Expert Reviews – Kasungu NP
Philip is an acclaimed travel writer and author of many guidebooks, including the Bradt guides to Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya and South Africa.
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Peaceful bush retreat with low wildlife densities
Malawi’s second-largest national park probably supports a greater mammalian diversity than any other protected area in Malawi, but populations are thin, dispersed and skittish as a result of poaching, and it is probably better viewed as offering a low-key and lowish-cost bush retreat than a full-blown safari experience. It still supports fair number of elephant and buffalo, as well as localised roan antelope, sable antelope, puku and Liechtenstein’s hartebeest, but large carnivores such as lion, leopard and African wild dog are seldom seen, even on night drives. That said, the park’s only lodge has a lovely location overlooking a large lake that attracts a fair amount of wildlife, and other attractions include varied birdlife and several prehistoric sites.
Ariadne is a renowned African wildlife photographer whose work is featured in many well-known guidebooks and magazines.
A lovely spot by Lifupa dam
While Kasungu is not a great wildlife destination, I have nice memories staying at the lodge overlooking Lifupa dam. The best time to enjoy this spot is early in the morning, with a mug of coffee in hand, when the mist rises from the water and hippos happily grunt away. I did one game drive, but didn’t see anything except a terrified puku running away and a few very old-looking elephant footprints. Unfortunately, poaching has taken its toll here, but if you like a bush break away from it all, a stay at the unpretentious, affordable lodge might be something for you.