Liwonde National Park

Head to Liwonde National Park to see sable, huge herds of elephant and magnificent birdlife.


Safaris in Liwonde National Park

To the south of Lake Malawi lies the lush and wild Liwonde National Park. 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, on the western boundary of Liwonde Park, is a magnet for thirsty wildlife. Riverine forest and palms fringe this broad and languid river. Whilst its wide floodplains stretches out to 3km wide in parts.

And Liwonde National Park has a lush diversity of habitats. Relatively dry mopane woodlands cover the eastern half of the park. This is interspersed with candelabra trees. But patches of miombo woodland covers the south.

Arriving by river boat is the best way to see the beauty of this magnificent park. Liwonde Game Reserve has one of the densest populations of hippo in Africa (some 1000). And huge sun-bathing crocodiles line the river.

The 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. You may also see 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.

Birding in Liwonde National Park

Birdlife is prolific in Liwonde with over 380 recorded species. It is 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. See Birding in Malawi for more info…

How to Safari in Liwonde National Park

Enjoy day or night game drives in open vehicles. Plus safaris 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 here with Lake Malawi and another prime safari destination such as the South Luangwa in Zambia or Majete Game Reserve Or perhaps the contrasting Nyika plateau in the north of Malawi?

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