Wildlife & Animals – Malawi

Ariadne van Zandbergen
Expert
By Ariadne van Zandbergen

Ariadne is a renowned Africa expert. She and her husband form a team who write and update many Bradt guides, including the guide to Malawi.

Ariadne is a renowned Africa expert. She and her husband form a team who write and update many Bradt guides, including the guide to Malawi.

Ariadne is a renowned Africa expert. She and her husband form a team who author the Bradt guide to Malawi.

Ariadne and her husband form a team who author the Bradt guide to Malawi.

Although Malawi is not a prime wildlife destination, conservation is improving and wildlife numbers are increasing. Rhino was extinct in the country, but has been reintroduced into Liwonde and Majete, making Malawi a Big Five destination. Nyika has a high concentration of leopards, but overall big cats aren’t that easy to see. Elephants are common throughout and 500 individuals were relocated from Majete and Liwonde to Nkhotokota in 2016-2017. It was the biggest relocation of elephants ever undertaken.

Abundant
Common
Occasional
Rare
None
ElephantCommon
GiraffeVery Rare
HippoAbundant
BuffaloCommon
ZebraCommon
Black RhinoVery Rare
LionRare
LeopardOccasional
HyenaOccasional
Wild DogVery Rare

Wildlife Highlights

Malawi has a great variety of antelope, and some species considered quite rare in other countries are remarkably easy to spot. Roan antelope is the most common large antelope on Nyika Plateau and it occurs in most of the other parks as well. The graceful sable antelope is particularly common in Liwonde and although harder to find, it occurs in all other national parks as well. Other interesting antelope species include klipspringer, puku and nyala.

Best Time for Wildlife Viewing

The best wildlife viewing time coincides with the Dry season (May to October) when water is scarce and animals congregate around waterholes and rivers. The bush is less dense at this time, and animals are easier to spot. From October until the rains, it can be very hot. Some roads might become impassable during the Wet season (November to April).

Wildlife Rating

Wildlife Rating Per Major Park

Wildlife Photos

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Wildlife Rating

Wildlife Photos

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