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Nyika National Park gets its name from the Nyika plateau and the word Nyika can loosely be translated as “where the water comes from”. It is one of the top national Parks in the country with its beautiful scenery that is majorly created by the Nyika plateau nearby. The national park covers about 3200 square kilometers and it has the largest number of leopards, elephants and antelopes. The park has a lot more to offer to you and the only way to get to know about it is by packing a bag and visiting the Park to get a one on one experience with the animals.
Trekking through the Nyika National Park
Trekking through Nyika Park so that you get a clear view of what the park has to offer can be done in many different ways that is bike riding through the park, using the walking trails and horseback riding through the park.
Walking through the park
You cannot be allowed to enter into the park on foot but once you are inside, you can walk through the park with ease as long as you have a tour guide with you.
There are clearly marked routes in the park that you can use while walking through the park and these give you an opportunity of exploring the Park at length while viewing the different animals that are found in the Park. Some of the short walk routes that are found in the Park are majorly around the Chilinda camp and one of them takes you through a plantation which is the perfect place for one to view leopards especially in the morning and some bird species while the second route will take you through the Chilinda camp, towards the dams and across the park where many animals will be viewed. If you love birding, then the best time for you to take the walk will be in the morning and game viewing can be done at any time of the day.
Bike riding in the National Park
While visiting the Nyika National park, you should not miss out on the chance of going for a mountain bike ride as it is one of the few ways you will be able to explore the National park at length. There are bikes for hire available at a small fee depending on the amount of time that you are going to spend with them that is hours or the whole day and after this, you can enjoy riding through the park with an experienced tour guide to help you use the designated marked bike routes within the Park. The bikes cost about 45 dollars for the whole day which gives you ample and chance to travel throughout the park.
Wild watching in Nyika
With the many tour guides and companies that are in Malawi, the chances of tourists viewing the animals is extremely high. You can either walk through or go for a drive through the Nyika park just to get a glimpse of the many animals that habitate in the park and animal viewing in Nyika is best done at night as this is the time when most animals come out for hunting. Some of the animals that habitate in Nyika include elephants, leopards, bushbucks, jackals, antelopes, warthogs, klipspringers, buffalos, zebras, cats, jackals, porcupines, reedbucks, hyenas and elands but note that these are not the only animals in the park. Animal viewing can be done all year round but the best time for one to go is during the dry season that runs from July to August because during the wet season, the animals migrate to warmer areas to avoid the rain.
The Nyika National Park also has over 400 bird species that habitate within the park because of its location next to the Nyika plateau. There are about 400 species that are located in the Nyika national park which means that the park has about a third of the total population of the bird species that are located in Malawi. The best time for one to visit the Nyika Park for birding is during the wet season because during this time, there are a number of migratory birds that join in with the endemic birds in Malawi and provide one with one of the best views of bird species in the country. It is a top birding spot for all tourists who visit Malawi and one of the places where you can watch the birds from is the Chelinda lodge and before you go for birding in Nyika there are few requirements that you will need and that is a hide, camera, binoculars, an identification book as these will greatly help you during the birding experience. Some of the bird species that can be seen in the Nyika national park include eagle owls, the wattled crane, Denham’s bustard, the African pied wagtail, the secretary bird, the long crested eagle , starred robin, the cinnamon dove and many more other species. And there are also four endemic bird species that are found in Nyika and nowhere else in the country and these are the Mountain Marsh widowbird, the Mountain yellow warbler, the wing snapping Cisticola and the Chirping Cisticola.
Fishing in the Park
Fishing is one of the activities that is carried out in the National Park not with the many rivers that cross through the park and the many streams found in the different parts of the Park and this can be done at any time whether during the dry season or the wet season although you will need to pack some warm clothes during the wet season. The most commonly caught fish in the Park is the trout fish although there are also other fish species in the water.
The botanical tour
Nyika National Park is well known for the dense vegetation that is found in the different parts of the Park and the beauty about the vegetation is that it is of different types which is a field trip for all the botanical lovers. Walk through the Park and find out more about trees that are hundreds of years old and also get a chance of seeing the different birds and a few animals especially lizards that habitate within the trees.
Explore the Nyika plateau
The Nyika plateau national park is located within the Nyika plateau and a visit to the Park is one of the biggest opportunities for all tourists who visit the Park to explore it extensively. You can either drive through the plateau, walk or go for quid biking and either of these will leave you with an experience that you will not forget. The Nyika plateau is also the largest Malawi water catchment area which means a lot to all the Malawians and its preservation and protection depends on the fee that tourists pay in order to explore it.
The Plateau is a good place for all bird lovers due to the presence of the different bird species that habitate in the area and not forgetting the beautiful vast vegetation that is located in the plateau which adds on the adventure for all tourists. There are clearly marked routes which you can use for trekking, walking and riding though the plateau and while here there are numerous animals, birds and other natural features around the plateau.
Visiting the locals
A visit to the locals in the neighboring villages is one way to end your trip to the Nyika Park as you will get to know more about the Malawian culture and all the legends that surround both the Nyika plateau and National park.
When to visit the Nyika National Park
The Nyika National Park is an all year round place for visiting but just like any other Park in Malawi, the best time to visit the park normally depends on the different activities that you want to carry out when you get to the Park.
The best time to visit the National park is during the dry season that is because during this time, the animals can easily be seen moving around park in search of water and food unlike during the wet season when they migrate to the lower areas of the Nyika Plateau. The other activity that also needs to be done during the dry season is trekking through the park.
The best time for birders to go and tour the Nyika National Park is during the wet season as there will be both migratory and indigenous bird species in the Park. You will need to go with warm clothes while heading down for birding.
When it comes to accommodation, there is Chilinda camp which is located near the National Park. This is one of the best accommodation sites that you can use while on a tour on a tour to the Park and they provide tents and catering equipment at a small fee which means you get to prepare your meals while experiencing the wild in Malawi.
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.