Malawi is one of my favorite African countries to visit. Not just because of the stunning Lake Malawi, friendly people and bustling markets, but also because Malawi is the place I called home for the first few decades of my life. Many people are familiar with Malawi as the poor country that Madonna adopted two children from, but there’s much more to it.
Malawi may not have the best known wildlife parks, but there’s plenty of wildlife and beautiful places to enjoy, and you won’t have to compete with hordes tourists to see it.
Nyika national park is Malawi’s largest and oldest National Park located in the Northern Region, 507km from the Capital City, Lilongwe, covers a total area of 3134 sq. km. It is one of the Trans Frontier Conservation Areas (TFCA) between Malawi and Zambia. Nyika has breath-taking rolling hills, lush grassland, forested valleys, “miombo woodland” and evergreen forests
There is an abundant plant life in the park with over 3000 species of which over 200 types are orchids. Wildflowers carpet the hills all year round. The Mountain vegetation attracts large numbers of antelope ranging from the diminutive duiker to eland and roan. Zebra are common.
The park has one of the highest densities of leopard in Central Africa and there are a number of species of smaller mammals such as warthog, jackal and bush pig. Elephants and buffalo usually keep to the lower ground on the northern edge of the park.
If it is your lucky day, you might as well spot lions
If you enjoy bird watching, the park has a lot to offer you as over 400 species have been recorded. The rare Denham’s Bustard, Cinnamon Dove, Battled Trogon, Starred Robin and the Wattled Crane are among those to be seen, as is the Red-Winged Francolin-endemic to Nyika
Nyika can be accessed by road through use of private transport or by air through Chelinda Air Strip.