Renowned for its quiet backwater, lush forests, contrasting savannah plains and river-dwelling wildlife of Shire River, Liwonde National Park is considered the finest National Park in Malawi. Perhaps Malawi's best-known game viewing area, Liwonde is home to remarkable biodiversity, including black rhino and rare bird species like the elusive Pel's fishing owl.
While comparatively small in size compared to some of Africa's other national parks, spanning a modest 580sq km, Liwonde is packed with superb wildlife sightings and exciting activities to experience the park. While game drives and bush walks remain the standard means of exploration, with the Shire River running along the park's western boundaries the opportunity to take on boat safaris is an exciting one. Almost 2000 hippos and 2000 crocodile are found in Liwonde; they are easily spotted from your boat, along with other animals, including elephant that often frequent the banks.
Elephant are found in quite large numbers in the park, with over 500 recorded and some close-up encounters on offer. They are joined by buffalo, bushbuck, kudu, zebra, hyena and the rare lion sighting. Black rhinos are also found within the park's safe confines and are the focal point of Liwonde's conservation efforts and breeding programme. A 40sq km fenced sanctuary protects the endangered species, although they hardly have the reserve to themselves, with roan and hartebeest joining them.
On a Liwonde National Park safari you'll find birding is prolific and a number of rare species can be spotted if you're eagle-eyed. The elusive Pel's fishing owl can be seen around dusk, while fish eagles and weaver birds can be seen during the day.
Accommodation in the park is excellent: set on the banks of the river, Mvuu Lodge and nearby Mvuu Camp offer unrivalled views of river life as hippo languish on the banks in-front of the properties and elephant come down to drink.
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