Liwonde National Park

Liwonde National Park

Malawi doesn't have the huge reserves full of big game that you'll find elsewhere in Africa. However, if you feel like a couple of days of gentle game viewing combined with some relaxing time on the lake, then Liwonde National Park is ideal. It's a very lush park, with ancient baobab trees and tall borassus palms, totally tropical in atmosphere and reminiscent of the setting for Bogart and Hepburn's African Queen.

At its heart is the palm-lined Shire River which flows through the park, and whose banks are home to numerous hippos and crocodiles, whilst the adjacent plains and forests harbour Malawi’s largest remaining populations of elephant, as well as the endangered black rhino. It is also home to waterbuck, bushbuck, impala and the rarer sable, roan and suni antelopes.

With over 400 species of birds, Liwonde is home to species from East and Southern Africa such as Boehm's bee-eater, the palmnut vulture, Pel's fishing owl and Livingstone's flycatcher. So while Liwonde isn't the biggest or most spectacular game park in Africa, it has a winning ambience and first-class birdwatching.

In 2015 African Parks took over the management of Liwonde National Park to try and eradicate poaching as well as to ensure the parks survival. Their efforts also include the translocation of 261 elephant to the Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve, as well as the reintroduction of cheetah to this area. They are also involved in helping the local communities to benefit from the park and have also erected a 117km electrical fence which has helped improve the human-wildlife conflict with the villages bordering the park.

Safari camps to stay here are the reliably good Mvuu Wilderness Lodge, and the simpler Mvuu Camp. In April 2018 Robin Pope Safaris opened a simple bush camp called Kuthengo Camp.
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