ABC is working in Liwonde National Park (LNP), and started research here in 2014. Liwonde lies at the southern end of Lake Malawi along the Upper Shire River (pronounced Shirree) and covers 548 km².
The landscape of Liwonde is highly diverse with dry Mopani woodlands covering the eastern half of the park interspersed with Candelabra trees. Areas of Miombo woodland can be found on a few hill slopes in the south and east, while Palm Savannah and Baobabs are found on the extensive floodplains of the river, which have a more tropical feel due to the dense vegetation along the river banks.
Liwonde supports the largest remaining population of elephants in the country as well as one of two populations of black rhino, most within a 4000ha fenced-in sanctuary in the park.
Other mammal species include: hippo, crocodiles, buffalo, aardvark, warthog, several antelope species and more than over 400 of the country's 650 bird species. Whilst hyaenas are currently the only big predators in the park, lions were once commonplace and the healthy populations of other large mammals will allow for the quick reintroduction of other predators.
Such diversity means that Liwonde has some of the most scenic game viewing in Malawi and reputedly the best bird watching in Southern Africa.
As of September 2015, African Parks concluded an agreement with the Government of Malawi to manage and operate Liwonde, alongside Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve, for 20 years.
We are supported in LNP by Central African Wilderness Safaris, who are supporting us as our research camp is located next to Mvuu Camp and Lodge. Check out these panoramic images of the ABC team at work in Liwonde (courtesy of Matthew Dingley).
The ABC research camp is located back of house at Mvuu Camp on the banks of the Shire river. We live in safari tents on wooden platforms and share the camp solar showers and flushing toilets.
We are lucky to have access to the Mvuu camp rest area including the swimming pool to cool down at limited times. We work closely with the staff from Mvuu Camp and regularly provide training and talks for staff and clients.
Check out these panoramic images of camp to get a feel of what its like living in ABC bat camp (courtesy of Matthew Dingley).
We are working in Liwonde to establish the National Bat Monitoring Programme conducting standardised bat trapping and acoustic surveys inside and outside the park to assess bat species diversity and abundance over time.
Find out more about our research in Liwonde on our research pages.