Mwabvi Wildlife Reserve

Mwabvi Wildlife Reserve
Mwabvi Wildlife Reserve is located at the southern most tip of Malawi. Under 350 sq km it is the smallest of the Malawian reserves, and also the least accessible. Nevertheless it boasts a variety of habitats unequalled by the larger reserves, and, because of its remoteness, a wilderness atmosphere that is redolent of the old Africa of Livingstone and Stanley. Travel through the park is only possible with a 4x4, or on foot, but the reserve is manned, and game walks can be arranged with the staff. Sadly, wildlife has declined in this area, although lions do occasionally still visit from neighbouring Mozambique and the intrepid hiker may still see Nyala and other antelope, and buffalo can be heard bathing in the Mwabvi river of an evening.

However, a recent welcome development is the establishment of Project African Wilderness (PAW). This is an organisation formed to protect and restore the Mwabvi Wildlife Reserve. Its aim is to work with local people and the Government of Malawi and integrate social, economic and environmental solutions to create a sustainable future for the reserve and improve local community livelihoods.

PAW is not only a conservation project - money that is raised is put into the development of projects (and infrastructure) that will benefit the local people of Mwabvi and allow them to take control of their own livelihoods through businesses and education relating to eco-tourism.

Projects fall into the following areas:
• Protection and restoration of the wildlife reserve
• Eco-tourism
• Small Enterprise Development
• University twinning scheme
• Secondary school education programme
• Volunteer programme
• Fundraising

Basic motel accomodation is available in the nearby town of Bangula, and it is now possible to stay at the Reserve. Chipembere Camp offers dormitory accommodation and camping just outside the Reserve, and Migudu Campsite offers visitors the opportunity to camp inside the Reserve.

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