Liwonde National Park. Although only 220 sq miles (580 sq km), Liwonde is perhaps the most popular of all of Malawi’s game parks, with its beautiful riverine setting and teeming wildlife offering thrilling safaris. It is about 100 miles (160 km) north of Blantyre and only rather more than half that distance from the hotels on the Mangochi Lakeshore. Wildlife viewing is enhanced because the River Shire flows along its western border, allowing boat safaris as well as the usual ones on foot or in 4x4s.
Wildlife includes quite large numbers of elephants and the river attracts countless hippos and crocodiles. Lion and cheetah have been recently reintroduced into Liwonde with the aid of African Parks who took over management of the Park in 2015 and who continue to turn Liwonde into a first class safari location. Antelope include kudu, sable and bushbuck. Leopards, hyaena and black rhino are also occasionally spotted. Birdlife is exceptionally varied. The river attracts fish eagles and weaver birds build their nests in the thin woodland. Pel’s fishing owl is often seen at dusk along the river’s edge.
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