The Nyika Vwaza (UK) Trust works to improve the conservation of both the fauna and flora od the Nyika National Park and the Vwaza March Wildlife Reserve through its programme of education in the communities surrounding the protected areas and its work in applied research to find solutions to significant threats to the ecology of these areas.
The Trust provides funding for these activities largely through the generosity of its supporters.
Vwaza Marsh, proclaimed a Wildlife Reserve in 1977, is home to the widest variety of large mammals in Malawi and a fascinating range of lowland bird species. It is a low-lying plains area, its water source being the Nyika plateau which lies to the north and east. The reserve covers an area of about 900sq-km with its western boundary lying on the border with Zambia. Wildlife can move freely between the reserve and the Luangwa valley in Zambia. The south and eastern boundary of the reserve is fenced, with villages right up to the reserve boundaries.
The reserve is home to several herds of elephant totalling about 150 individuals. Other plains animals such as kudu, impala and warthog are also to be found along with pods of hippopotamus in Lake Kazuni. Buffalo are seen occasionally with lion infrequent visitors. Buffalo used to be found in significant numbers but heavy poaching has reduced their number significantly and some species, such as the sable, are now extinct. With better management, however, the area has the potential for supporting far larger wildlife populations.