Join an Earthwatch team—and an abundance of wildlife, including lions, leopards, and elephants—in Malawi’s Majete Wildlife Reserve.
You'll help researchers gather the data they need to best manage the park and make sure all its species thrive. For many years, wildlife of Malawi wasn't doing so well: poachers and habitat destruction reduced populations of many to near-extinction. Then the government started an intensive conservation program aimed at reintroducing iconic species such as the rhino, leopard, and hyena. The Majete Wildlife Reserve is home to a major rehabilitation project, and, as a member of this team, you will help to monitor the reintroduction of native species.
Since 2003, more than 2,500 animals from 14 different species have been reintroduced in Majete. You'll check up on these animals as you walk the park during the day and drive through at night, counting and observing all of the creatures you see. You'll also conduct waterhole counts, during which the team stakes out a spot where animals congregate to make observations. You might alsovisit to a local school and spend time sorting through camera-trap images, which have already revealed surprises: species the scientists didn't know were in the reserve, and even some poachers that got found out on film.
You'll learn about and do a wide variety of research activities on this expedition, but two things are a constant: you'll see many of Africa's most well-known animals each day as you work, and you'll help make the reserve a safer, healthier place for them in the future.