Pets allowed
Not Allowed
Guided tours
Yes
Backcountry camping
No
Lodging
Yes
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

The small country of Malawi is only 520 miles long, but it’s home to an extraordinary wildlife adventure known as Liwonde National Park. Liwonde National Park is in southern Malawi, at the southern tip of Lake Malombe, along the Shire River. The 220-square-mile park has a diverse landscape featuring both miombo and dry mopani woodlands with candelabra trees. Dense vegetation along the river banks creates a tropical atmosphere, while palm savannah and Africa’s quintessential baobabs are found on the extensive floodplains of the river.

Adventurers will love how this varied landscape provides habitat for the abundance of wildlife. Nile crocodiles and hippopotami are frequently seen in the river and along the banks. Look for impala, kudu, leopards, monitor lizards, pangolin, reedbuck, sable antelope, vervet monkeys, warthogs, waterbuck, and yellow baboons. The enormous African elephants are an awe-inspiring sight to see.

Liwonde National Park is also a bird-lover’s paradise. Over 300 bird species live in the park. Among the frequently seen birds are the African skimmer, Bohm’s bee-eater, Dickinson’s kestrel, palmnut vulture, and the white-backed night-heron. Some of the more unusual birds that make their home in the park include Lillian’s lovebird, Livingstone’s flycatcher, Pel’s fishing owl, spur-winged lapwing, and even the rare brown-breasted barbet.

In 2015, African Parks assumed management of Liwonde National Park in partnership with Malawi’s Department of National Parks and Wildlife. At that time, the park had tens of thousands of wire snares. There were more snares than large animals. Poaching was a problem within the park. Since then, over 36,000 snares have been removed, and poaching is under control. This allowed for the 2017 reintroduction of cheetahs to the park, and in 2018, the reintroduction of lions.

Located south of the Equator, Malawi has a mostly tropical climate with a hot, summer rainy season from November to April. The midsummer months of January and February are the hottest, and it rains the most often, making it the time of year with the greatest risk for malaria. The best time for adventurers to visit is during the dry season from early May to late October.

If you’re looking for a peaceful, less-commercialized wildlife adventure, try Liwonde National Park in Malawi. Lodging is available in the park and includes special opportunities for guided day and night drives, plus exciting river and walking safaris.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

Admission Fee

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Amazing wildlife wilderness experience. Spectacular land and water safaris. Not touristy. Lodging in the park.

Cons

Caution and alertness necessary due to dangerous wildlife.

Features

Wildlife
Lodging
Big Game Watching
Bird watching
Guided tours
Big vistas
Swimming pool
Flushing toilets
Near lake or river
Family friendly

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Adventures

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Comments

Have updates, photos, alerts, or just want to leave a comment?
Sign In and share them.