Safaris to Liwonde National Park

Liwonde National Park

Spend valuable game viewing holiday time on unique safaris to  Liwonde National Park, considered the most prolific wildlife area in Malawi, and the most popular game reserve too. If you love smaller spaces and seeing numerous elephants and hippos, this place is for you, and Voyage2Africa promises the best in safari lodges and special accommodation in the wilds. 

Liwonde is an intimate wildlife experience in its small 580 square km area of captivating riverine vegetation on the River Shire where boat safaris enhance exciting 4×4 game drives and thrilling bush walks. Make sure you book a memorable game-viewing holiday in this top Malawi national park and find out about the many successful animal relocations that Liwonde has been involved with. 

The Shire River is a major feature of the park, carving its way through the renowned Liwonde palm trees where African fish eagles and rare Palm nut vultures perch and nest.  Find this treasure just south of Lake Malawi near the Mozambique border and be amazed at the dry Mopani woodlands covering the eastern half of the park, interspersed with candelabra trees. Drive through patches of Miombo woodland on a few hills in the south and east, then photograph palm savannah and baobabs on the extensive floodplains of the river.

Amazing Animal Relocations

Historic wildlife translocations have made Liwonde National Park what it is today, a hive of activity where every mammal and predator on the list can be seen up close, in action. The exciting arrival of 4 cheetahs added large cats to the reserve which have bred and grown to a healthy 18 – and are still multiplying!  At first, they were the only carnivores in the park and then lions arrived to balance the predator numbers, then leopards and another group of 23 black rhinos.  

The latest success story is that 14 wild dogs were relocated from South Africa and Mozambique to Majete Wildlife Reserve and Liwonde National Park in 2021. These relocations bring many challenges to animals and to wildlife managers but they are all worthwhile in the long term. 

Did you know?

Wildlife relocations to the lovely Liwonde National Park initially brought the elephant numbers to 900, causing a bit of a problem with food resources so some of them were moved to Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve for what was “the biggest elephant translocation in Malawi”.


  • The best way to game view is a boat trip along the Shire River and to see large elephant herds drinking and swimming in the water. 
  • View black rhinos and other rare animals up close inside the fenced 4 000 ha sanctuary.
  • Still remote enough to remain untamed, Liwonde remains undiscovered by mass tourism. There are only a few lodges and visitors will feel like the experience is all their own.
  • View magnificent birdlife with 300 of the country’s total 650 bird species including Lillian’s lovebird and the rare, brown-breasted barbet.

Wildlife Off The Beaten Track

There is a rich concentration of wildlife in this smaller game park, such as elephant herds, and large pods of hippos and crocodiles on the river banks. Iconic species including the predators lions, cheetahs and African wild dogs were recently reintroduced into Liwonde with the aid of African Parks, a new management team. 

View impressive herds of impala, reedbuck, waterbuck, warthog and the majestic, rare sable. Buffalo, Lichtenstein’s hartebeest, zebra, roan and eland were historically hunted to extinction in the area but are now seen in healthy herds, mingling with the rare black rhinos. 

Are you a birder? Come and experience some of the most exceptional year-round bird watching in Africa. Spot outstanding bird species such as Livingstone’s flycatcher, Pel’s fishing owl, Spur-winged lapwing, Lillian’s lovebird and the rare, Brown-breasted barbet, easily sighted in Liwonde. Add to this fauna and flora a few cultural experiences too when you meet the local people in their traditional rural villages all around the park boundaries. 

Liwonde National Park appeals more to adventurers who want to see wildlife in a very off-the-beaten-track setting. Enjoy a safari with excellent guides who focus not only on the larger animals but on the smaller fauna and flora too. Combine your safari in Liwonde with sightseeing trips to Mount Mulanje and Lake Malawi to get a real feel for Malawi. Experience the upper Shire River where Liwonde sits on the southern tip of Lake Malombe, a convenient 4 hours from Lilongwe, or 3 hours from Blantyre.

Family Holidays in Liwonde National Park

Take your family on a fascinating holiday to the smallest yet most popular game park in Malawi where safari activities are both land and water-based. This beautiful landscape tells a story of several successful wildlife translocations bringing animal numbers to an all-time high. A few days in Liwonde are life-changing, educational and active too – quite a thrill for families and friends who want to experience wild animals up close and happy in their natural habitats.

Book tours to Liwonde National Park and stay in family-friendly lodges where the children can learn more about conservation, biodiversity and ecotourism. Most safari lodges here feature luxury facilities including swimming pools, excellent food and other entertainment so treat your family to this life-changing stop-over retreat before you head off again on safari to see more of dramatic Malawi.   

The Best Of The Best Safaris to Liwonde National Park

Plan a Malawi tour and safari with Voyage2Africa, the African travel experts, and enjoy signature experiences to premier wildlife destinations south of the equator. We bring you thrilling adventures in the infinite spaces of the national parks and wildlife reserves of this beautiful destination, the mountain plateaus and the many community projects. , then resting time in the scenic capital city of Windhoek. Choose a modern safari lodge with luxury facilities and get ready to explore more of Malawi and Liwonde soon. We offer you some of the best accommodation and special packages around!

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