Liwonde National Park Overview
The 58,000 hectare Liwonde National Park is situated in the south of Malawi and is the country’s premier wildlife reserve. Liwonde incorporates the huge scenic Shire River as well as quiet backwaters and lagoons, marshes, open savannah country, woodland and hills in the interior of the park. As a result of the wide variety of habitats, there is a great diversity of plant, animal and birdlife present. The birdlife is outstanding, possibly the best birding location in central and southern Africa, especially along the Shire River where African fish eagle, palmnut vulture, African skimmer and Pel’s fishing owl are fairly common. Bohm’s bee-eater, Likan’s lovebird, bat hawk, Livingstone’s flycathcher, whitebacked night heron and brownbreasted barbet are among the “specials”. The Shire River also provides a wetland where elephant drink and play, and snoozing hippos and basking crocodiles are often viewed.
Elephant and sable antelope occur in large numbers as do hippo, crocodile, impala and waterbuck. Lion, leopard, serval and the rare oribi may occasionally be seen, and black rhino have recently been re-introduced from South Africa’s Kruger National Park. Camping out in remote areas of the Liwonde National Park is a highlight. Another unique adventure is a bicycle trip from the boundary of Liwonde to the local villages, giving one a superb cultural experience.
The primary international airport is in Lilongwe, the capital city, which is located in more or less the centre of the country. Sun Safaris will fly their guests into Malawi at Lilongwe International Airport from where they will connect with an arranged road transfer that will take them to their wildlife destination.
In other cases, Chileka International Airport, located 16km out of Blantyre, can be used as a domestic terminal for guests choosing to fly as close as possible to their destination in the south of Malawi. Liwonde National Park is located in southern Malawi in the upper Shire Valley. Guests will be flown to Lilongwe and then connect with a road transfer that will take them to Liwonde
Common wildlife in the park includes large numbers of impala, reedbuck, waterbuck, warthog and the majestic sable, as well as others. Quite recently, after a 20 year disappearance, lions have made their way back to Liwonde over the Mozambican border. Liwonde has also had a number of black rhino reintroduced after many years of poaching wiped out this precious species.
The birdlife in Liwonde National Park is magnificent housing over 300 of the country's total 650 bird species. Liwonde is home to Malawi's only population of Lillian's lovebird and also plays host to the rare brown-breasted barbet. Game viewing activities at the lodges take the form of walking tours, drives, and boat or canoe trips.