Malawi: Translocation of Elephants At Liwonde National Park Going On Smoothly


Tikondane Vega

Date Published

Blantyre — The Country Director for African Parks, Patricio Ndadzela says the process of translocating elephants from Liwonde National Park to Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve is going on smoothly despite a few challenges facing the historical elephant translocation.

He said this at Liwonde National Park on Wednesday during a media visit his organization prepared for journalists to see how the elephants are bieng captured and transported to Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve.

On July 3, 2016, African Parks Malawi embarked on one of the world’s largest and most significant elephant translocation and as of Wednesday, over 160 elephants were already captured from Liwonde National Park.

Ndadzela said; “African Parks Malawi is translocating up to 500 elephants from Liwonde National Park and Majete Wildlife Reserve from Southern Malawi to Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve in Central Region.

“All three reserves are managed in partnership with the Malawi Department of National Parks and Wildlife. 250 elephants are being moved over July and August this year from Liwonde with another 250 to be moved from the same Liwonde and Majete combined, in 2017.

“In addition to these elephants, thousands of other animals including sable, waterbuck, zebra, kudu, eland and warthogs are also being translocated all with the goal of repopulating Nkhotakota and restoring it to its former glory after years of rampant poaching.

Ndadzela said the translocation exercise has two objectives of relieving pressure from the elephants surplus in Liwonde and Majete and to restore Nkhotakota which supported more than 1,500 elephants 20 years ago but today has fewer than 100.

The 500 elephants’ translocation initiative is a human assisted migration providing the best chance of a long term and sustainable future for the elephants.

Ndadzela has since commended Malawi government for facilitating the whole process saying it has really shown that tourism is indeed at its heart.

He added, “Since the translocation started only one elephant has died but overall the whole process is going on smoothly. Apart from local media covering the event, several other media from countries like South Africa, Netherlands, and United Kingdom among others were in the country witnessing this historic moment.

African Parks has spent the last nine months preparing for the giant move which has included the grading and creation of road networks, perimeter fencing of both Liwonde and Nkhotakota among others.