Nyika is the largest park in Malawi with an expanse of at least 1250 square miles or 3200 square kilometers. It runs across the enormous plateau which is basically a granitic ground and its atmosphere is unique in the entire Africa. its name, Nyika, means – where the water comes from- and it certainly, one of most significant catchment areas in Malawi. The undulating scenery is best during the rainy months when more than 200 species of orchid are flowering. The grass-lands of Nyika are plentiful with wildflowers through other months.
The Nyika is magnificent for mountain biking as well as trekking and, in addition more usual 4WD tours. Horse riding safaris which were previously a highlight seem ready to begin anytime. The montane vegetation draws large populations of antelope from the very small duiker to the eland plus roans. Zebra are widespread. The park holds one of the greatest numbers of leopard within Central Africa and several smaller mammal species like the warthogs plus the bush pigs. Elephants plus buffalo frequently stay in the lower areas on the northern rim of the park however lions have lately been sighted on the higher plateau.
For the birdwatchers, the park has a variety to offer: more than 400 species have actually been recorded. The uncommon Denham’s bustard, the red-winged francolin – prevalent to Nyika plus the wattled crane are some those of those seen.
There is quite a lot to observe in the huge park: a ‘magic lake’, waterfalls, trout pools and also a neolithic rock shelter, are among the attractions. in 2010 Accommodation was bought out by Wilderness Safaris in the Nyika. The Chelinda Camp as well as Chelinda Lodge are currently entirely opened for business.
Nyika National park is the largest wildlife park in Malawi and is located in the scenic hills of northern Malawi. It was established in 1965 and covers an estimated 3200sq km on the great Nyika Plateau. The park is accessed by road via Mzuzu (129km) and 68km from Rumphi town.
Nyika plateau rises to a height of 1800m above sea level and stretches through the western border of Malawi into Zambia. Nyika literally translates into-where the water comes from and its indeed the biggest water catchment area for Malawi.
The vegetation cover on Nyika is predominantly grasslands, dense forests to the valleys, more than 200 different species of orchids and wild flowers. It is beautiful and lush scenery! The rains bring the park to life during the months of January and February.
Wildlife and Game viewing
As the largest park in Malawi, Nyika boasts of several species of mammals. The forests are home to different species of antelopes such as Lichtenstein hartebeest, kudu, reedbuck, bushbuck, duiker, sable, roan, eland, and many others. It is recorded that the park has the largest population of leopards in Africa besides other big game like zebras, elephants, buffalo and predators such as civet, genet, jackal, hyena, cat and the honey badger among others. There are also small mammals like porcupines, warthog and aardvark.
More than 300 birds are found in the park and on the Nyika Plateau. Some of the regular sights include cinnamon dove, bar tailed dove, starred robin, sun bird, wattle crane, Den Ham’s bustard and the Nyika plateau endemic birds-yellow mountain duiker, cracking cloud cistocola, mountain marsh widow and the red winged francolin among others
October to December rains brings in several flocks of water birds and woodland species from Zambia and neighboring areas. Game viewing is good in the summer months that May to November.
Since the park is a bio-diverse region, there are many adventures and activities to enjoy on the Nyika Plateau. Sightseeing is good with wildlife on game drives, hiking trails leading to the several waterfalls on the high plateau. The orchids and wild flowers bloom at the beginning of the year making an excellent trail for hikers, horse rides and mountain biking.
Trout fishing is favorite pastime for tourists on the water streams, rivers and dam although permits are required before the adventure. Nyika National park is a good place to visit all through the year but carry warm clothing for winter months of June to August
There is a camp near the main gate-Chilinda camp and a luxury safari lodge. The camp site has self catering camping and equipment for rent