Malawi is blessed with no less than nine national parks and wildlife reserves. In the north are the unique Nyika Plateau and the Vwaza Reserve. These complement each other, one a highland, the other a lowland marsh area. The central region has two vast game areas; Kasungu National Park in the west and Nkhotakota Game Reserve in the east, near the Lake. To the south, the best known national park is Liwonde, along the River Shire, but there are also three game areas further south in the Shire Lowlands: Lengwe National Park and the wildlife reserves of Majete and Mwabvi. Near the southern end of Lake Malawi is the world’s first freshwater national park at Cape Maclear.
The big five (lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant and rhino) can be seen in Malawi as well as a splendid range of antelope and other smaller cats such as caracel and serval. Hippos are to be found in large numbers, so much so that they are almost symbolic of Malawi’s prolific wildlife.
The variety of fish, over 600 species, to be seen in the Lake Malawi National Park is unequalled anywhere else in the world. Malawi’s birdlife is renowned. Best known is the fish eagle to be seen at the Lake and along the River Shire but, as with the Lake’s fish, the range of species is breathtaking.
A safari in Malawi is sure to be a memorable experience; plenty of game but none of those convoys of 4×4 vehicles characteristic of some other African game parks. Malawi offers all type of safari – walking, horse riding, by boat or in a 4×4.
In addition to Malawi’s varied parks and reserves, not far from the country’s western border lies one of the continent’s greatest game reserves, Zambia’s South Luangwa National Park. This park is most easily accessed from Lilongwe and Malawi’s tours & safaris companies offer trips there.
One of Malawi’s other neighbours, Mozambique, also has a reserve most easily accessed from Malawi. This is the Manda Wilderness Community Reserve – a genuine unspoilt wilderness which meets the shore of the lake to the south east of Malawi’s Likoma Island. Community-based conservation initiatives are beginning to result in the return of the big game.
More Safari Attractions in Malawi:
Mwabvi Game Reserve
Nyika National Park
Liwonde National Park
Lake Malawi Islands