Overview – Mwabvi WR

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.

This wildlife reserve was once a stronghold for black rhino but due to general neglect and heavy poaching, Mwabvi has fallen off the radar. The terrain is a scenic tract of rugged bush with rough 4x4 roads and hiking trails ready to be explored by the more adventurous visitor. Animals that might be encountered are greater kudu, impala, yellow baboon and vervet monkey.

Best Time to Go May to September (Dry and cool weather)
High Season July to October (The park is never busy)
Size 340km² / 131mi²
Altitude 101-339m / 361-1,112ft

Pros & Cons

  • Off-the-beaten-track, adventurous destination
  • Well-priced walking safaris with ranger available
  • Beautiful scenery
  • Poaching is an ongoing problem
  • Very limited roads and 4x4 is essential
  • Very little wildlife and animals are skittish
  • Only a basic campsite at present

Mwabvi WR Safari Reviews

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Wildlife

Despite poaching problems, there is still quite a bit of wildlife in Mwabvi. Lion, leopard and buffalo are still present but animals are skittish and numbers are low. Sightings are hit-and-miss, especially since the road network is very limited. If you spend a couple of days, you’re likely to see some antelope such as impala, greater kudu and possibly sable. Vervet monkeys, yellow baboons and warthogs are also often seen.

Scenery

Mwabvi covers a stunning tract of untrammeled wilderness. Wooded hills are interrupted by rocky outcrops and little streams in valleys and gorges, as well as the Mwabvi River after which the park is named.

Weather & Climate

The weather and climate of Mwabvi is comparable to that of Malawi in general. More info:

Best Time to Visit

Mwabvi can be visited throughout the year. The reserve is not a prime wildlife destination and is best explored on foot. The best time for hiking is in the Dry season, from May to September. These are also the coolest months. April is a good month for a visit, but the roads might still be bad at the end of the rainy season. From October, the heat and humidity become extreme, although the bush is beautiful and lush.

Getting There

Mwabvi is mostly visited independently. You need your own 4x4 vehicle and you also need to be totally self-sufficient. The reserve is located about 500km/310mi from Lilongwe and 150km/90mi from Blantyre. Mwabvi can also be visited from Lengwe NP – Jambo Africa, which runs the lodge in Lengwe, offers this as an excursion. The drive from Lengwe is about 90km/55mi and takes about 1 hour and 20 minutes.

Health & Safety

Please read our vaccinations and malaria page for Malawi, and our general wildlife viewing safety precautions page for more info:

Want to Visit Mwabvi WR?

Mwabvi WR Safari Reviews

  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
  • User Rating
    0.0/5
    0 Reviews
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
Most Helpful Expert Review
Untrammeled wilderness best explored on foot
2/5

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...