Majete and Lengwe
are two relatively small wildlife reserves located in south-west Malawi
The earliest records of this area date back to 1859, when David Livingstone attempted to navigate up the Shire River only to have his path blocked by Kapichira Falls. A member of his exploration party, Richard Thornton died here and was buried at Maganga Village.
At around 700 square kilometre, Majete is the larger and more significant of the two. Situated just north of the town of Chikwawa, the reserve is bordered to the east by the scenic Shire River.
The wildlife in Majete was decimated by poachers during the 1980's, leading it to become something of a forgotten backwater. But recently the reserve has made drastic recovery and now includes over 4000 large mammals, including reintroduced lions, leopards and black rhinos, now protected by a 142 km fence.
Majete is now probably the best location in the country for large predators.
At around 140 square kilometres, Lengwe is a relatively small national park a little further to the south which, unusually for Malawi, consists of open deciduous forests and dense thickets. It is best known as a location for viewing reclusive nyala antelopes.
Majete is somewhere we tend to recommend relatively rarely, usually to experienced safari travellers who are specifically searching out new and unusual locations. The area can be easily accessed by road from the city of Blantyre in around 2 hours.
The vast majority of visitors tend to stay in one camp for 3 to 4 nights.Mkulumadzi Lodge
... is a rather attractive and upmarket option which is owned by one of the leading safari operators in South Luangwa
in eastern Zambia.
There are also government run accommodation options in both Majete and Lengwe, but we do not usually recommend them for inclusion in trips as they are rather too simple.
The area is most commonly combined by road with other areas of Malawi including Central Malawi
, South Lake
and Mount Mulanje