Expert Reviews – Mwabvi WR
Philip is an acclaimed travel writer and author of many guidebooks, including the Bradt guides to Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya and South Africa.
For the hardcore only
By far the least compelling of the conservation areas in the Lower Shire Valley, this little-visited reserve is named after the Mwabvi River and supports a cover of dense mixed woodland studded with rocky outcrops. Poaching has had a drastic effect on the park in recent decades, and the only large mammals likely to be seen by casual visitors are greater kudu, yellow baboon, vervet monkey and impala. Overall Mwabvi is bound to disappoint anybody seeking a pure game-viewing experience, but inexpensive guided walks can be arranged on the spot and offer an opportunity to explore a wilderness area that still supports a decent quota of wildlife. It is of interest to birders for the presence of several species more normally associated with coastal habitats, such as Rudd’s apalis, Woodward’s batis and grey sunbird.
Ariadne is a renowned African wildlife photographer whose work is featured in many well-known guidebooks and magazines.
Untrammeled wilderness best explored on foot
Mwabvi covers a tract of stunning wild bush with several rivers running through and rocky outcrops from which to scan the surrounding wilderness. We only spent one night here as we didn’t really come fully equipped for the basic facilities. We saw some warthogs and a few vervet monkeys in camp, but wildlife is obviously very scarce and skittish. The well-priced walks with an armed ranger are recommended and you might be able to pick up some animal tracks, if not the animals. There are some driving tracks in the park, but without a good 4WD you won’t get very far.