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Nyika Plateau

The Nyika Plateau in Malawi is a highland area with a mixture of grasses, heathers, heaths and wild flowers and spectacular scenery.

Some specialised mammals can be found here as well, and part of the great appeal of the place is that this is one of the only places in Africa in which you can take yourself for walks in secure knowledge that you are not in danger from wild animals.

The Nyika National Park protects the Nyika Plateau, and the montane scenery is unique to this area and unlike any other in the country. Animals that are protected here include an endemic race of zebra, altitude loving elephants and the most concentrated leopard population in central Africa.

For birders, the Nyika supports the richest variety of birds in Malawi, with 400 species identified including the wattled crane, an extremely endangered crane that lives in the marshes. The yellow mountain warbler, chirring cisticola, crackling cloud cisticola and mountain marsh widow are not found anywhere else in Malawi, whilst there are three endemic butterfly species, and one each of frog, toad and chameleon.

With 200 orchid species which flower in January and February, and of which 11 are endemic to the Nyika and 27 found nowhere else in Malawi, this is an orchid enthusiasts’ ideal spot.

The Nyika National Park is outstanding for its scenic spots, archaeological sites and various animals, and these can all be enjoyed on horse safaris, night drives, and walks which can be guided or unguided. For anglers, it is also possible to fish in the dams and rivers for the popular rainbow trout.

Sadly Chelinda Lodge which used to operate on the Nyika Plateau, is currently closed due to an issue with the Malawi Minister of Tourism and horse riding is no longer available either. The Chelinda Camp chalets and camp site is still available on a self-catered basis or for mobile safaris.