Mangochi Forest Reserve

A critical ecological catchment that serves as an important dispersal area for elephants and other species for this region in Malawi

In 2018, the Malawi Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW) extended our mandate to incorporate the contiguous 358 km² Mangochi Forest Reserve, increasing our footprint by 60%. Lying contiguous with Liwonde National Park, which spans 548km2, Mangochi is a critical ecological catchment and serves as an important dispersal area for elephants and other species in this region in Malawi. Mangochi is the fourth park in the country to be brought under the management of African Parks and in 2019 was included in The Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy - a unique network of forest conservation initiatives resonating in all 53 countries of the Commonwealth. Ecologically-linked to Liwonde, Mangochi is critical to the long-term conservation of the entire landscape and expands African Parks’ management by 74% in this area.

Mangochi Forest Reserve has experienced declines in its mammal populations. Despite this, its biodiversity, intact forest, size, and connectivity to Liwonde and northern Mozambique are a crucial ecological extension of Liwonde. Currently, the reserve is still home to a small population of elephants, a breeding population of leopard, and uniquely occurring bird and butterfly species.

The long-term vision for the Liwonde and Mangochi complex is to establish comprehensive protection of the full area, further develop tourism infrastructure, and increase revenue generation and associated employment to ensure that these places persist long into the future. In 2021, four fence camps were built in Mangochi and 21km of new road was opened in the reserve, while ten kilometres of new boundary fence were erected, nearly completing the entire reserve perimeter.

The full spectrum of African Parks’ operations in Liwonde, including law enforcement, conservation, and habitat management, community engagement and socio-economic development continues to be extended to Mangochi Forest Reserve to achieve our vision for the reserve.

Read more about Liwonde