11755120_10153487098963624_5280402670471371896_nThe Malawian Government has officially joined forces with African Parks to run the management of both Liwonde National Park and Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve in Malawi in a bid to ensure their smooth running. At yesterday’s ceremony, the agreement was signed by both parties to manage the two areas for the next 20 years, of which Lilongwe Wildlife Trusts Director, Jonathan Vaughan, was in attendance.

This is a great boost in the fight for Malawi’s wildlife and we hope to see great improvements made during this partnership; in 1993, African Parks took over Majete Wildlife Reserve, which at the time was in a dire state and they have since helped restore the Reserve to be the top place in Malawi to see the Big 5.

Liwonde National Park is situated on the Upper Shire River. It is home to Malawi’s largest elephant population and was host to a black rhino reintroduction project, after they became locally extinct in the late 1980s, and is now one of only two rhino populations in the country. Other residents include hippos, crocodiles, hyaenas, warthogs, buffalo, baboons, antelopes and over 400 species of birds.

Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve is located in central Malawi and has remnant populations of elephants, warthogs, baboons and several antelope species, and under good management has great potential.

“We are excited about the mandate granted to us by the Ministry Of Information, Tourism and Culture and are encouraged about the potential of both projects,” said Peter Fearnhead, African Parks CEO. “Our aim is to completely restore the biodiversity in both Liwonde and Nkhotakota, enhance the tourism product and experience, reduce the extensive human-wildlife conflict, ensure the sustainable use of natural resources and contribute to the socio economic development of local communities living around the two areas. This will be achieved through an $18m investment in the two parks over a five year period, made possible by a few key partners of African Parks”.

For more information please visit the African Parks website