Liwonde National Park
Covering 200 km² in southern Malawi is the country’s most popular national park, Liwonde. Located on the southern tip of Lake Malombe and 100-miles north of the town of Blantyre, tailor-made safaris in Liwonde are renowned for offering the best game viewing opportunities in the country. Within the park borders reside a number of predators, abundant plains game and rhinos.
About Liwonde National Park
The western border of the park is predominantly comprised of the Shire River, a vital life source for the park’s wildlife population during the drier months. The eastern region of Liwonde is mostly mopane woodland with the occasional candelabra tree. During the high season animals tend to congregate on the banks of the river where palm trees and baobabs dot the flood plains, giving game-drives and boat safaris an almost tropical feel.
Liwonde officially became a national park in 1973 having been championed by Chief Liwonde himself in recognition of the area’s importance in Malawian wildlife heritage. In 2015 the African Parks organisation took control of the area and began restoring it to its natural glory by protecting and reintroducing species that had previously been poached out of the park.
Liwonde National Park Wildlife Safaris
After years of poaching, wildlife populations in Liwonde are now growing rapidly thanks to the recent takeover by the African Parks organisation. In 2018, ten lions were introduced into the park having been absent for over a decade. The year before, seven cheetahs were also introduced and in the short space of time since, they have welcomed the arrival of eight cubs, more than doubling the population.
Elephants can be seen in healthy-sized herds on bespoke Liwonde safaris, and more than 300 were relocated into the park to re-establish a population here. With measures put in place to reduce the human-wildlife conflict, their numbers are on the rise. Other highlights of a luxury Liwonde safari include rhinos, hyena, zebra and buffalo. A number of antelope species such as eland, kudu and bushbuck are also found in the park.
Activities in Liwonde National Park include game drives, night drives, nature walks, river safaris and the Shire trail trek if you’re feeling energetic. After your safari, why not head to Lake Malawi for some relaxing time on the beach, or if you want to tick off the Big Five, head over to Majete for a contrasting wildlife experience.
Birding in Liwonde National Park
There are roughly 400 different species of birds found in Liwonde and the park is one of the best places in Malawi for birding. Rare species such as Pel’s fishing owl and Lilian’s lovebird are both found in the park.
There is an extensive list of birding specials to search for, including the African cuckoo hawk, bat hawk, broad–billed roller, green twinspot, mottled spine–tail, swallow–tailed bee–eater and the white–browed robin chat amongst others.
Best Places to Stay in Liwonde National Park
We recommend one of two accommodation options in Liwonde National Park: Mvuu Safari Camp and Mvuu Lodge. Both offer excellent bush experiences, exceptional services and a variety of activities in Liwonde.
Hand-picked Camps and Lodges
Talk with one of our experts today to discuss the best options for you.
Best Time to Visit Liwonde National Park
Malawi’s dry season from April to October is the ideal period to visit. During these months animals congregate around water and vegetation is thinner making them easier to find.