Where does the tourist dollar go? Do we walk the walk?
Malawi is often recognised as one of the poorest counties in the world. A largely rural population lives in an environment that is daily less capable of sustaining it. The population is steadily increasing and is reliant on dwindling reserves of firewood, water and fish. Working in the wonderful protected areas and National Parks of Malawi is a privilege, a responsibility and a leap of faith.
Anyone in business in Malawi has to be aware of this reality and ask him- or herself: “Are you part of the solution or part of the problem?” If we are to survive, and thrive, our fate is unavoidably linked to the fate of Malawi. Simply put, commercial reality and environmental imperative mean that we must strive to be part of the solution. There is no long-term alternative. The mountains, National Parks, water sources and forests of our wondrous part of Africa are merely competing with other forms of land use. Tourism is the way forward for their long-term protection and sustainable survival.
Our research (more information) shows that the 102 employees of Mvuu sustain extended families of 1200. At each of our lodges we pay substantial concession fees to the government. Our groundbreaking initiatives with Children in the Wilderness and HELP Malawi at Nanthomba School were started to try to give the attending children a better chance of living in balance with the environment and being the conservation leaders of tomorrow. None of this is possible if the business is not vigorous. So exactly what is our philosophy? Is it all about making money, or is it about trying to make a difference in Malawi?
In fact it's about both.
The Liwonde Black Rhino Project
In the 1980’s the last black rhino in Malawi disappeared from Mwabvi Game Reserve in the Lower Shire Valley. In 1992 a partnership was formed between the South African and Malawian National Parks departments and a pair of black rhino were relocated from Kruger National Park to Liwonde and a custom built rhino sanctuary was built.
African Bat Conservation
AFRICAN BAT CONSERVATION (ABC) is a non profit project under UK charity Conservation Research Africa which conducts applied research, conservation and education to bring bats to the conservation agenda and conserve bat populations in Africa. Almost a quarter of bats species globally are threatened. Bat populations are declining worldwide and the ecology and status of most African bat species are poorly known.
Liwonde National Park Aerial Census
Aerial counts of population sizes of different wildlife species in protected areas can serve as useful tool to assist management decisions. The Liwonde National Park (LNP) faces a number of questions that can be resolved in the light of a better understanding of the animal numbers in the Park and their population trends. These include supplying animals for restocking other protected areas in Malawi, assessing the current biomass and stocking rate for various species, and evaluating suggestions for the introduction of large predators to enhance the tourism potential of the Park. Read more...
Root to Fruit
Malawi is being deforested very rapidly . Poor rural communities are reliant on firewood to cook and to provide warmth and light. The problem is not going to go away any time soon. Initiated by Master Banda and Children in the Wilderness kids, an indigenous nursery was started at Chintheche to provide saplings to communities to begin reforesting their areas.
Children in the Wilderness
Children in the Wilderness Malawi’s camp programme saw its 13th year in 2015, hosting 70 children at three one-week camps at Chintheche Inn. Chintheche community experiences a large amount of deforestation and a decreasing number of fish in that part of Lake Malawi. Therefore, CITW consider it important that the children from the community are made aware of the damage and are trained to become leaders and champions of conservation of the natural environment.
We are proud members of Pack for a Purpose, an initiative that allows travelers like you to make a lasting impact in the community at your travel destination. If you save just a few kilos of space in your suitcase and take supplies for area schools or medical clinics in need, you’ll make a priceless impact in the lives of our local children and families. Please click here to see what supplies are needed for our projects.
A derelict building with no furniture, Nanthomba School just outside Liwonde National Park has been transformed into a well-run school for 400 kids. Its construction is the brainchild of Mvuu employees who were motivated by the Children in the Wilderness programme and backed financially by an inspired Mvuu guest who created an NGO for this purpose: HELP Malawi