Mvuu Camp overlooks a broad stretch of the Shire River (pronounced Shiree), with a profusion of hippos, crocodiles and the amazing birdlife of the Liwonde National Park. Mvuu Camp offers a wide range of options including camping, self-catering and full board rates, as well as a range of activities. The activities on offer are the same as those offered at Mvuu Wilderness Lodge, but the camp is better suited either to families or those on a budget, as rates are more reasonable.
Mvuu Camp is a clever mix of stone and canvas chalets and specially-designed family tents, which total 12 units or 48 beds. An impressive thatched dining and lounge area is situated nearby, offering a magnificent vista of the Shire River. Dinners are sometimes held under the stars in a specially constructed boma. Mvuu Camp also features a new custom-built education and conference centre with facilities for up to 40 delegates or smaller corporate and team building functions.
A particularly rewarding way of arriving at Mvuu Camp is via the boat trip from Liwonde town. This river trip takes guests 30 km along the Shire River, offering an excellent chance to see both game and birds amongst the ever-changing vegetation. Activities at Mvuu Camp revolve around boating trips on the Shire River and game drives (morning and afternoon/evening). Nature walks and bike rides are also incredibly popular. Enthusiasts will be able to participate in virtually non-stop birding around Mvuu Camp.
Liwonde was proclaimed as a National Park in 1973 is considered the most prolific wildlife area in Malawi, despite its size - only 548km2. This is largely because the Shire River - the country's largest river and Lake Malawi's only outlet - forms the western boundary of the park. Nearly a kilometre wide in places, with floodplains extending to three times that width in the south, the Shire River is a magnet for wildlife.
Named after Chief Liwonde who had championed its protection, the Liwonde National Park harbours very diverse landscapes. Relatively dry mopane woodlands cover the eastern half of the Park where they are interspersed with unworldly candelabra trees, while patches of miombo woodland occur on the limited hill slopes in the south and east. Palm savannah and numerous baobabs abut the extensive floodplains of the Shire River where dense riverine vegetation adds a tropical feel to the habitat. Liwonde National Park is home to the largest remaining elephant population in Malawi and one of only two breeding nuclei of black rhino reside here. Liwonde National Park also boasts large numbers of impala, reedbuck, waterbuck, warthog and the majestic sable - which is rare anywhere else in Africa today.
Kudu and impala, together with sable herds, haunt the woodlands beyond the floodplain, while yellow baboon entertain with their social antics. Buffalo, Lichtenstein's hartebeest, zebra, roan and eland were historically hunted to extinction in the area, but have since been introduced into what is known as The Sanctuary - a substantial 4,000ha fenced area within Liwonde National Park that serves as a reservoir for rare species. It is here that Liwonde's black rhino find refuge too. A dense population of hippo can be found in the Shire River and monstrous Nile crocodile are found lazing on the sandbanks.
The birdlife here is prolific - probably the best year-round birding in Southern Africa. Over 300 of the country's 650 bird species occur in the Liwonde National Park, with gems such as Böhm's Bee-eater, African Skimmer, Palmnut Vulture, White-backed Night-heron and Dickinson's Kestrel often sighted. Others such as Livingstone's Flycatcher, Pel's Fishing-owl and Spur-winged Lapwing can also be found in the riverine strip. Liwonde National Park is home to the only population of Lillian's Lovebird in Malawi and also plays host to the rare Brown-breasted Barbet.