Malawi: A Unique Safari Experience with Malawian Style
Today we have an interview with Malawian Style and talk to them about safari travel in Malawi and Zambia. We also talk about the state of wildlife conservation in Africa, since who better to ask than people who work in this field every day.
Could you tell us in a few words about Malawian Style and what your company does?
Malawian Style is a Malawi based specialist tour operator offering tours in Malawi and Zambia. We have recently added tours including South African destinations such as Cape Town, the Winelands and Kruger Park which you can view on our sister site, South Luangwa Safaris.
Malawi is generally not the first destination people think about when talking about safari. What makes Malawi different? Why should people go to Malawi?
Malawi is a good safari destination, unbeknown to many is that you can see the big 5 in Malawi, at Majete Wildlife Reserve. Although, the big 5 do roam the plains of Majete, they aren’t easy to spot! Perhaps, that makes the experience more exciting…
Malawi is an extremely diverse country with 5 national parks, each of them offering new experiences, landscape, and wildlife – this makes for an extremely exciting and unique safari experience.
You organise tours all over Malawi and Zambia. What are some wildlife conservation issues that are most obvious in these countries?
Like the rest of Africa, the wildlife parks in Malawi and Zambia have been affected by poaching. However, parks and rangers are getting better at protecting animals and are beginning to educate local communities who are often approached by organized criminal gangs to perform the act of poaching for ‘quick money’.
A wonderful conservation success story is the translocation of 500 elephants. Last year, African Parks completed the largest elephant relocation in history when a total of 520 elephants were taken from two separate conservation spaces — Liwonde National Park and Majete Wildlife Reserve — and moved more than 200 miles to their new home in Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve. This was due to overcrowding in their former reserves as elephant populations have grown and civilisation crept closer.
Nkhotakota is set to become one of Malawi’s leading elephant wildlife reserves and help improve the region’s employment and tourism opportunities.
What would you like to see the local governments do as far as wildlife and safari travel is concerned?
The Malawi government are certainly playing their role in conservation. In a relationship with the British Army, UK military personnel have visited Malawi on several occasions to train rangers in tackling poaching.
I think the most important thing is for the government to work with non-government organisations such as African Parks and smaller trusts such as Lilongwe Wildlife Trust to united resources and get the best results possible.
How much do tourists know about the local wildlife? What comes to them as a surprise?
It really depends, some people come just for the wildlife and therefore have an expectation of what they will see. What we do find, however, is that when we cross the border with our clients and visit South Luangwa N.P, Zambia, both newbies and seasoned safari-goers are blown away by the abundance of wildlife and the overall safari experience.
Lastly, do you have any special recommendations for first time travellers to Malawi?
To answer this I will quote one of our guides, Eddie: ‘Love your natural surroundings, love everybody you meet, if someone asks you any questions, take it with a smile.’
I will add, embrace everything. There is nowhere on the planet like Malawi and you will be back time and time again!