This is Malawi's most popular national park with a good population of wildlife. Although no longer home to lions there are some big herds of elephants, buffalo, impala and many hippos and crocodiles. Many unusual species can be seen here including if you are lucky pangolin and other small mammals and good herds of Sable Antelope.
The Shire River is the focus of activity with boat safaris being popular. Bird life here is some of the best in Africa with many endemic species to be seen including the beautiful and seemingly tame Boehm's Bee-Eater which sits on the branches of trees around the camp and lodge. The crocodiles in the Shire River grow up to 4 metres and large monitor lizards often nest in the banks of the river. The park is home to a rhino sanctuary where re-introduced animals are protected. In the wet season this is a beautiful place, green and lush with dramatic stormy skies, perfect for photography. There is a luxury lodge and camp inside the park with access by road most of the year and by boat in the wet season.
The park can easily be combined with visiting Lake Malawi or Mount Mulanje and is easily accessed from either Blantyre or Lilongwe airports. There is also an airstrip in the park for charters. There is an active conservation and community programme in and around Liwonde with tourism providing employment for many people. Excursions from Mvuu include trips to the nearby village and biking and walking.
Time: GMT +2 hours
International flights to Malawi are either with Kenya Airways (via Nairobi) or South African Airways (via Johannesburg) then to Lilongwe or Blantyre.
Language: English is the official language but not widely used in rural areas. Chichewa is commonly used.
Not needed for most nationalities but check with your embassy. You need a Mozambique visa for Nkwichi Lodge.
No vaccinations are compulsory but some are recommended. Yellow Fever certificate required for Nkwichi Lodge (Mozambique). See your GP for advice.