E A R T H W A T C H & A F R I C A N P A R K S
In November 2017 I was lucky enough to spend some time with Earthwatch volunteers working in the Majete Nature Reserve in Malawi. Earthwatch and African Parks work hand-in-hand to support conservation research conducted by students and professors from Stellenbosch University in South Africa.
Monay donated by the volunteers goes directly in to funding the research projects that have helped make Majete the incredible success story it is today. 20 years ago when African Parks took on the reserve it was lifeless, overgrazed and hunted to destruction. Since then African Parks has worked tirelessly to repopulate the reserve, and reducate locals to create sustainable solutions in the area.
Not only is Majete now one of the only Big Five destinations in Malawi, but its elephant breeding programme is so susccesful that in 2017 they translocated (rehoused) 500 elephants to start breeding herds in other wildlife reserves. It is a staggering story of success and was a privelage to witness. The higlights of the trip were speaking to local villagers about the new farming techniques they had developed (and witnessing their amazing dancing!), visitng a local school to learn more about their systems and hearing from the children themselves about conservation, and finally spending time with the anti-poaching patrols out protecting the reserves rhino population.