KASUNGU NATIONAL PARK
In the west of Central Malawi, and bordering Zambia, is Kasungu National Park, an 800 sq mile (2100 sq km) area of natural woodland and bush with occasional stretches of more open grass. At one time, Kasungu was Malawi’s main game park, closest to Lilongwe and favoured by the country’s first President, Dr Hastings Kamuzu Banda. But it has been long overtaken by Liwonde and now Majete in the south, as well as Nyika in the north. And even in Central Malawi, Nkhotakoata Wildlife Reserve, now being managed and developed by African Parks, is the first choice of most visitors to this region keen to go on safari.
Poaching has reduced the number of some species of animals in Kasungu but there is still wildlife to be seen. Elephants and a variety of antelope are common, as are small herds of buffalo and zebra. Predators include leopards, hyenas, servals and jackals. There is a significant number of hippos in the lake at Lifupa and, as elsewhere in Malawi, the birdwatching is excellent. This is a park which is relatively easy to drive around. There is a lodge at Lifupa as well as good camping nearby. Kasungui is relatively easy to reach from Lilongwe (approx. 100 miles/160 km).