One of the country’s tourist attraction destinations, Majete Wildlife Reserve, has registered a record $647,307 (about K670 million) gross revenue in 2022, its summary progress report has shown.
This represents an 84.9 percent growth in revenue for the joint when compared to the $350,000 revenue recorded in 2021.
The report indicates that the income was generated from the 12,068 visitors who toured the reserve as well as from its restaurant at Thawale Lodge and its concessionaires in the year under review.
It states that 32 percent of the income came from accommodation, 22 percent from park entry fees while food and drinks contributed a combined 27 percent.
“Malawian adults dominated the visitor figures at 5,656 with local children totaling 1,836. The reserve attracted 1,562 international adult visitors who brought 59 children. The reserve had 2,684 residents with 271 children. August registered the highest number of visitors with 1,930 followed by May, which had 1,321.
“Cyclone Ana damaged our road network in a big way. The Covid era affected the tourism industry in the first quarter of the year. Fencing and other materials and important equipment are still at Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) as we are asked to pay duty fees that were not budgeted for. On a very sad note, we also lost a park ranger who was stabbed to death by poachers in October,” the report sums up the challenges faced in the year.
Majete Community Extension Manager Dixie Makwale said the revenue is their highest ever recorded.
“In 2018 before Covid, we realised $560,000. The revenue went down in 2019 and 2020 mainly because of Covid but we started picking up in 2021 when we hit over $350,000. So, the 2022 revenue exceeded our target of about $500,000.
“We are continuously improving our tourism products and services. We continue to bring in more key animal species such as giraffes, wild dogs and others. Recruitment of a new tourism manager has also added value to our services,” Makwale said.
African Parks Malawi Country Representative Samuel Kamoto said Majete’s revenue was the highest out of the three wildlife conservation areas they manage.
He said Majete ranks the highest, followed by Liwonde at $465,109 (about K481 million). However, Liwonde’s revenue has also increased by 195 percent from the $156,498 recorded in 2021.
“We congratulate the management and staff of Majete for a job well done. We will put in place other measures to ensure that we continue to generate more revenue in the year 2023.
“On average, each Malawi Park needs $2.5 million for operations and capital items every year. Rehabilitation and management of protected areas is not cheap; therefore, while the revenue generated is growing every year, it is a small contribution to the annual budget that these protected areas need to run effectively,” Kamoto said.
African Parks took over Majete’s operations from the government in 2003 and took Liwonde and Nkhotakota in 2015.