People often talk about all the big famous parks in Africa, but easily forget about the smaller, less known parks. If you are looking for something different, much more relaxed and enjoy being pleasantly surprised, then Nyika National Park in Malawi is just the one for you!
Nyika is Malawi’s oldest and largest park with an area of 1250 sq miles (3200 km2). Nyika means “where the water comes from” and it is, indeed, one of Malawi’s most important catchment areas. The park covers practically the whole of the Nyika Plateau in northern Malawi, and almost all of the park lies at over 2,000 metres (6,600 feet) above sea level. The rolling scenery is at its best in the rainy season when over 200 types of orchid are in flower. The grasslands of Nyika are rich in wildflowers in other seasons as well.
Nyika is wonderful for hiking and mountain biking, as well as more conventional 4×4 safari excursions. The higher elevations are open, undulating grasslands with incised valleys, creating panoramic views, slopes of wild flowers, rolling green hills, rocky outcrops, and small, tropical forests. The park is home to large numbers of antelope, from the diminutive Common Duiker to Common Eland and Roan Antelope and the Crawshay’s subspecies of Plains Zebra. The park also boasts one of the highest densities of Leopard in central Africa, although they are rarely seen. African Elephants usually keep to the lower ground on the northern edge of the park.
For the birdwatcher, the park has a lot to offer: over 400 species have been recorded! The rare Denham’s Bustard and the Wattled Crane are among those to be seen, as is the Hildebrandt’s Francolin, White-chested Alethe, African Hill Babbler, Miombo Pied Barbet, Black-backed Barbet, Green-backed Honeyguide, Red-faced Crimsonwing, Sharpe’s Akalat, Olive-flanked Robin, Orange Thrush, Bar-tailed Trogon, Moustached Green Tinkerbird, Brown Parisoma and Black-lored Cisticola, among many others.
Come and join us in Nyika in Malawi on an amazing trip; our Malawi & Zambia wildlife safari also visits:
• Liwonde National Park in the south of Malawi, famous for the successful private-public partnership conservation project on the go at the moment, and for incredible riverside scenery and diverse fauna and flora.
• South Luangwa National Park in bordering Zambia, one of the great parks of Africa, and boasting huge African Elephant, African Buffalo and Leopard populations, and also the home of the African walking safari.