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Flying pigs we have come across in our imaginations, but flying lions? While both of these images are counter-intuitive, one imaginary flying mammal has recently taken to the skies in a very real way. And it ain’t the pigs.

© Tim Jackson, Malawi lion relocation
© Tim Jackson

Malawi’s Majete Game Reserve hasn’t always been a Big Five destination, but thanks to a number of complex animal relocation projects the park is looking set to become Malawi’s top one-stop wildlife hub. Since a change in management in 2003, literally thousands of animals have been relocated from neighbouring reserves and countries, some from as far afield as South Africa.

Due to these relocations, Majete was well stocked with regard to antelopes, rhinos, buffalos, elephants and leopards but one important mammal was missing from the mix.

Enter the lion. In the final step on the road to Majete’s Big-Fivedom,  4 lions were airlifted from South Africa’s Pilanesberg Game Reserve.  According to their private vet, Andre Uys, these guys flew higher, and for longer, than any other translocated lions before them. It was an epic journey and one not lacking in drama. Drama that is revealed in the September issue of Africa Geographic , where Tim Jackson has the full scoop, in-flight gossip and all.

© Tim Jackson, Malawi lion relocation
© Tim Jackson
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Catherine Sempill

Hey, Catherine here. I’m the new blogging intern at Africa Geographic. I graduated from UCT in 2010 after studying Media &Writing and then took off to work and travel my way through South America and learn a thing or two about the world. I came back with a Spanish repertoire, a few salsa moves and an intensified love for writing, blogging and ‘discovering’. It is these passions which landed me on the doorstep of Africa Geographic. Viva!