There are many national parks and wildlife reserves in Malawi, some more famous than others but they are all a perfect way to experience Malawi’s wonders.
Kasungu is situated in the central region, bordering Zambia, 175km away from Lilongwe. It was established as a National Park in 1970 and is well known for its archaeological sites and rock paintings. It’s 2500km2 and the second largest National Park. It is currently being rehabilitated by the Department of National Parks.
Kasungu National Park suffered from poaching but elephant and antelopes can still be seen easily. Lifupe Lake is home for a large number of hippos. It is also possible to spot small herds of zebras as well as some predators such as leopards, hyenas, servals or jackals. As elsewhere in Malawi, the birdwatcher is well catered for.
Lengwe National Park is situated on the banks of the Shire River in the South of Malawi, 80km from Blantyre. It is 900km2 and was created in 1970.
Lengwe National Park is home of nyalas – which are indigenous according to some sources -, buffalos, striped back nyalas, kudus and more than 300 bird species! Five species of antelope can also be counted in the park and the birdlife is prolific with about 300 species recorded.
Landscapes and vegetation in this park are unique as it doesn’t have any source of perennial water and only receive enough water during rainy season. Be ready for an exceptional dryness. The vegetation is thicket with some deciduous woodland and denser tree growth along the stream course. The combination of a very flat and arid landscapes makes the observation of wildlife very easy as animals congregate around the few water holes of the park.
The Vwasa Marsh wildlife Reserve is a 1000 km2 area, west of Nyika Plateau, and lies along the Zambian border.
The reserve offers a mix of vegetation such as forest, grassland, woodland and marsh. This rich habitat attracts a huge range of birds; 300 different species have been seen! Vwaza Marsh is also famous for its large herds of elephants and its hippos that you can see near the main entrance. Buffalos and smaller mammals can also be seen within the reserve.
The Mwabvi Wildlife Reserve is the smallest reserve of Malawi with only 135km2. Despite its small size, it boasts an unequalled variety of habitats from woodland to open savannahs and rivers. It offers spectacular landscapes over the Shire and the Zambezi River. Mwabvi was the last natural home of black rhinos in Malawi but they have been poached. You can still see antelopes, buffalos and a huge range of birds within the reserve, making Mwabvi a paradise for bird watchers!
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