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 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 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. 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 well inside the park. The park is set at the southern end of Lake Malombe – you can reach it by scheduled and charter flights or a long day’s drive from Lilongwe, and it is not far to drive from here to the southern lakeshore beaches.
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