Malawi moves 1800 animals, 500 are elephants
An update from the Department indicates 183 elephants of the first 250 had been translocated by July 25th, 2016, 23 zebras of the 25 being moved, 25 eland, 199 warthogs, 100 buffalo, 441 or the 500 impalas, 99 kudus, 200 sables and 264 waterbucks of the 500 to be moved.
The Department of National Parks and Wildlife together with the African Parks, a Johannesburg based non-governmental organisations.
Elephants are being shot by tranquilizer darts, then retrieved by cranes and recovery trucks. The elephants are then awoken in special “wake-up crates” and then transported 450 kilometers (~280 miles) by trucks from Liwonde National Park and Majete Wildlife Reserve to Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve, all in Malawi.
Around 250 elephants are being moved over July and August, and another 250 will be moved from Liwonde and Majete combined in 2017, African Parks said in a statement.
The restoration of Liwonde and Nkhotakota is being partly supported by a $2.9 million donation from the Dutch Postcode Lottery, a charity lottery in the Netherlands.
Liwonde and Majete have “surplus” elephants and high human-wildlife conflict. In contrast, Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve, at 1,800 square kilometers, lost its own population of 1,500 elephants to poaching 20 years ago. Now, the park has fewer than 100 elephants. African Parks, that manages all three parks, hopes that the huge translocation will relieve pressure on Liwonde and Majete and restore Nkhotakota’s biodiversity.
Over the last nine months, the organization has worked on preparing the park for the elephants, by creation of road networks, fencing the perimeter of both Liwonde and Nkhotakota, and the creation of a sanctuary within Nkhotakota for the newly released elephants.
African Parks has also hired and trained several rangers and “completely overhauled the law enforcement and anti-poaching efforts” in Nkhotakota to enable safe restoration of wildlife in the reserve.
Malawi has five national parks namely Lengwe, Liwonde, Lake Malawi, Kasungu and Nyika National Park all home to a variety of animals and fish species some not found elsewhere in the World. Hundreds of thousands of tourists take vacations, weddings and business tours into Malawi to enjoy the warm heartedness and beauty of the country.
UK leading newspaper The Telegraph recently crowned Malawi as the next biggest safari destination http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/africa/malawi/articles/why-malawi-is-poised-to-be-the-next-big-safari-destination/ and international National Geographic and Lonely Planet have all endorsed Malawi as one of Africa’s best kept secrets.