This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
Responsible tourism: Malawi tailor made vacation
Liwonde National Park in Malawi is now a place of extraordinary biodiversity and conservation potential. Previously, decades of poaching and habitat encroachment meant that the Park had deteriorated considerably and the Malawi government was forced to seek help. South African National Parks and the Frankfurt Zoological Society assisted in the development of much of the infrastructure of the Park (wildlife, building structures and border fencing). Local Malawian businesses, as well as the J&B 'Care for the Rare' circle also became involved in this excellent programme.
In 2006 and 2007, helicopter aerial game censuses of Liwonde National Park took place, funded by the owners of Mvuu Lodge and formed part of their involvement in the long-term vision for the future of the Park. The results and conclusions allowed a number of management questions to be addressed. Among these are the movements of elephants out of the Park, and the population increase of various species.
The 'Endangered Species of Malawi Circle' draws its enthusiastic members from all walks of life and identifies projects to save endangered species, organising the funding and the ground support needed to carry out the specific project.
In conjunction with South Africa National Parks, the Circle has provided technical expertise in relocating no less than six black rhino to Liwonde Park, where they live in a fenced sanctuary not far from Mvuu. Since the project began, three breeding pairs have been successfully introduced to Liwonde.
The owners of Mvuu Lodge assist the Endangered Species of Malawi Circle by running the sanctuary on a day-to-day basis, pumping water into the waterholes, fixing the fences and maintaining the equipment. They have also two sponsored chalets at the camp, from which 20% of all income is donated to the Circle. The motivation behind this project is to eventually release the rhino into the Park and to diversify the dwindling gene pool of black rhino in Africa so that if and when conditions materialise for their reintroduction elsewhere, some of the Liwonde rhino can in turn be relocated. The Circle has also assisted in the relocation of zebra, buffalo and Lichtenstein's hartebeest into Liwonde.
At Makokola Lodge, gardening is an important task and they follow environmentally friendly schemes. All the water used to maintain the beautiful gardens is taken from the lake and eventually given back to the lake. The gardens provide the habitat of many species of birds, squirrels and monkeys. Their use of environmentally friendly products is a must for their conservation.
Makokola Lodge is dedicated the local community and this lies deep within the history of the property. Since establishing a tourism business here many years ago, the goal has always been to make the local communities the major contributors and stakeholders of The Retreat. Over the years, they have strengthened their long term commitment to the community and more than 300 hundred families find sustainability from the Retreat’s activities.
When building The Makokola Retreat initially, local villagers were trained to build the property rather than bringing in outside contractors. The thatches for the roofs are sourced from local women, who were established in their own business to supply the lodge.
The lodge also encouraged smaller groups to work on wood crafts, woven items, and recycled glass artwork, amongst other little projects which provide employment for the locals. Many of the furnishings were handmade by the local community. Another important contribution is the Retreat’s active support to the nearby Koche Clinic, where many of members of staff and their families are assisted and treated in different ways.
They have chosen to put great effort in growing their own fresh products. With this practice, they have transmitted these techniques to locals who are now able to supply them with sustainable goods. Fish are also selected from a few local trustworthy fishermen, who they have worked with for many years.