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Why did 250 elephants cross the road?

2 min read

Updated 01 June 2022

Elephants at Mvuu Wilderness Lodge, Liwonde
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Picture of Chris McIntyre

By Chris McIntyre

Managing Director
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*A version of this article originally appeared in the June 2022 Bush Telegraph newsletter. You can read our recent newsletters and sign-up to receive these in your inbox on our Bush Telegraph newsletter page.

…or indeed 350kms of road?

Answer: To ensure the survival of their population and simultaneously protect two of Malawi’s national parks, Liwonde and Kasungu.

Over a four-week period from the end of June 2022, an experienced team of wildlife professionals from the NGO African Parks, the International Fund for Animal Welfare and Malawi’s Department of National Parks and Wildlife are working together to translocate 250 elephants from Liwonde National Park to their new home in central Malawi, Kasungu National Park.

Part of Malawi’s national conservation initiative, the aim of the move is twofold: to ensure a viable elephant population in Kasungu, which currently has a population of just 120 elephants: and to relieve the pressure on Liwonde’s natural resources and neighbouring communities caused by the burgeoning population of resident elephants. Not only is this move an exciting step towards the wildlife restoration of another of Malawi’s national parks, it’s a recognition of the success of the conservation groundwork that has gone into Liwonde over the years.

It is only seven years since the country’s partnership with African Parks set out to tackle poaching, rehabilitate Liwonde’s ecosystems and re-establish secure populations of cheetahs, lions, black rhinos and wild dogs. Today, with poaching virtually eliminated, community engagement levels high and wildlife flourishing, it’s impressive to see the park now able to support the restoration of other national parks.

And as if moving 250 elephants wasn’t a mammoth enough task, the Liwonde elephants will be joined by 405 other animals, including buffalos, sable antelopes, warthogs and waterbucks, that will also move to Kasungu’s woodlands and grassy riverbanks to join the park restoration project.

We’ve had some wonderful Google reviews and feedback on the Expert Africa website from recent travellers’ trips to Malawi. If you’d like to see how to combine the country’s national parks, perhaps with some beach time kayaking and snorkelling on beautiful Lake Malawi, please check out our wildlife and water safari ideas, or speak to a Malawi specialist on the phone.

If you’ve been inspired and want to find out more, give us a call or enquire now to speak to an expert.


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