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, and harbours Malawi’s largest remaining populations of elephant and critically endangered black rhino.

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 had an adverse effect on the ecosystem prior to African Parks assuming management in 2015.

African Parks has completely overhauled law enforcement and out impact can be seen with fish poaching being largely eliminated and more than 16,500 wire snares removed that would have maimed countless wildlife. Conservation efforts include the historical elephant translocation and the reintroducion of cheetah to the park to help restore this iconic wilderness, in order for the local communities to benefit from the parks existence and ultimately ensure the park’s survival.


  • The construction of a new 117 km of electrical perimeter fence decreased the incidence in human-wildlife conflict, resulting in zero people killed since July 2016.
  • In 2016, 120 ranger candidates underwent training in Liwonde’s Training Centre, fish poaching was largely eliminated and 37 gin traps and almost 16,500 snares were removed.
  • 261 elephants were translocated to Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve to reduce habitat degradation in Liwonde and restock Nkhotakota.
  • 900,000 people live around Liwonde and depend on natural resources for survival. These communities directly benefit from community development and increased job opportunities.
  • Prince Harry joined African Parks’ for the historical elephant translocation as part of the 500 Elephants initiative.


Malawi Department of National Parks and Wildlife is the statutory organisation in charge of national parks, wildlife reserves and sanctuaries as well as wildlife management on communal lands in Malawi. We began our work with the DNPW in Majete Wildlife Reserve in 2003 and in Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve and Liwonde National Park in 2015.