African Parks is pleased to announce that it has concluded an agreement with the Government of Malawi to manage and operate Liwonde National Park and Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve for 20 years. The agreement follows an application and evaluation process administered by the Public Private Partnership Commission in which African Parks emerged as the preferred partner to manage the two protected areas.
Liwonde National Park, located in southern Malawi, is 548m² in size and consists of woodland, floodplains, grasslands, and lagoon. It supports the largest remaining population of elephants in the country as well as one of two populations of black rhino. Other mammal species include: hippo, hyena, buffalo, warthog, several antelope species and more than 400 bird species. Lions were once commonplace and the healthy populations of other large mammals will allow for the quick reintroduction of predators. Liwonde’s tourism offerings include the luxury Mvuu Lodge and family-friendly Mvuu Camp run by Central African Wilderness Safaris, as well as the rustic Liwonde Safari Camp.
Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve, located in the central region of Malawi is 1,800 km² in size, lying within the miombo woodland zone. It is a major catchment area for Lake Malawi. Although a depleted park, it still has remnant populations of elephant, warthog, baboon, and various antelope species as well as 280 bird species. Well managed, it has the potential to become an important area for elephant conservation in Malawi. Black rhino, lion, cheetah and wild dog once existed here but are now all locally extinct. Tongole Wilderness Lodge offers guests a luxury wilderness experience, Bua River Lodge offers moderately priced accommodation. There is also a campsite on Chipata Mountain used by self-drive visitors.
“We are excited about the mandate granted to us by the Ministry Of Information, Tourism and Culture and are encouraged about the potential of both projects,” said Peter Fearnhead, African Parks CEO. “Our aim is to completely restore the biodiversity in both Liwonde and Nkhotakota, enhance the tourism product and experience, reduce the extensive human-wildlife conflict, ensure the sustainable use of natural resources and contribute to the socio economic development of local communities living around the two areas. This will be achieved through an US$18m investment in the two parks over a five year period, made possible by a few key partners of African Parks”.
African Parks is a non-profit organisation that takes on total responsibility for the rehabilitation and long-term management of national parks and protected areas in partnership with governments and local communities. With the addition of Liwonde and Nkhotakota tour portfolio, they now manage three parks in Malawi, including Majete Wilderness Reserve.