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Kasungu National Park, Malawi

It is the second largest National Park in Malawi with 2300 sq km. It is located 40km west of Kasungu town and 180km northeast of the capital Lilongwe on the border to Zambia. The landscape of the park is characterized by a wide diversity of habitats. Predominantly sandy areas of Miombo woodland alternate with gentle hills, which arise to imposing rock features on the north-eastern border with Zambia and in the central area of the park. One impressive rock in this area is the Black Rock, which overlooks almost the entire park. Many wide river courses, which are seasonally flooded, the so-called dambos, transverse the park and open up the dense woodland. The park also offers a small manmade lake in its centre, the Lifupa Dam.

The game population of the park consists of the most species found in southern Africa including elephant, hippo, buffalo, zebra, roan antelope, hartebeest, kudu, impala, puku, reedbuck, duiker and many more. Predators, including leopards, lion and hyenas also occur in the park. The park was once famous for its vast elephant, buffalo and antelope populations, which have been seriously reduced since the 1980s by poaching. Despite the progress of anti-poaching efforts poaching has never stopped. It is estimated that there are 100-150 Elephants remaining in the park out of 1500-2000 in the 1980s. The bird population of the park shows an excellent variety with its water, woodland and grassland species. There are more than 300 species in the park. Some historical sites are located in the hilly northern region of the park including ancient rock paintings and remains of iron kilns used by the local people for iron production. While game populations are comparatively low in the park and the Miombo bush provides for low visibility, every season has its attraction.

The best time for game viewing is in the dry season from August to November. The beginnings of the rains in December provides for lush vegetation growth and succession of numerous wild flowers including orchids until June/July. The excellent bird-life makes bird watching an unforgettable experience all over the year.

1. Lifupa Lodge is an up market, ideally located, approximately 14km from the main entrance gate and overlooking the dam.


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