The Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve in eastern central Malawi has received a massive boost in the form of an $850,000 cash injection from the World Bank, as it has been identified as an up and coming destination for tourism.
This investment will support a number of separate projects designed to boost the tourism infrastructure including wildlife conservation programmes, road networks, and training for local communities in guiding and natural resource management. The investment is expected to boost visitor numbers and interest overall in the region.
Tongole Wilderness Lodge, was the first luxury lodge in the area and opened almost eighteen months ago. The beautiful unspoilt 1,800km² reserve, is the third largest protected area in Malawi and one of the least known.
Set up as an ethical and socially responsible concern, the team at Tongole through their work as the Tongole Foundation Charity, is committed to helping the Nkhotakota community and currently fund local projects focusing on education, conservation, health and economic empowerment.
David Cole, Managing Director commented; “We began supporting the local community from day one as best, but with this support from the World Bank enables us not only to improve the standard of living for local people offering gainful employment, and pride in their region, but will also help boost tourism which help sustain the area for generations to come.”
Nkhotakota supports a rich diversity of flora and fauna, offering landscapes not often encountered elsewhere in Africa. Resident wildlife include elephant, lion, leopard, buffalo and sable antelope and there are plans to re-introduce species such as giraffe and black rhino.
Birdlife International has classified the Reserve as an Important Bird Area (IBA), with over 280 species of birds recorded. Activities will include guided walks, day and night game drives, fly camping, canoeing, fly fishing, cultural visits and visits to the much famed Lake Malawi.
Tongole is situated 160km (a three-hour drive) from Lilongwe Airport, and has just also opened its own airstrip making it more easily accessible for private charters.