Overview – Vwaza Marsh 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 park has open borders with the well-known Luangwa Valley in Zambia. Although wildlife numbers on the Malawi side are not the same due to poaching, all big safari animals are present. Four of the Big Five are resident; rhino is the exception. The center of tourist activity is Lake Kazuni, which is home to more than 500 hippo living in 17 pods.

Best Time to Go July to Oct (The bush is dry, animals are around the lake)
High Season July to October (The reserve never gets busy)
Size 960km² / 371mi²
Altitude 1,091-1,572m / 3,579-5,157ft

Pros & Cons

  • Good wildlife viewing with four of the Big Five present
  • Game drives and walking safaris are available
  • Very accessible park with cheap accommodation options
  • Only budget accommodation available in and outside the park
  • 4x4 vehicle needed after rain
  • Predators are rare and hard to spot

Vwaza Marsh WR Safari Reviews

  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
  • User Rating
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  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding

Wildlife

Vwaza Marsh has a good variety of wildlife. Hippos are numerous in the lake. Buffalo and elephant move in and out of the floodplains to access the lake several times a day. Spotted hyena is often heard at night, but leopard and lion, although present, are rarely seen. Wild dogs sometimes move in from the Luangwa Valley. There are many antelope species including greater kudu, roan, puku, Lichtenstein's hartebeest and impala.

Scenery

Scenic Lake Kazuni, a magnet for animals, is near the entrance of the park (the only accommodation in the park is at the lake). The lake is surrounded by low hills and woodland. A big marsh area, after which the reserve is named, is in an inaccessible area in the northeast of the reserve.

Weather & Climate

Vwaza Marsh sees a warm climate with a Dry and Wet season. The Dry season months of May to August are cooler, and early mornings can be nippy. Temperatures rise in September and peak in October before the Wet season starts in November. December to March are the wettest months, and spectacular thunderstorms are not uncommon.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Vwaza Marsh corresponds with the middle and end of the Dry season. This is when animals tend to stay near the lake in front of the camp, which is accessible to visitors on foot and by car. The Wet season months of December to April are lush and great for birding, but roads tend to become impassable at this time.

Want to Visit Vwaza Marsh WR?

Vwaza Marsh WR Safari Reviews

  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
  • User Rating
    0.0/5
     –  0 Reviews
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
Most Helpful Expert Review
Underrated and low-key place to kick back
3/5

We arrived after a long day on public transport, with our backpacks on our shoulders and covered in red Malawi dust. Arriving at a game reserve without any personal transport might seem crazy, but it can be done here. We stayed in a basic...