Mwabvi Wildlife Reserve
With an area of 135km² Mwabvi Wildlife Reserve is Malawi’s smallest national park, and its least accessible. Nevertheless, it has a wide variety of habitats, including Mopane, Combretum and brachystegia woodland, as well as open savanna, dambo, and riverine areas. Mwabvi was the last natural home to Malawi's Black Rhino population, but both wildlife and woodland have been poached over recent years. However many species of antelope, including kudu, sable, impala and nyala, are present, and even leopard and hyena have been seen. Buffalo still bathe in the Mwabvi river, and, although the number of human tourists is low, lions from neighbouring Mozambique are regular visitors. The scenery is spectacular, with views over the Shire River and the Zambesi river, and the magnificent sandstone outcrops give an almost lunar feel to the landscape.
This is Malawi's smallest reserve, located on the most southern tip of the country. It is remote and can only be accessed with a 4x4 vehicles or on foot; nonetheless, it has a variety of habitats not seen in the larger reserves and an untouched feel about it.
Game rangers can arrange guided walks and hikes, and the Mwabvi Rivers attractive rocky banks provide lovely spots from which to admire the scenery. A conservation project is underway to restore the reserve, a joint partnership between government and local communities to put various plans in place to uplift the region though eco-tourism.
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