The park and its animals -- hundreds of elephants, rhinos, hippos, grazing mammals and more than 600 species of birds -- battle it out daily within the dense human communities that surround Liwonde, for access to food, water and grazing space.
Commercial poaching threatens the survival of rarer species, and illegal fishing in the Shire River -- a nursery for catfish and bream -- has reduced fish stocks upstream in Lake Malawi, affecting the fishing industry and taking its toll on the availability of a key source of protein for local communities.
People live along the border of the park; they go into the park to poach fish and other animals, and to fetch water. As a result, people are often killed; sometimes by elephants but more often by the crocodiles. Community residents know that many of their family and friends could easily die hunting for food and still they go because they have no choice; they need the fish and they need the water.