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Liwonde National Park is considered to be Malawi’s premier wildlife destination. The reserve boasts a wide variety of mammals and an astonishing biodiversity of stunning birdlife.

The centre stage of the reserve is the Shire River, along the western border, with a myriad of species making it their focus, including large numbers of elephants, countless hippos and crocodiles, antelope including kudu, sable and bushbuck and lots of lion and leopard. Black rhino were successfully reintroduced into the park in 1993. With such an abundance of wildlife, boat safaris on the river are a spectacular experience.

With a variety of quiet lagoons and open savannah, birdlife is exceptionally varied and offers some of the best birding in Africa. The river attracts fish eagles and weaver birds build their nests in the thin woodland, and Pel’s fishing owl is often seen at dusk along the river’s edge. Other ‘specials’ here include Bohm’s bee-eater, brown-breasted barbet and Livingstone’s flycatcher.

Accommodation in Liwonde is first-class with the luxury Mvuu Lodge and nearby Mvuu Camp along the Shire’s bank, and the Kuthengo Camp which offers an intimate safari retreat.

The park is set at the southern end of Lake Malombe, and it is not far to drive from here to the southern lakeshore beaches.

View suggested itineraries

Key info

  • Ideal for viewing: Böhm’s bee-eater, African elephant, Livingstone’s fly-catcher, roan, sable
  • Where: Southern Region, Malawi

Wildlife trips

This wildlife location is featured in the following itineraries:

Best of Malawi

Travel to the fascinating Majete Wildlife Reserve, where black rhino are thriving again after an intense conservation effort, and to Liwonde National Park, Malawi’s premier wildlife destination. Ending with some relaxation time on the beaches of Lake Malawi, this trip brings together the best of this captivating country.

  • When to go: Apr-Dec
  • Duration inc. flights: 13 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £4,795 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea

Classic Africa Explorer

This 37-day comprehensive itinerary, which visits no less than seven countries, delivers the ultimate African safari experience and a wealth of contrasts. Travel to some of Africa’s best National Parks and stay in a range of classic lodges, hotels and tented camps on this wildlife trip of a lifetime.

  • When to go: Apr-Dec
  • Duration inc. flights: 37 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £16,495 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea
Suggested accommodation options are shown below. Please contact us for further recommendations.

Kuthengo Camp

Nestled between the fever trees and baobabs of Liwonde National Park in a large open plain stretching towards the Shire River, the intimate Kuthengo Camp accommodates just ten guests for the ultimate safari retreat. Each tent features its own private deck, perfect for watching passing herds of waterbuck.

Mvuu Wilderness Lodge & Camp

This upmarket lodge is nestled in thick undergrowth on the banks of a lagoon just off the Shire River. It offers eight luxury tents with en suite bathroom and private viewing deck looking out on the lagoon. A short distance away, the somewhat simpler Mvuu Camp has 12 chalets with river views.