“500 Elephants” is the largest ever translocation of elephants to a single reserve, and is one of the most significant translocation initiatives in conservation history. African Parks, in collaboration with the Malawi Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW), is moving up to 500 elephants, in addition to around 1,500 other animals of various species, on a one-way journey of approximately 350km from Liwonde National Park and Majete Wildlife Reserve in southern Malawi to Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve in northern Malawi. All three parks are managed by African Parks in partnership with DNPW. Starting July 2016, 250 elephants will be moved from Liwonde, with another 250 to be moved from Majete in July 2017.

July, is the summer holiday month and more tourists travel all over the world seeking adventure and fun. The largest translocation of wildlife and the 350km journey that they will undertake offer exciting and once in a life time opportunity for any traveller to get closer and experience this unique undertaking. By travelling to Malawi during this period and with crucial planning, Tourists can experience rare side of Malawi’s warmth, beauty, hospitality and wildlife in a single package.

What is a translocation?

Translocations are a valuable, resource-intensive conservation management strategy that can be applied to protected areas to actively reduce risk of species extinction by broadening their range and increasing their numbers. Exemplifying proactive conservation, “500 Elephants” is an example of human-assisted migration, and is these elephants’ best hope for a sustainable future in which herds have the opportunity to stabilize and grow.

What precedent does this translocation set?

A project of this scale is logistically challenging and requires substantial capacity. What this initiative demonstrates is that scale does not have to be a limitation. Seemingly extreme measures can be taken to alleviate overstocked parks, to restock new parks, and to relocate animals from unprotected areas to protected areas. This translocation also showcases the extraordinary lengths people from various sectors will go to actively protect an endangered species.

About the Parks

Liwonde National Park

Liwonde is known for some of the best river-based wildlife viewing in all of Africa. This ecosystem supports over 400 species of birds and harbours Malawi’s largest remaining populations of elephant and critically endangered black rhino.

Majete Wildlife Reserve

Majete is a true conservation success story. Prior to African Park’s involvement, the park was devoid of all wildlife, but today is now a Big Five reserve where thousands of historically occurring animals have been reintroduced.