Mvuu Lodge was Liwonde National Park’s first in the park and is in the key location for wildlife viewing. Based on the river there are regular hippos, crocs, antelope and elephants on the ‘front lawn’. The food and staff here are excellent from incredible sundowner snacks to the best burger in Malawi (a blue cheese roll!) thanks to resident chef Wayne! The guides are in a league of their own and they are extremely friendly. Many of them have seen the park depleted of wildlife and now re-stocked by African Parks and can tell you interesting tales of all developments undergone by African Parks.
Liwonde National Park
8 double luxury safari tents
Malawi’s wildlife, photography and conservation
Yes (minimum age 6 years)
All year round
Yes (can be temperamental)
Mvuu Lodge is set in a prime location of the park. Situated on the Shire River it has a wealth of water-based animals, birds and is generally a hub of activity, to name a few, I have personally seen elephants, hippo, warthog, bushbuck, crocs, mongoose, monkeys and waterbuck right outside the deck of my chalet. The newly introduced lion and cheetah have chosen the lodge to be within their territory and have even had a cheetah kill in their car park!
You can do a huge range of game activities from the classic safari walks and game drives, to gentle boating safaris to admire the water-birdlife and animals coming down to the water to drink. Their safari hides are a real highlight and the wide variety of habitats make this place amazing year-round for photography.
The food here is in a class of its own. I may be biased as their chef regularly sends me his homemade chilli sauce to Lilongwe but the variety of fresh foods and comforting puddings are certainly of a high international standard. From creatively using fresh chambo fish from the lake to growing a lot of their own fresh fruit and veg you can be sure you will leave a few pounds heavier than when you arrived!
Liwonde is Malawi’s star of the show when it comes to conservation. From the huge 500 elephant translocation from Liwonde and Majete up to Nkhotakota to the reintroduction of cheetah in 2018 who mated and gave birth to cubs on mothers’ day! Lion was then introduced, and leopard just waiting for their visas, there are now plans for wild dogs to be introduced and even more black rhino, this is truly a wildlife haven.
Having found more snare wire than animals when African Parks first arrived, the park has since turned itself around with many poachers switching sides to become rangers. It must be said, unlike elsewhere, the poaching was more due to poverty and a necessity to eat than the ivory trade in its neighbouring countries and with a healthy black rhino population thriving it is a joy to see a conservation success story! CAWS who own Mvuu Lodge have long had a hand in the rhino rehabilitation project, assisting African parks and involving themselves in helping the surrounding local community and it is clear to see the staff here are treated like family!