Central African Wilderness Safaris, one of Malawi’s long standing tour operators who also run the iconic Mvuu Lodge in Liwonde National Park, have released their latest newsletter providing us with an update of everything that’s been happening recently. We are pleased to share the newsletter below in their own words.
We feel overwhelmed by the magical Liwonde landscapes we have to soak up – quite literally – this Africa Day, on May 25th 2022. While water levels have retreated just enough to allow us to cross over the Ntangai River and access the parks southern floodplains once again, delta-like scenes have mirrored Liwonde’s spectacular sunsets this month, providing magical scenes of liquid gold pans, scattered with elephants, antelope and, of course, a whole host of Liwonde’s incredibly diverse waterbirds – the pels fishing owl, saddle-bill storks and yellow-billed storks have been some highlights. Unusually high water levels for this time of year have treated our guests to a new kind of safari, one that allows us to slowly meander through floodplains clustered with aquatic plants enjoyed by elephants and waterbuck alike, soaking up reflections of the red-orange African sun mirrored all around.
Some particularly sweet encounters this month have been a family of side-striped jackals that have made Mvuu their home. The pups are super inquisitive, and guests have enjoyed close-up encounters by vehicle! Plus – such relaxed, resident wildlife makes for great photographic opportunities – this shot below might just be our favourite of the month, taken by our new intern Mark Timko!
The more elusive lions from earlier in the year – who teased most nights with rumbling roars heard almost every evening from guests in the comfort of their chalets – have been quite happy to introduce us to Mvuu’s two newest cubs. Watch this space for photo updates and reports on how these prides develop – exciting times as we get to observe some of the continent’s most successful conservation stories unfold right in front of us!
On the cheetah front – mum and two cubs, now four months old, have taken up residence near the airstrip just ten minutes from Mvuu, and we have enjoyed many relaxed sightings. There is something so very special about taking time to observe interactions between two siblings, and with mum!
Perhaps one of the luckiest sightings of this month was spotted by David, whose guests enjoyed a full four minutes of a very relaxed black rhino amidst the Mopane. We are so lucky that we can now call the whole of Liwonde National Park a sanctuary for these prehistoric creatures. And how could we forget our exciting new wild dog population?! African wild dogs have the largest home-ranges of all mammals in Africa, which makes us even more delighted that they have settled and feel comfortable in the areas around Mvuu.
May has been a month of exciting renovations! We are so pleased to have our lodge jetty back in action thanks to our hard-working and extremely efficient maintenance team, whose bush workshop has also undergone a thorough makeover and tidy up in time for the upcoming high season. We have welcomed two new ecotraining interns – Mark, who is helping out with guide training and sightings recordings, and Michele, who is learning the ropes of running a safari lodge nestled right in the wilderness over at Mvuu Lodge. On the guest front, the Mvuu team pulled out all the stops for a very special wedding vow renewal ceremony in the bush – dancing, singing and an unbeatable Liwonde sunset were enjoyed by all!
From our bush kitchen, guests have been enjoying plenty of fresh produce grown in our expanding veggie gardens. Constantly evolving, and very happy to have Wayne Range back on the team as our Food & Beverage manager, we’ve been seeing colourful, fresh and delicious dishes being produced over the past month.
It was a pleasure to host the Beit Trust’s annual meeting at Mvuu this year – after they were safely flown in by Halsted Aviation on the first charter flight in two years! The bush strip was in splendid shape thanks to African Parks. The Beit Trust mandate focuses exclusively on Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe, and they work towards assisting in education through offering scholarships and teacher training, health through running clinics and providing medical equipment, welfare through creating care homes for the elderly and the environment through supporting conservation projects to protect endangered species. It was a perfect environment to host their annual meeting – our education centre offering a great work environment as well as immersion in the bush – much fun as well as hard work was enjoyed by all.
With a special thanks to Samuel Chihana for his enthusiasm in getting Malawi involved in the 2022 Big Birding Day, this year our guides participated through logging each and every bird species, including the number of sightings per species, spotted on 14th May 2022. We are pleased that, even with limited WiFi accessibility in some of Malawi’s wildlife hotspots, Malawi finished in position 55, recording 63 species on the day. We look forward to building momentum for an even better result next year – after all, Liwonde hosts over 400 bird species alone!
While we feel privileged to use our platform to share stories of this piece of African paradise with with nature-enthusiasts, safari-goers, adventurers and individuals from all different tracts of life, we’d like to leave you with some powerful words by Brian Jackman to ponder this Africa Day:
“Africa changes you forever, like nowhere on Earth. Once you have been there, you will never be the same. But how do you begin to describe its magic to someone who has never felt it? How can you explain the fascination of this vast, dusty continent, whose oldest roads are elephant paths?”
Liwonde National Park is a story of hope – not just for people, but also wildlife. We thank the hands on the ground, the dedicated conservationists and the passionate Malawians keen to showcase one of the many breathtaking spectacles of nature this continent has to offer. At Central African Wilderness Safaris, we continue to cherish our unique opportunity to play a part in preserving Africa’s heritage for many generations to come.
To learn more about Central African Wilderness Safaris, head over to their webpage here.
Lilongwe Wildlife Trust are running a limited series of research expeditions to the stunning Nyika National Park – and you can join the first unique trip, 15-22 August!
To help you decide where to go and what to do we are pleased to launch a new, updated edition of the Best of Malawi brochure/directory for 2022/23.
In this blog from Robin Pope Safaris, we learn why what was once a Zambia-only tour operating company, soon became so much more when they ventured over the border into Malawi to discover the jewel in Malawi's crown: Lake Malawi.
The Mangunda Safari Cruise is about to set sail, offering an excellent experience through Liwonde National Park's meandering Shire River.
We are delighted to share that 250 elephants will be translocated from Liwonde National Park to Kasungu National Park in Malawi, between 27 June and 29 July, as part of a national conservation initiative to maintain healthy habitats in Malawi’s national parks.
The Professional Golfers Association of Malawi (PGAMW) has announced the return of the Warm Heart Pro Tournament 2022, after three year of absence.
This year’s Mount Mulanje Porters Race will take place in Malawi on Saturday, 8th July 2017. After a two-year break due to Covid 19 pandemic, the Africa’s ultimate challenge is back.