Since 2015, Liwonde National Park has been the site of some significant wildlife translocations and reintroductions, transforming it into a sanctuary for Malawi’s wildlife. When African Parks assumed management of Liwonde, in partnership with the Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW) in 2015, the park was riddled with tens of thousands of wire snares – more snares existed than large animals – and it had some of the highest human-wildlife conflict levels in the region.

But since then, Liwonde has established one of the most effective conservation law enforcement measures and training in southern Africa, integrated advanced technology to protect and monitor wildlife, removed more than 40,000 wire snares, and orchestrated a number of historic animal reintroductions.

In 2017, African Parks began re-establishing Liwonde’s predator population by bringing back cheetah, which had been absent from the park for a century. This was followed in 2018 by a founder population of lion, and wild dog in 2021. In 2019, 17 black rhino were relocated from South Africa to Liwonde, in one of the largest international black rhino translocations in history.

With wildlife populations on the rise, as well as the number of people who visit the park to witness its revival, Liwonde National Park has been restored, transforming it into a safe haven to benefit both the wildlife and the people who live here.

Liwonde Highlights

  • In 2018, the area’s overall conservation footprint was increased by 60% when the contiguous Mangochi Forest Reserve was added to African Parks’ mandate.
  • In 2022, 263 elephants were moved from Liwonde to Kasungu National Park in Malawi to reduce pressure in the park and establish a viable population in Kasungu in the second-largest elephant translocation to date.
  • Poaching has been brought under control with zero reports of rhino or elephant poaching for four consecutive years.
  • Liwonde’s ranger training centre functions as a vital training ground for rangers in Malawi and on the continent.
  • The Spicy Farmers project has harvested nine tonnes of chillies, which has also resulted in a decrease in human-elephant conflict thanks to the ‘chilli elephant barrier’ created by the project.
  • Tourism revenue increased almost threefold from 2021, which is good news not only for Liwonde, but also for lodges, small business operators and informal traders around the park.


Malawi’s Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW) is the statutory organisation in charge of national parks, wildlife reserves and sanctuaries as well as wildlife management on communal lands in Malawi. African Parks began its partnership with DNPW in Majete Wildlife Reserve in 2003 and in Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve and Liwonde National Park in 2015.