5 Must-Visit National Parks in Malawi

5 Must-Visit National Parks in Malawi

Malawi, known as “The Warm Heart of Africa,” offers some of the most breathtaking and diverse wildlife experiences on the continent. Its national parks are rich with wildlife, stunning landscapes, and unique flora and fauna, making them ideal destinations for nature lovers and adventure seekers. Here’s a guide to five must-visit national parks in Malawi that you should include in your travel plans.

1. Liwonde National Park

Liwonde National Park is one of Malawi’s premier wildlife destinations, hosting the Big Five and renowned for its rich biodiversity and beautiful landscapes. Located along the Shire River, the park offers a unique combination of riverine and savannah ecosystems.

Wildlife Highlights:

  • Big Five: Majete is home to the Big Five (lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, and rhino).
  • Elephants: Liwonde is famous for its large elephant population. Visitors can often see these majestic creatures along the riverbanks.
  • Hippos and Crocodiles: The Shire River is home to numerous hippos and crocodiles, which can be seen on boat safaris.
  • Birdlife: With over 400 species of birds, including the rare Pel’s fishing owl and African fish eagle, Liwonde is a birdwatcher’s paradise.


  • Boat Safaris: Explore the Shire River and its wildlife from the water.
  • Game Drives: Traditional 4×4 game drives offer opportunities to see a wide range of wildlife.
  • Walking Safaris: Guided walking safaris provide an intimate way to experience the park’s flora and fauna.

2. Nyika National Park

Nyika National Park, located in northern Malawi, is the largest national park in the country and offers a completely different experience from the lowland parks. Its rolling grasslands, montane forests, and high-altitude plateaus create a unique and picturesque environment.

Wildlife Highlights:

  • Antelopes: The park is home to a variety of antelope species, including eland, roan, and reedbuck.
  • Zebras: Large herds of zebras are commonly seen grazing on the grasslands.


  • Mountain Biking: The park’s extensive network of trails is perfect for mountain biking enthusiasts.
  • Hiking: Nyika offers numerous hiking trails that showcase its diverse landscapes.
  • Birdwatching: The park is home to over 400 bird species, making it a top destination for birdwatchers.

3. Majete Wildlife Reserve

Majete Wildlife Reserve is a conservation success story. Once depleted of wildlife, the reserve has been revitalised through extensive wildlife reintroduction programmes. Today, Majete is a thriving Big Five reserve.

Wildlife Highlights:

  • Big Five: Majete is home to the Big Five (lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, and rhino).
  • Sable Antelope: The reserve has a healthy population of the rare sable antelope.
  • Birdlife: Majete is also known for its rich birdlife, including the African fish eagle and Pel’s fishing owl.


  • Game Drives: Enjoy traditional game drives to see the diverse wildlife.
  • Walking Safaris: Experience the reserve on foot with guided walking safaris.

4. Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve

Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve, located in central Malawi, is one of the oldest and largest protected areas in the country.  African Parks has been revitalising the animal population in recent years and offers a remote and rugged wilderness experience.

Wildlife Highlights:

  • Elephants: Nkhotakota is home to a significant elephant population.
  • Birdlife: With over 280 bird species, the reserve is a haven for birdwatchers.


  • Walking Safaris: Guided walking safaris offer an immersive experience in the wilderness.

5. South Luangwa National Park

So technically this is Zambia so shouldn’t make the list.  However, being just a short drive across the Malawi border and renowned as one of southern Africa’s best national parks we had to include it.

Wildlife Highlights:

  • Leopards: South Luangwa has one of the highest concentrations of Leopards, increasing your odds dramatically to view this usually elusive beauty.
  • Wild dogs: The park has a healthy population of wild dogs and watching the pack hunt is a special sighting not to be missed.
  • Lions: South Luangwa has Zambia’s largest population of Lions.

Plan Your Visit to Malawi’s National Parks

Malawi’s national parks offer some of the best wildlife experiences in Africa. Whether you’re seeking the thrill of a Big Five safari or the serenity of birdwatching in a remote reserve, Malawi has something for everyone.

For the best experience, consider booking your Malawi travel packages with The Adventure Office. Our tailored travel packages ensure you get the most out of your adventure holidays in Malawi, allowing you to explore these incredible national parks with ease and comfort. Start planning your dream adventure today with The Adventure Office!


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