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Africa » Malawi
June 2nd 2010
Published: June 2nd 2010
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While Kenya is better known for its nature reserves and safari’s, Malawi has a fantastic variety of protected areas all around the country, all with different animals, landscapes and characters. In previous blogs I’ve touched upon Lake Malawi National Park, I visited at the start of my stay, Kasungu national park, north of Lilongwe, that I visited with my parents and Liwonde national park that I visited a few weeks ago (and tried to get back there last weekend). The entry fees are$1 entry for Malawians (plus $1 per vehicle), $3 for non-malawian residents ($2 per vehicle) and $5 for tourists (you can tell the touristy places, they quote their prices in dollars).
Kasungu National Park borders Zambia, just north of Lilongwe is 800 miles². You can see elephants and antelope in the woodland, bush and grassland, there are also small herds of buffalo and zebra, at the small lake there are hippos and crocodile, carnivores include cats like lions and leopards, and hyenas, wild dogs, servals and jackals. Though the numbers of all species have been reduced through poaching. Lifupa lodge is in the centre of the park with a dirt road leading to it, though was unmanaged last time I was there, with no food, drinks, or electricity, still worth a visit though.
At the bottom end of Lake Malawi, near to Monkey bay and encompassing Cape McClear is Lake Malawi national Park, the world’s first fresh water national park. The park protects some areas of land around the cape and the bay, the lake and the small islands 100m offshore. It was set up in 1980 to protect the extraordinary variety of fish (some unique to the area), thousands of freshwater fish, many species of chichlids, on land there are baboons, antelope and hyena. There is accommodation at Cape McClear, catered for tourists and backpackers, but this also means they’re plagued by curio and boat trip sellers on the beach.
Liwonde national park is probably the most popular of the national parks, only an hour’s drive (hour and a half on the bus) north from Blantyre and half way between Blantyre and Mangochi. It is 220 miles², the Shire River flows through the park, attracting the spectacular game on view including; herds of elephants, hippos and crocodiles. Antelope includes redbuck, impala, and waterbuck, there are also yellow baboons, some lions, leopards and hyenas, and in a new special protected area (because of poachers) black rhino. As with other areas the bird life is especially varied and beautiful, especially in the marshes and long reeds on edge of the river. The Mvuu camp and until recently (it closed down for some reason) the Chiguni hills lodge both run guided safari’s and there is a great viewing platform, the tree house, that has jaw dropping views over the park.
Nkiya .was the first national park in Malawi started in 1965, it is also the largest of the parks at 1250 miles². It extends over the plateau and during the rainy season (when it’s at its best) a massive variety of wildflowers and grasses can be seen, these attract antelope. It has the highest density of leopard in central Africa. Elephants can be found on the lower slopes and over 400 species of bird have been recorded. There are also geological interests like the waterfalls and pools and Neolithic rock shelters
Near to the lake in the central region Nkhotakota wildlife reserve is largely miombo woodland, rainforest and tall grasses, crisscrossed by rivers going to the lake. It’s difficult to get to because it is an area of true wilderness, there are a variety of mammals but they can be difficult to see. There is also abundant birdlife with 130 recorded species.
Vwaza wildlife reserve is an area of marsh land on the border with Zambia north of Mzuzu. Nearly 300 species of bird are attracted to the mix of vegetation (forest, grassland, and marsh) including stork, heron, and the white-faced tree duck. There are also elephants, large numbers of hippos, and buffalo.

Other parks include vwaza in central region and majete,lengwe and mwabvi to the south(extra info taken from The Eye Malawi, March-May 2010 issue)

Tionana

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4th June 2010

Info not commonly known about Malawi
I like your info but I came across a site that has more about the whole country which I strongly suggest you take a look at (wawamalawi.com).
5th June 2010

hi thanks, i was pushed for space when i was doing it so the info's only patchy. i'll definatly take a look at the site.

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