Vwaza Marsh Wildlife Reserve is a remote 98,000 of miombo woodland, grassy plains, verdant marshes and wetlands in northern Malawi. The reserve, managed by the Malawi Department of National Parks and Wildlife in close collaboration with Peace Parks, is an integral component of the Nyika-North Luangwa section of the Malawi-Zambia Transfrontier Conservation Area.
Vwaza’s terrain with its marsh and wetlands can make effective park management difficult, especially during the rainy season, as the road network there still requires substantial improvement. The ongoing protection and development of the reserve has been greatly enhanced by receiving two brand new 4×4 vehicles, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), through KfW Development Bank, with support from Peace Parks Foundation. The addition of the 4×4 vehicles will be enormously helpful in reaching the more inaccessible parts of the reserve, especially when conditions get tricky: roads and camps can be completely flooded, which is wonderful for hippo but difficult for wildlife rangers.
The vehicles will be used to deploy field staff for operations and patrols, and will also help with the ongoing protected area management work like fire management, alien invasive species control and infrastructure maintenance. In the near future, a range of road building and road maintenance vehicles will be procured for the reserve. This will further accelerate the significant progress that has been made in the development of infrastructure here, with the purpose of improving access for tourists and park employees alike.
Vwaza Marsh Wildlife Reserve is now a safe haven for the ‘near-threatened’ African buffalo, as well as herds of elephant, hippo, impala and other important species. Nearly 300 species of birds have been recorded here including stork, heron and the white-faced tree duck. This all bodes well for a prosperous and sustainable future for the region and its communities.