The wonders of Malawi's Nyika National Park

The Chelinda Lodge in Nyika National Park, Zambia. Picture: Supplied

The Chelinda Lodge in Nyika National Park, Zambia. Picture: Supplied

Published Oct 19, 2018


Travelling to Malawi can sound like a lot of fun, but even better is to travel to Malawi's largest park - Nyika National Park - for a holiday.

Nyika is Malawi’s largest park an covers an area of more than 3200 sq km. It extends across the great plateau which is essentially a granitic dome and its environment is like none other in the whole of Africa.

The park covers practically the whole of the Nyika Plateau in northern Malawi, about 480km north of Lilongwe and 60km north of Rumphi by road.

The name, Nyika, means "where the water comes from" and it is, indeed, one of Malawi’s most important catchment areas.

Visitors to the park are treated to views of over 400 species of birds, as well as antelope, warthog, bush pig, elephants, leopards and other small wild cats.

Roan antelope spotted in Nyika National Park. Picture: Nyika National Park


The Nyika National Park offers a beautiful, refurbished lodge called the Chelinda Lodge which is located high on the Nyika Plateau within Nyika National Park, and overlooks a crystal-clear dam with panoramic views of rolling hills, isolated ridges and open high-altitude grassland.

The Chelinda Camp chalets. Picture: Supplied

The chalets come in four-room or six-room occupation, provided with a small kitchen, bathroom and living area.

Guests are offered the option of self-catering or having meals provided by Chelinda's staff, and are given the option to go on a guided game drive or a self-drive game viewing.

A number of accommodation options are available ranging from USD40 to USD400 (about R560 - R5 600) per person per night.

Email [email protected] or visit for more information.

Attractions and activities

Nyika is wonderful for trekking and mountain biking and, as well as more conventional 4x4 excursions.

Other attractions include waterfalls, the most impressive being Chisanga Falls where the North Rukuru river falls off the plateau to Thalire District, neolithic rock shelter, trout pools and even a "magic lake".

A cool fact: the national park was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List on May 17, 2000 in the Mixed (Cultural + Natural) category, it has not been confirmed as a world heritage site.


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