Mvuu Lodge

Liwonde National Park, Blantyre and southern Malawi, Malawi

At a Glance

  • “Place of the hippo”, the wild animals roam casually through the camp providing you with a truly unforgettable experience

  • Explore the Shire River on a wonderful boating trip, drifting up close to elephant as they come down to drink

  • Take an exciting night drive to find the lesser known predators such as serval and caracal

  • Safari tents with en-suite bathrooms, overlooking the mighty Shire River

  • Enjoy wonderful Malawian hospitality and excellent service

  • Open aired dining deck looking out over the river

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Best time to Visit

Good time to visit

Average time to visit

Malawi has a moderate to sub-tropical climate with three distinct seasons: from November to March is the rainy season, April to July is Malawi's winter, when the weather is cool and dry, and August to October is summer, when the weather is hot and dry. In terms of game-viewing, the dryer months, meaning a higher concentration of game at the permanent water sources, are a superb time to visit. Alternatively come for some superb bird-watching at the end of the rains.

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Insider's View

Take a long, lazy river cruise in the evening, drifting up close to the elephants as they come down to the water for their own sundowners!

Mvuu means hippo in Tonga

All the intricate carvings within the room are done by a talented local carver

Take a boat cruise on the Shire River and watch the hippos wallow and the herds of elephant come down to drink.

There are about 380 bird species found in the Lilondwe reserve

Call us on 020 3993 5269 to start planning your holiday to Mvuu Lodge or take a look at our itineraries to Malawi


Situated in lush riverine vegetation and overlooking the perennial Shire River in Lilondwe National Park, Mvuu Lodge is a beautiful lodge with just eight tented cottages and offers wonderful activities focusing on the river and the surrounding area.

Mvuu Lodge (named for the local word for hippo) sits on the banks of a peaceful lagoon just off the Shire River, with the eight decked tents overlooking a small backwater where shy bushbuck and hippos come to feed. The lodge is hidden in thick riverine vegetation, and often visited by elephants, particularly at night. There is a large dining area with a bar (made from an old mokoro!), situated up overlooking the backwater, and with the resident games of Malawi Bao present. Further down there is a large boma for a fire-pit and a wooden walkway leading to the swimming pool.

The eight tented cottages at Mvuu Lodge are spacious and comfortable tents, each on its own deck and with lovely views over the water. They have recently been refurbished and each has an inside and an outdoor shower.

Expect to see plentiful elephant and hippo, a good number of crocodiles, herds of elephants and some lovely bird watching with several species of bee-eater, turacos and many waterbirds including a very large and noisy breeding colony of cormorants, who have turned the palm trees white – an amazing sight as you are drifting up the river!

We recommend three nights here for some gentle game-viewing and lovely river activities – and the occasional elephant dropping in for dinner!

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There are eight tented cottages at Mvuu Lodge, which are all en-suite. Each room has its own deck with lovely views to the lagoon. There is also a family room. The tents are stylishly decorated in a classic safari style to give you the ultimate safari experience.


Activities at Mvuu Lodge 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 Lodge .

The Liwonde National Park, by its very nature, is about people as well, and no visit to Mvuu Lodge is complete without experiencing the local culture in one of the villages.



Louisa Verney (Staff)

Lilondwe National Park is said by some to be the Okavango Delta of Botswana as it boarders the banks of the Shire river and is a birders paradise and a haven to the many animals who life in the park and come down the he river to drink. We saw some large pods of hippo wallowing in the shallows and numerous herds of elephant drinking and some even bathing in the river. Thee aren't any big cats to speak off in the Park but it's a fantastically pretty park with Palm trees dotted along the river. The tented rooms are all very comfortable and have views over the lagoon. Each room is decorated with beautiful wood carvings into the doors and other woodwork, which are done by a talented local man.


Anna Devereux Baker (Staff)

Mvuu Lodge is a wonderful, relaxing option for those wishing to explore Liwonde National Park. The lodge itself overlooks a rich lagoon, where game can often be seen coming to drink - last time I stayed we watched a family of elephant (including a very tiny calf!) as they came down, drank, and then made their slow way across the front of camp, coming within a few metres of us as we sat quietly and watched.

The river activities are wonderful - drifting slowly down the river gives you a chance to get very close to usually skittish river birds, including a variety of kingfishers and bee-eaters. We also visited the cormorant colony - very very loud indeed and lots of bill-snapping squabbles - a real highlight!

In the evenings meals are taken outside in the boma and you can often expect elephants to visit - in fact one night we retreated back to the fire (and another very welcome Amarula!) when our path was blocked by one meandering jumbo.

The focus here is on a chilled-out gameviewing experience - expect to see lovely elephant, hippo and plains game but don't expect to see predators as, while they are present, they are very elusive. Instead focus on your lovely surroundings and relax and enjoy the ride!


  • Bird Watching by the Zambezi

    Bird Watching is a very popular activity from Mvuu Lodge as the Lower Zambezi valley offers a wide range of bird habitats and therefore is a prolific spot for birds and home to a wide variety of species.

  • Canoeing Safaris

    To get out on the water and see game from a completely different perspective try a canoeing safari on the Lower Zambezi from Mvuu Lodge in Southern Malawi.

  • Fishing on the Lower Zambezi

    Mvuu Lodge lies on a prime stretch of the Shire River which runs alongside the Liwonde National Park in Southern Malawi, an area of the lower Zambezi in which many people have had their greatest ever angling experiences.

  • Game Viewing at Mvuu Lodge

    Enjoy early morning or evening game drives from Mvuu Lodge, in Southern Malawi, in open Toyota Landcruiser vehicles, in the lower Zambezi National Park, a wildlife rich area along the lower Zambezi.

Holiday Ideas

  • Family Fun in Malawi

    Liwonde, Nyika & Lake Malawi

    from £7700 pp inc flights & transfers for 14 nights

    • Visit a range of highly diverse and equally amazing places in Malawi
    • Enjoy scenery of towering mountains, expansive high altitude plateaus, rolling hills and farmland, and the white sand beaches of Lake Malawi
    • An itinerary including stays in beautiful alpine-like log cabins, unique beach stone cottages, and authentic safari tents
  • Imagine Malawi

    Blantyre, Southern Malawi, Lake Malawi

    from £3500 pp inc flights & transfers for 9 nights

    • Malawi isn’t on many traveller’s radar so you will get to experience this fascinating country with very few tourists. 
    • Wander through Liwonde National Park by boat, observing impressive numbers of hippos, crocodiles and elephants.
    • Explore the hidden caves and coves of Mumbo Island by kayak or simply sink into tranquillity on your secluded beach.

Location & directions

Liwonde National Park, Blantyre and southern Malawi, Malawi

Mvuu Lodge lies in the Liwonde National Park overlooking a tranquil lagoon, just off the Shire River in Southern Malawi.

How to get there

It is a 13-hour 30-minute international flight, via Johannesburg followed by a charter flight to Liwonde airstrip. The lodge is a 5-minute drive from the airstrip.

Speak to our specialists 020 3993 8860

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Call us on 020 3993 5269 to start planning your holiday to Mvuu Lodge or take a look at our itineraries to Malawi

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