Ancient baobab trees and lofty borassus palms provide the backdrop for this magnificent southern Malawi reserve. With its fertile floodplains, dense woodlands and lagoons sustaining over 400 species of birds, 500 elephants and an abundance of game, this vibrant landscape contains a rich diversity of plant and animal life.
The biggest challenge facing Liwonde is the dependence on its natural resources by local communities surrounding the park. In the absence of an effective perimeter fence, high levels of poaching, illegal fishing and unsustainable deforestation have had an adverse effect on the ecosystem.
When African Parks assumed management in 2015, we implemented a complete overhaul of law enforcement, upgrading the ranger training centre and hosting intensive courses. Continued efforts to reintroduce indigenous species are helping to restore this iconic wilderness, while tourism and sustainability benefit the local communities and ensure the park’s survival.
The construction of a new 150 km perimeter fence and the resurfacing of the park’s airstrip have provided employment to over 200 people.
Since 2015, we have trained 85 rangers, seized 43 kg of ivory and removed 16,000 snares and 40 gin traps.
261 elephants were translocated to Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve to reduce habitat degradation in Liwonde and restock Nkhotakota.
While monitoring and managing existing elephant and black rhino populations remains a high priority, we plan to reintroduce predators following the completion of the fence. Improved access to water and electricity are an urgent requirement along with the construction of new staff accommodation and roads.