Safaris in Liwonde Park
The lush and wild Liwonde National Park lies south of Lake Malawi. It offers the best game-viewing safaris in Malawi. This is largely because of the Shire river, (pronounced Shiree) which drains Lake Malawi. This river forms the western boundary of Liwonde Park and acts as a magnet for thirsty wildlife. Broad and languid, it is fringed by riverine forest, palms and wide floodplains, stretching out to 3km wide in parts.
Liwonde National Park also offers a lush diversity of habitats. Relatively dry mopane woodlands cover the eastern half of the park – interspersed with candelabra trees. Whilst patches of miombo woodland are in the south.
Arriving by river boat is the best way to see the beauty of this magnificent park. It has one of the densest populations of hippo in Africa (some 1000) and huge sun-bathing crocodiles line the river. The wide and scenic Shire river is a vital life source for the park’s animals in the dry season. Large breeding herds of elephant are attracted to the grass-covered floodplains, as well as impala, reedbuck, waterbuck & warthog. Liwonde park is also home to lion and the elusive leopard, whilst buffalo, kudu and impala inhabit the woodlands beyond the floodplain.
However it’s fair to say you are less likely to see the big cats here than in Zambia. However Liwonde does contain a sanctuary breeding project for black rhino.
Birding in Liwonde
Birdlife is prolific in Liwonde with over 380 recorded species. It offers probably the best year-round birding in Southern Africa. ‘Specials’ include Pel’s fishing owl, white-backed night heron, Böhm’s bee-eater and Lilian’s lovebird.
How to Safari in Liwonde National Park
Liwonde safaris are conducted in open vehicles (on day and night drives), by foot and by boat. There is also an opportunity to track black rhino on foot which is an exciting addition.
We recommend combining a couple of nights on safari here combined with Lake Malawi and another prime safari destination such as the South Luangwa in Zambia, Majete Game Reserve or the contrasting Nyika plateau in the north.