas and greater kudus.

The park is also home to the Big Five, thanks to the reintroduction of lions and rhinos by African Parks. Whilst sightings are never guaranteed and populations are still small, Majete can lay claim to being the only Big Five park in Malawi.

Elephant, Majete Wildlife Reserve, Malawi
Majete Wildlife Reserve, Malawi
VIew of Shire River from Mkulumadzi, Majete Wildlife Reserve, Malawi
Majete Wildlife Reserve, Malawi

A little more about Majete Wildlife Reserve

Under the management of African Parks, Majete is a rags-to-riches success story that acts as proof of what can be done in Africa, when local communities and sound wildlife management principles collaborate.

Situated in the Lower Shire Valley, in the south-west of Malawi, Majete is approximately one and a half hours from Blantyre and three hours from Lake Malawi. The Shire River forms the park’s eastern boundary, with the Mkulumadzi River cutting through the north-east corner.

Low thicket covers the park, interspersed with small gullies, sandy openings and the occasional larger tree, including palms. By the river, the landscape is more open – a mixture of rocks and sand, bordering short grasses. This verdant environment is a haven for herbivores; it is packed with waterbucks, impalas, nyalas and greater kudus.

The park is also home to the Big Five, thanks to the reintroduction of lions and rhinos by African Parks. Whilst sightings are never guaranteed and populations are still small, Majete can lay claim to being the only Big Five park in Malawi.

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Star deck, Mkulumadzi, Majete, Malawi
Majete, Malawi

Why visit Majete Wildlife Reserve

  • Explore a park rejuvenated, now home to the Big Five
  • Walk and drive through the park with near exclusivity, from isolated Mkulumadzi
  • Cruise the Shire River, spotting animal and bird life along its banks
  • Visit African Park’s anti-poaching unit and learn about the challenges facing the park
Ranger showing gin trap, Majete Wildlife Reserve, Malawi
Majete Wildlife Reserve, Malawi
Majete Wildlife Reserve, Malawi
Majete Wildlife Reserve, Malawi

Conservation success of African Parks

Majete has not always been a prolific safe haven to wildlife. In the late nineties, the reserve once renowned for its vast animal numbers reached a nadir from which many conservationists thought it could not be saved. Elephants were completely eradicated and the few species of animals that did remain were reduced to critical numbers. Illegal encroachment, agriculture and hardwood logging were all taking their toll on Majete’s precious resources and drastic measures were required if Majete was to be restored.

Enter African Parks, who in partnership with the Malawian government and local communities, took responsibility for the rehabilitation and long-term management of the reserve. With an overhaul of Majete’s infrastructure and law enforcement, Majete was given a secure platform from which to begin a sustained program of wildlife restocking.

In the first 10 years of African Parks’ management, nearly 3,000 animals were reintroduced to Majete. These can be seen flourishing today, with the park going from strength to strength – even now being used to restock neighbouring reserves.

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Experiences

Discover some of our suggested activities to include on your Malawi holiday

Sundowner Rock

Watch the sunset over Majete National Park, from a small kopje that provides a beautiful vantage point.

Big Five in Majete

Explore Majete on guided game drives. Once heavily poached, the park is now home to the Big Five.

Star Deck

Spend a night sleeping out under the stars at Mkulumadzi Lodge, staying on a raised platform that is lit by lanterns.

Anti-poaching Unit

Learn about the challenges facing the Majete Wildlife Reserve by visiting African Park’s anti-poaching unit.

Room at night, Mkulumadzi Lodge, Majete Wildlife Reserve
Mkulumadzi Lodge, Majete Wildlife Reserve, Malawi

Mkulumadzi Lodge

Located in the Majete Wildlife Reserve, Mkulumadzi offers guests a chic and contemporary retreat set amidst rugged and untouched bushland.

The lodge, accessible by a footbridge suspended over the Mkulumadzi River, comprises of eight spacious chalets, each with private viewing decks offering dramatic and unimpeded views over the confluence of two rivers, the Mkulumadzi and the Shire.

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Meet our experts

A passion for travel runs right through every one of our experts - meaning they're always ready with first-hand insight about their specialist countries.

Jackie Devereux

I was born in Zimbabwe. With a dad who was in the police force, we moved from place to place. I have always been passionate about travel. My grandparents mentioned that our ancestors set off from the Horn of Africa – Ethiopia – looking for better cattle pastures. They ended up settling in the south-eastern hills of Zimbabwe, in the Great Zimbabwe area.
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Bridget Cohen

Aged five and with my Curious George toy safely tucked under my arm, I set off with my family to travel around Europe in an orange VW minibus. Looking back on the adventures we had along the way, I now know that this was where my love for travel and exploring began.
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  • 01285 601 784

Why Choose Steppes?

Our knowledge and expertise sets us apart. So too our curiosity. A curiosity of the world and of you, and your passions. It is this that drives us to create a journey that is really bespoke to you.

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