Nestled beneath the Chipata Mountain, a vast network of rivers weave their way through wooded hills, nourishing the dense miombo forests that make up Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve.
Nestled beneath the Chipata Mountain, a vast network of rivers weave their way through wooded hills, nourishing the dense miombo forests that make up Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve. The 1,800 km² landscape stretches from the Great Rift Valley to within a few kilometres of Lake Malawi shore. With more than 280 bird species, Nkhotakota is one of Malawi’s most important bird areas, and is home to newly translocated elephant, sable, kudu, buffalo, waterbuck, impala, and warthog.
Sadly, with its surrounding communities being among the poorest in Malawi, Nkhotakota has felt the devastation of poverty. Decades of poaching and timber harvesting depleted many key mammal species and degraded their natural habitat. Nkhotakota once had more than 1,500 elephants, but due to poaching fewer than 100 remained when we assumed management of the reserve in August 2015.
In July and August 2016 and 2017, 520 elephants along with more than 1,400 game animals were moved from Liwonde and Majete as part of a historic translocation initiative to restore Nkhotakota and poise it to become one of Malawi’s most important sanctuaries for wildlife.
In addition, African Parks has begun working with local communities to address areas of need and promote sustainable livelihoods. This includes the construction of a perimeter fence, stringent law enforcement and resources for scouts to ensure the protection of Nkhotakota’s wildlife and the communities surrounding the reserve.
2017 will see a further 250 elephants translocated from Majete and Liwonde to Nkhotakota. We also hope to foster a close relationship with local communities to provide tangible benefits from the reserve and complete the construction of the reserve’s perimeter fence in 2018.
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