Nyika is one of the national parks in Northern Malawi. Based about 100km from Rumphi, a small town located about 65km from where I live in Mzuzu. Nyika is the largest national park in Malawi and is also the oldest. It is accessed by a dirt road that really is 4WD only. At points the road is very loose and and very steep and you would need a driver that is confident with 4WD. Luckily Puncque had driven the road over 100 times and knew it well. We made it in a little over an hour from Rumphi where as normally it would be at least 2.5 hours.
|Terrible to see the deforestation.|
Once you arrive at the park gate, Chilenda Campsite is another 60km inside. We all got residents rate as we all live in Malawi and the game viewing started as soon as we drove away from the park gate. Nyika is a beautiful park with, what is said, the highest concentration of leopards in Southern Africa. The rolling hills, the scenery and the peace make it the ideal place to get away from it all.
|View from Chosi point|
Next morning, I awoke to Gareth's delightful tones as he attempted to light a fire and cursed at the wood, the matches, the distant impalas. Luckily on of the campsite attendants put him out of his misery, and by the time I had showered (hot water showers, at a campsite!), there was coffee ready. Result. After a hearty breakfast, we went off for some more exploring. After a spell driving on the air strip, spotting some more impalas and seeing the devastating effects of logging, we returned to the campsite for some nsima and usipa and after packing up the car again we headed off on our last drive of the day. At this point we passed the dam en route to Chosi point. Here we were greeted with a beautiful panoramic view over Nyika National Park. At this point, the vastness of this place hit me. We had just barely scratched the surface of this amazing place. At no point did we encounter other visitors to the park and our only human interactions were with park employees. True bliss.
>Travel information< It is impossible to get to Nyika national park on public transport. You need to have a 4 wheel drive or go with a safari company. From my experience, the park is vast and if you want a chance of seeing wildlife, as opposed to just admiring the beautiful views, you would need a good map or guide. I can highly recommend the guys at Go Bananaz (check out their Facebook page) safaris, as people who will not only show you the amazing sights but who you will have fun with also.
Costs: As I am a resident, I had a discounted rate of MK3,000. Camping at Chilenda camp is $15 per night which includes camp attendants who will light fires for hot showers, do your washing up and light your campfire for you.
Once you are there, there are options for mountain biking, horse riding or further game drives, including night drives to try spot leopards.