Zomba COSs Planning Next Steps After Thursday Violence

Civil society organisations in Zomba are planning the next steps following violence and alleged police violent crushing of yesterday's demonstration.

Climate Smart Public Works Program Second Cycle Targets Over 14,000 Beneficiaries in Nsanje  

Over 14, 000 poor households in Nsanje district stand to benefit from the climate smart public works program in the second cycle.

Clean Schools Initiative Sanitizes Some Primary Schools

Balaka based non-governmental organization Clean Schools Initiative, apart from promoting waste management in primary schools, has started equipping girls with skills on how to make reusable sanitary pads.

ILLOVO Eyes 30% Women Representation by 2026

Illovo Sugar Malawi says it is upbeat that it will achieve the 30 percent of women representation in leadership positions by 2026 in order to enhance business and the company’s growth.

Govt Rolls Out SCTP in Chikwawa as WFP Supports with Goats Pass-On Initiative

Authorities in Chikwawa district have indicated that they are set to disburse K5.8 billion to 39, 000 beneficiaries under the government's Social Cash Transfer Program (SCTP) in order to alleviate the suffering that citizens are facing due to effects of cyclone Freddy.

Majete: The Sole Malawi Big-Five Destination Named Wildlife Reserve

From near-extinction 20 years ago, Majete Wildlife Reserve is now a shining proof that focused investment and management of nature reserves in Malawi could turn around fortunes in line with the Malawi 2063.

It is indeed the practical story of hope and resilience in wildlife and environmental conservation anywhere.

The story of the birth of Majete begins sometime in 1951.

The first protected area was modest, around Majete Hill which, by 1969, had expanded to 520Km2 to become a game reserve under the stewardship of GD Hayes, the pioneering conservationist at the time.
“He documented presence of lions, hyenas, leopards, and even a pack of wild dogs. The subsequent decline of the reserve must have been heart-wrenching for him,” reads literature about DG Hayes.

But despite the legal protection provided by the Game Act and later the National Parks and Wildlife Act, Majete was a wildlife sanctuary “in name only” as in the 1970s and 80s, logging, charcoal burning, fire, and poaching resulted in the plunder of the area’s wildlife and tourism had virtually collapsed.

“The last rhinos were seen in the 1980s. Large carnivores disappeared in the 1990s. In fact, the final elephant was killed in 1992. There were only a handful antelopes left,” said Samuel Kamoto Africa, Parks Country Representative adding “no tourists visited the park”.

In 2002 when Africa Parks entered into a 25-year-long management agreement with the Department of National Parks and Wildlife, it was actually starting the project “all over” again.

Majete lies down the Shire Valley and today, it is the only home to Africa’s big five in Malawi; lions, leopards, elephant, buffalo, rhino.

For Park Manager, Africa Parks Majete, John Andedorff, Majete Wildlife Reserve is “home to Africas big seven” as she stocks cheetahs and has lately re-introduced wild dogs from the DRC which are doing well.

“This is where we feel disadvantaged. By law, Majete is still recognized as a wildlife reserve which tourists view as inferior to national parks. They would rather visit a national park expecting a much broader tourism experience. But in Malawi, it is Majete that offers the most,” observes Andedorff.

While the financial viability of Majete is through tourism, the facility still enjoys the status of a wildlife reserve which is an inferior status in the eyes of knowledgeable prospective foreign tourists. There is an urgent need to upgrade the status of Majete to a national park given what it is able to offer on the ground.

Majete also has hundreds of zebra, wild dogs, cheetahs, Giraffe, sable, warthog, waterbucks, crocodile, pangolins and impala. Unfortunately, records show that only very few Malawians are going down visiting.

Management of the 700Km2 Majete includes intensive cooperate social responsibility in surrounding communities in support for secondary and tertiary students, income generating activities, electrified perimeter fencing, fresh water boreholes, clinic support, school construction and other activities.

The wildlife reserves borders Blantyre district, Chikwawa district, Mwanza and also Neno districts. It offers an interesting interaction package with surrounding communities that now help protect the wildlife.

Andedorff hopes Africa Parks will be able to access approval for Carbon Credit as an alternative source of funding that will help enhance management of the Majete to make it a more ideal tourism destination.

“And again, we look forward to comprehensive packaging of tourism products in Malawi. The lake, Mulanje Mountain, Majete and other attractive destinations. These ought to come as one package. We also look forward to more Malawian tourists coming spend days in Majete not just weekends.

“We hope to see Malawian tourists who come to be part of this history in the making,” he said.
Aubrey Mchulu is editor for Nation Publications Limited publishers of Malawi’s daily The Nation. He has been to Majete this year again after visiting the wildlife reserve in 2008.

He recalled siting rhinos and elephants and having an exciting moment.

“Getting there, I found a completely transformed Majete than the one I saw the last time. Facilities, animal population, you name it. Enjoyed every moment and I plan to visit again and spend a night either at Thawale Lodge or the camp site.

“It's unbelievable that Majete is still a "wildlife reserve" and not a national park. We can do justice to our tourism by facilitating a change in its status to national park and indeed a review of the law to ensure that Majete and others like Nkhotakota are upgraded to national park status. Come on, this place is beyond a wildlife reserve!” said Mchulu.

Driving around the hundreds of meandering kilometers of earth roads inside Majete is a wildlife viewing experience without match in Malawi and this part of Africa; the fascinating gave viewing spots overlooking waterholes, the flexible accommodation allowing game view, self-catering facilities and a lovers’ nest.

Africa Parks has redefined wildlife conservation in Malawi by rejuvenating the near-dead Majete.

Machinga Youths Worried over Lack of SRH Knowledge among Duty Bearers

Youths in the area of Senior Chief Chiwalo in Machinga have cited lack of knowledge among some duty bearers on sexual reproductive health rights as a challenge that continues to affect access to sexual reproductive health services and justice among them.

Friends of Makhanga Pen Nsanje DC over Relocation

A group calling itself concerned friends of Makhanga has petitioned Nsanje District Commissioner quizzing the government for allegedly forcing people in the area to relocate upland.

4 Arrested over Limbe Fracas

Police in Limbe – Blantyre have arrested four people in connection to the tense fracas that erupted in the business hub on Tuesday between authorities and informal traders.

Dedza Diocese Reaches Out to 50 Needy Households

Pastoral Secretariat for Dedza diocese of the Catholic Church, says it is high time the church reached out the needy in these hard economic times, in response to Pope Francis call to support the poor.

2024 MANEB E-registration and E-payment on Track

The Board's publicist, Mayamiko Chiwaya says as of Monday, 243, 059 candidates have electronically registered for the Primary School Leaving Certificate of Education (PSLCE) exams while 117, 195 have paid.

SAA Cancels Malawi Route over Economic Woes

The South African Airways (SAA) says it will suspend flights between Malawi and South Africa due to what its chief executive Prof. John Lamola attributes to the recent economic challenges in Malawi.

Chakwera Snubs Nankhumwa on Parliament Appearance

President Lazarus Chakwera has snubbed a direct request from Leader of Opposition in Parliament Kondwani Nankhumwa to respond to two motions he submitted in parliament last week.

Hell Breaks Loose in Limbe

Limbe descended into chaos today Tuesday as clashes erupted between vendors, minibus touts, and law enforcement officials from the Blantyre City Council.

MBC Entertainers of the Year Awards Return After 18-Year Hiatus

The highly anticipated 2023 Entertainers of the Year Awards is making a grand return on December 30 after an 18-year break. The event, dedicated to celebrating creativity, artistry, and innovation in the entertainment sector, is set to recognize outstanding individuals across various fields.

SAA Suspends Flights to Malawi

South African Airways (SAA) says it will suspend flights between Malawi and South Africa due to what its chief executive, John Lamola, attributes to the ongoing economic challenges in Malawi.

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