Mission Elephant: Record-Breaking Wildlife Relocation Breathes New Life into Malawi Park

In a monumental feat, over 250 elephants have found a new home in one of Malawi’s national parks after a journey that saw them airlifted upside down.

The relocation effort involved 263 elephants and 431 other wildlife species, such as impala, buffalo, warthog, sable, and waterbuck, and is part of a broader environmental initiative to preserve Malawi’s unique wildlife.

The journey spanned 250 miles from Liwonde National Park to Kasungu National Park. Spectacular scenes unfolded as the giant elephants were carefully suspended upside down and transported to their new, sprawling habitat.


The ambitious operation, completed over a month, was a collaborative effort between Malawi’s Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW), African Parks, and the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW).

An Elephant Hangs Upside Down As It Is Airlifted To Its New Home In Malawi During A Mammoth Rehoming Project That Finished Last Week
An elephant hangs upside down as it is airlifted to its new home in Malawi during a mammoth rehoming project that finished last week.

The project’s overarching aim was to maintain the biodiversity of Malawi’s national parks, establish healthy elephant populations, and create economic opportunities for local communities surrounding the park.

Brighton Kumchedwa, Malawi’s Director of National Parks and Wildlife, expressed gratitude for the project’s success.


He noted that the new elephant residents would boost tourism, stimulate job creation, and foster a conservation-driven economy within Kasungu National Park – Malawi’s second largest, covering an impressive 2,100 square kilometers.

More Than 250 Elephants Have Been Rehomed In Malawi, With The Giant Animals Airlifted Upside Down Via Cranes As They Were Moved To Their New National Park
More than 250 elephants have been rehomed in Malawi, with the giant animals airlifted upside down via cranes as they were moved to their new national park.
The Mammoth Effort Saw 263 Of The Animals And 431 Other Wildlife Including Impala, Buffalo, Warthog, Sable, And Waterbuck Transported
The mammoth effort saw 263 of the animals and 431 other wildlife, including impala, buffalo, warthog, sable, and waterbuck, transported.

The relocation is crucial to restoring Kasungu’s elephant population, which was decimated due to poaching.

In the 1970s, the park was home to around 1,200 elephants. However, by 2015, that number had alarmingly dropped to just 49.


The partnership between the Malawian government and IFAW is set to continue, ensuring the full restoration of Kasungu National Park.

The Giant Animals Were Moved From The Liwonde National Park In Malawi To The Kasungu National Park, 250 Miles Away
The giant animals were moved from the Liwonde National Park in Malawi to the Kasungu National Park, 250 miles away.
The Elephants Were Seen Hanging Upside Down As They Were Gently Lowered Into Their New Home As Part Of The Environmental Project
The elephants were seen hanging upside down as they were gently lowered into their new home as part of the environmental project.

Patricio Ndadzela, IFAW’s Country Director for Malawi and Zambia, emphasized the significance of this effort, praising the collaborative model as an effective strategy for securing Malawi’s natural resources.

It Was Carried Out To Maintain Healthy Habitats In Malawi'S National Parks, Establish Viable Elephant Populations And Ensure The Prosperity Of Local Communities Around The Park
It was carried out to maintain healthy habitats in Malawi’s national parks, establish viable elephant populations and ensure the prosperity of local communities around the park.
The Operation Took A Month In Total And Was Completed Last Week, With Hundreds Of Animals Moved To The New Park
The operation took a month in total and was completed last week, with hundreds of animals moved to the new park.
The Move Was Undertaken By Malawi'S Department Of National Parks And Wildlife (Dnpw) In Partnership With African Parks And The International Fund For Animal Welfare (Ifaw)
The move was undertaken by Malawi’s Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW) in partnership with African Parks and the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW).
The Elephant Population Diminished With Poaching Activity So This Exercise Hopes To See An Increase In The Population
The elephant population diminished with poaching activity, so this exercise hopes to see an increase in the population.
After The Move Was Completed, The Herd Of Elephants Was Seen Enjoying Its New Surroundings In The Malawi National Parkl
After the move was completed, the herd of elephants was seen enjoying its new surroundings in the Malawi National Park.
Kasungu Is The Second Largest National Park In Malawi, Covering 2,100 Square Kilometres, Which Is Four Times The Size Of The Creature'S Previous Habitat At Liwonde National Park
Kasungu is the second largest national park in Malawi, covering 2,100 square kilometers, which is four times the size of the creature’s previous habitat at Liwonde National Park.
An Aerial View Of The Elephants Being Airlifted Into Their New Habitat Shows The Huge Operation Undertaken By Authorities
An aerial view of the elephants being airlifted into their new habitat shows the huge operation undertaken by authorities.
In The 1970S Kasungu Was Home To Around 1,200 Elephants But Poaching Saw Their Numbers Dwindle
In the 1970s, Kasungu was home to around 1,200 elephants, but poaching saw their numbers dwindle.
Brighton Kumchedwa, Malawi'S Director Of National Parks And Wildlife, Said: 'We Are Overjoyed That The Exercise Has Been Completed Successfully, Thanks To All Of The Partners Who Worked Hard To Finish The Work On Time'
Brighton Kumchedwa, Malawi’s Director of National Parks and Wildlife, said: ‘We are overjoyed that the exercise has been completed successfully, thanks to all of the partners who worked hard to finish the work on time.’
By 2015, There Were Just 49 Elephants In Kasungu, Making This Exercise Especially Important In The Effort To Increase The Population In The Park
By 2015, there were just 49 elephants in Kasungu, making this exercise especially important in increasing the park’s population.
One Of The Elephants Makes The Most Of The New Surroundings After The Relocation To Liwonde National Park In Malawi
One of the elephants makes the most of the new surroundings after relocating to Liwonde National Park in Malawi.
The New Surroundings Should Help Boost Elephant Numbers And The Animals Will Be Monitored By Authorities
The new surroundings should help boost elephant numbers, and authorities will monitor the animals.

Read more Elephant News.