New arrivals at Mkulumadzi Lodge!

On the 10th of August 2013 World Lion Day was celebrated across the world. Mkulumadzi Lodge had an early celebration, with the birth of the first lion cub in Majete Wildlife Reserve since the lion re-introduction in August 2012.

After a lot of speculation, it was finally confirmed that Shire the lone lioness was spotted with a cub. The scouts had been tracking her for weeks in the hope of establishing this and after a few unsuccessful attempts they finally came upon Shire and her offspring. There might have been other cubs born but as this is her first litter, it would not be unusual for her to have lost them. Shire may be a new mother but it did not take long for her maternal instincts to kick in and the scouts had to make a very quick retreat to safety after she charged at them when they got a bit too close to her cub. The timing of this birth couldn’t have been better with World Lion Day just around the corner. Watch this short inspiring film detailing the journey of the lions to Majete Wildlife Reserve which Robin Pope Safaris was a part of.

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Not to be kept out of the limelight, Shamwari, one of the female rhinos down at Majete has given birth to a calf. The pair was spotted on the 17th of July, the calf was estimated to be a few days old then and too young to be sexed. This brings the rhino population of Majete up to 13 and thus strengthening Majete’s Big 5 stance.

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The story of this now flourishing reserve has not always been a good one. After years of relentless poaching, by 2003 animals had become almost non-existent. Through the work of African Parks in conjunction with the Malawi government, donors as well as tour and lodge operators like Robin Pope Safaris, Majete Wildlife Reserve has now turned over a new leaf. Today it is Malawi’s only official Big 5 game park. To date, approximately 2250 animals have been re-introduced to the reserve including the Big 5. Poaching has also declined since African Parks started managing the reserve and this is not only because the entire reserve being fenced but also due an effective community outreach program and responsiveness of law enforcement personal to poaching reports.

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