Majete Wildlife Reserve, situated in Malawi’s Lower Shire Valley, will soon again be home of the famous "Big Five" - elephant, rhino, buffalo, leopard and lion. In August 2012 two male and two female lions, provided by the North West Parks and Tourism Board in South Africa, will be introduced in to the reserve. The four animals will be selected from Pilanesberg Game Resever and Madikwe Game Reserve and the intricate relocation process will involve weeks of quarantine on both sides of the border.
The reintroduction of the lions will restore the park to a naturally functioning ecosystem and will mark a significant milestone in the rehabilitation of the 70 000 hectare Majete Wildlife Reserve. Historically lions were considered to be common in the Lower Shire Valley but by the early 1960s scouts in Majete were recording only one lion every 100 patrol days. Over the years poaching took its toll and there have been no reports of lions in the region since the 1980s.
With the opening of the luxury Mkulumadzi Lodge last year and with the only "Big Five" game viewing experience to be offered in Malawi, Majete Wildlife Reserve's future looks actually pretty good.