The park lies on the Central African Plateau (1,000–1,100 m) along the border with Zambia. The vegetation consists mainly of tall Brachystegia–Julbernardia (miombo) woodland, locally mixed with Combretum and Terminalia. The woodlands are dissected by a network of grassy dambos which drain towards the major rivers of the park (the Dwangwa and Lingadzi). A few bare inselbergs rise above the woodland in the west of the park. There is a small dam on the Lifupa tributary.
See Box and Table 3 for key species. Over 370 species have been recorded; the Zambezian biome species include Ploceus olivaceiceps. Circus macrourus is an uncommon winter visitor while Falco naumanni may be regular on passage. Grus carunculatus has been recorded breeding in the past and one pair at least seems still to be present.
Non-bird biodiversity: Mammals: a small population of Kobus vardoni (LR/cd) had established itself in recent years, the only other in Malawi is in Vwaza Marsh (MW004). The populations of Redunca arundinum (LR/cd) and Alcelaphus lichtensteini (LR/cd) were the second-most important in Malawi, and that of Ourebia ouribi (LR/cd) the largest. Kasungu also contained the largest population of Loxodonta africana (EN) in the country and was the only regular site for Acinonyx jubatus (VU), but see below.
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Kasungu National Park. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 28/01/2023.