Kuti Wildlife Reserve
Kuti Wildlife Reserve is Malawi’s smallest reserve, covering 2,000 hectares, located close to Salima, less than 1.5 hours from Lilongwe and 30 minutes from Senga Bay.
It was established in the 1990s after having been decommissioned as a government cattle ranch and set as a wildlife reserve in 2005.
It is run by a Lilongwe Wildlife Trust, a private NGO committed to the conservation and protection of wildlife and the environment.
The reserve is also the primary destination for rehabilitated animals from the Lilongwe Wildlife Centre that are ready for release into the wild. All the revenue generated goes back into the park and helps to fund community projects.
It has a diverse habitat ranging from Brachystegia and miombo woodland through to grasslands, wetlands, and marshes.
The reserve offers a lot of activities including self-drive safari, walking and cycling trails and bushwalk with knowledgeable guides.
It is possible to walk through the bush or cycle the pathways in the reserve, as there is no elephants and predators.
The sunsets are also quite spectacular. Game viewing is best during the dry season, especially over July-September, and at the start of the wet season, December-January, when the park is green and the grass is still low.
Kuti Wildlife Reserve is home to a huge variety of free-roaming wildlife.
There are about 10 Reedbuck, 13 Eland, 15 Oribi, 15 Wildebeest, 20 Bush pig, 20 Warthog, 20 Kudu, 20 Nyala, 35 Duiker, 40 Impala, 50 waterbuck, 60 Baboons, 80 Vervet monkeys, 80 Bushbuck, 90 Zebra, over 120 Sable antelopes and one rescued Giraffe at Kuti.
There are no large predators and elephants in Kuti, so you can explore and take in your surroundings at your own pace on foot or by bike, without the need for a vehicle or scout.
Getting there and away
Kuti lies about 8km from Salima by road and can easily be accessed in a private vehicle, though 4×4 may be required after rain. The entrance reached via a 4km dirt road, is signposted along the north side of the M14 to Lilongwe some 4km west of the main junction with the M5 south and about 2km east of the junction with the M5 north. Those taking public transport can be dropped off at the Kuti turn-off (near the roadblock) and walk the remaining 4km, or taxis and bicycle taxis are readily available in Salima.