African Parks took over management of the reserve in 2015, ending decades of non-existent law enforcement and rampant poaching. Quickly, they restored the park’s infrastructure and started to protect its boundaries, paving the way for the recovery of its wildlife. In 2016, one of the greatest animal translocations of modern times began.
During 2016 and 2017, more than 500 elephants and 1,200 other large herbivores, including various antelope species, were translocated to the park. This huge project marked a key milestone in Nkhotakota’s road to recovery, increasing the elephant population tenfold in just over a year and transforming the ecosystem.
Despite this incredible success, Nkhotakota still faces huge long-term challenges. New road networks need to be created, fencing needs to be completed and the animals need to adjust to the environment. Therefore, presently, Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve offers a beautiful wilderness experience and a unique conservation story, but it is yet to become a safari destination.