Kasungu National Park, stretching along the Zambian border, 175 km north of Lilongwe, is Malawi’s second-largest park. The park is located in the central region about 1,000 metres above sea level. It consists mainly of miombo woodland and also has grassy river channels known as dambos. Flowing through the park are the vitally important Dwanga and Lingadzi rivers, the main water sources that support its ecosystem. Some of the best game viewing in Malawican be found at Kasungu, especially in the warmer months of August to November, when water levels begin to drop, forcing the animals to stay close to the park’s remaining waterholes. During the annual heavy rains of March the park closes for the month – perhaps earlier if the rains begin in late February – as tracks are washed out and become inaccessible. Large populations of elephant can be found roaming the plains, although the increase in poaching over the past fi ve years has reduced their numbers. In addition to elephant, Kasungu is home to other intriguing wildlife including various species of buck (sable, roan, kudu and impala) as well as buffalo and zebra. Hippo can also be spotted on the Lifupa River, in particular where it dams at Lifupa Conservation Lodge, a peaceful retreat next to the dam. Predators such as hyena and wild dog are most active in the evening and their signature laughs can be heard as they roam the park.
African Hill Babbler (at the southern limit of its range) and apparently also the restricted-range and Endangered Cholo Alethe (at its northern limit). These changes seem to reflect drier and warmer conditions, in the absence of direct human degradation. A Crowned Eagle, Eastern Green Tinkerbird (at its western range limit) was still common. In Liwonde Hills Forest Reserve a Pallid Honeyguide was observed in miombo woodland, a new record for the area of this localised species. Cholo Alethe and Green-headed Oriole remain common in Chikala forest, but Crowned Eagle has disappeared, probably due to destruction of much of the woodland around the forest. In the southern Kirk Range, the small Tsamba Forest Reserve was explored for the first time; birds of interest included Silvery-cheeked Hornbill (one heard in forest), several Miombo Grey Tits (near the southern limit of its range) and Stripe-breasted Seedeaters in upland miombo. The discovery of the seedeater represents a southward range extension (Dzonze Mountain being its previously known limit). In general, the scarcity of raptors was striking. Among others, Bateleur and Yellow-billed Kite have become very rare in the over-populated south of the country.
Although the park’s population of wildlife has been threatened by poaching and human activity, there are sights of African elephants, hyena, lions, wild dog, buffalo, zebra,n genets, serval, jackal and antelope species such as sable, kudu, roan, impala and the hartebeest. Kasungu Park is a popular sight with several schools of yawning hippos which are found in Lake Lufuba
The park is located north west of Lilongwe-175km before the Zambian border. Game viewing is good during the months of September to May which is the dry season while June to August is good for bird watching. Heavy rains are received in March and thus the park is closed due to slippery roads.
-Lifupa conservation Lodge.
-Palm villa Lodge.
Kasungu national park can be visited throughout the year, but the best time for wildlife viewing is July to October, from the middle to the end of the Dry season. At this time, animals are drawn to Lifupa Dam to drink.