Hi travellers! My name’s Rebecca van Dijk and welcome to my travel guide on the awesome Liwonde National Park in Malawi. I grew up in England – to English and Dutch parents. My father was a pilot and my mother was an air stewardess. So I guess a life of travel was destined for me!
I’ve always loved photography and whilst studying business and economics at university I took photography and darkroom classes as a hobby. After graduating I started a career in finance. Ten years passed by and I was feeling uninspired by my career so I started blogging as a creative outlet.
I noticed a gap in the market for a blog dedicated to bringing together the stories of women travelling around the world and decided to create one with my friend Vanessa Rivers. Then I realised that not only could we share travel stories online, but we had the opportunity to bring our community together in person. So in 2017, we launched blogging retreats in Bali.
Bali was where I was living after quitting my corporate job a few months after I started blogging. The retreat in Bali helped me realise two important things that I was passionate about: 1) creating once in a lifetime experiences that bring together like minded women and 2) teaching others how to create a life they love through their own business and blogs.
After that retreat we expanded Travel Girls Getaways to multiple locations and then I launched my own online courses and coaching business.
Why Africa is such an Incredible Destination
Like many countries and continents it’s hard to explain the magic of a place to someone until they have been. And there is a very special magic to Africa: the people, the landscapes, and the diversity between the different countries all come together to create something extraordinary.
Travel Girls Getaways to the Amazing Malawi
In the past few years we have hosted a number of Travel Girls Getaways trips to Malawi, welcoming 12 guests from around the world to join us for seven nights visiting Satemwa Tea & Coffee Estate, Liwonde National Park, Lake Malawi and the surroundings areas, and the amazing Mumbo Island.
We spend two days in Liwonde National Park at Mvuu Camp which sits on the river’s edge – so you hear all the animals and get to see elephants and hippos in the river from the camp! Check out the videos below:
Liwonde National Park: A Highlight of Malawi
I found out about Liwonde National Park through the partners we work with in Malawi, The Responsible Safari Company. They help us with the ‘on the ground’ organisation of our trips and recommended including the park as part of our itinerary. We spend two days at Mvuu Camp within the park.
This makes it possible for us to go on morning and evening road and river safaris – meaning we have maximum opportunity to see the animals. We are also able to create some amazing experiences such as breakfast in the bush and riverside sundowners! It’s always a magical time in Liwonde.
Favourite Experiences in Liwonde National Park
One of my favourite memories of Liwonde National Park was spotting three lions sleeping under a bush. It was my first time seeing lions in the wild and I loved it! As well as seeing lions, the river safaris are really special. Watching the sunrise or sunset on the water passing hippos is magical.
Tips for your Visit to Liwonde National Park
We just visited Liwonde National Park for the safari, so that is my top recommendation in Malawi. If you are able to, I highly recommend arranging a river safari as well as the land safari. There are endless hippos in the Shire River so you are guaranteed to get some good wildlife spotting. Plus, you are likely to see groups of elephants coming to the water to drink.
Prepare for a safari and pack wisely too! I created a packing guide with all my must-haves for safari and my camera equipment which is a great place to start when you are planning. You should also be prepared that you are not staying in a 5-star luxury resort with air conditioning.
I personally love the rustic luxury that Mvuu Camp offers. The cabins are right by the water and have mesh windows so you hear all the sounds of the animals – but that does mean you will be warm. Plus, WiFi is limited which I think makes it a great time to do a little digital detox!