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Liwonde lies at the southern end of Lake Malawi along the Upper Shire River (pronounced Shirree), and borders Lake Malombe. As such it encompasses riverine swamps, deciduous woodland, open grassland and even mopane woodland on the higher stretches. Such diversity means that Liwonde has some of the most scenic game viewing in Malawi and reputedly the best bird watching in Southern Africa.
Game is abundant with a healthy population of elephants, hippos and crocodiles, who are best viewed from a boat on the Shire River. Waterbuck wade in lagoons and marshes, while the open savannah and hills of the interior attract antelopes such the elegant sable, impala and bushbuck. Rhinoceros were introduced from South Africa and although doing well, are often hard to find. Predators include lion, leopard, serval and jackal.
A keen birder once recorded 266 different bird species during a two-night stay, so the area deserves its reputation as being an exceptional birding spot. Rarities include Pelís fishing owls, palmnut vultures, ospreys, and Lilianís lovebirds.
All those with a vested interest in the survival of Liwonde National Park - the local chiefs, farmers, National Parks, judiciary, Wildlife Society and Wilderness Safaris have formed a committee to act as a sounding board and motivator for most community development projects around the park. This plays an intrinsic part in the success of Liwonde as a safari destination.
Although the number of visitors has increased, Liwonde is still quite peaceful and uncommercialised.