Something is moving in Malawi. In the very sense of the word. More than “something” is moving, to be exact. Over 200 elephants will find a brand new life for themselves in a new territory . It is happening in these days, in June 2022. By the 27th, in fact, 250 elephants will start to be moved from Liwonde National Park to Kasungu, and by the end of July they all shall have found a new place in the world. This is great news!
About the elephants of Kasungu
Kasungu National Park is the second largest park in Malawi. It is famous for its population of elephants which enjoys large spaces and a perfect habitat. There is still a problem with hunting, but the rangers of the park are trained to check and fight it, too. Also many lions live in Kasungu, and if this may seem a danger for elephants it balances the natural relationship among animals. The truth is, Kasungu is one of the best organized wildlife parks in Malawi and can welcome and give refuge to animals of all species, in particular situations and periods. With elephants this happens quite often.
Why moving elephants from Liwonde to Kasungu
Liwonde is also a large and well organized national park, but it is very close to human communities who need to cultivate the land, for a living. When elephants are too much, they give trouble to the farmers and they start hunting and killing them. So from time to time, groups of elephants must be moved to other places, and Kasungu is the best choice. It is a very difficult operation to move so many big animals in a specific direction, but this is a team job. Malawi’s Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW), African Parks (AP) and the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) are working together with the two national parks to make this happen.
Not only elephants …
Besides elephants, 405 species are usually moved from one park to another. They do this with buffalos, impalas, sables, warthogs and waterbucks , sometimes with cheetahs and lions too. This is important in order to also let men have their normal life in the territory of the parks.
“This translocation indicates that Malawi has become a model of excellence for the rehabilitation of important conservation areas,” says the Director of DNPW, who also likes the cooperation with so many boards. National parks and animals are tourism, and tourism is job and money for local people. So Malawi must invest in the protection of wildlife resources, also by facing such hard operations every now and then. Since 2015, this has been done many times and with excellent results.
The moving of elephants and other animals helps both overcrowded parks and parks that need animals. This way, the whole natural habitat of the Malawian wildlife is always well balanced and ready for tourism. But it also keeps under control every possible trouble with local population and makes farmers and inhabitants of the regions of the park tolerate and love their animals, too.