Nyika National Park
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Nyika National Park is Malawi’s oldest national park and is located high up on an ancient plateau. Nyika is rich in plains game, birds, flowers and Africa’s most elusive cat, the leopard. The park is covered by 3,200 km² of rolling grassland that carpets granite dome hills interspersed with forest and intersected by waterways. A tailor-made safari in Nyika is perfect for those looking for a unique wildlife experience in Malawi far off the beaten track.
About Nyika National Park
The name Nyika translates to ‘the place from where water comes’, as it is one of Malawi’s most important water catchment areas and a landscape rich in floral biodiversity. Over 200 different types of orchid are found on the plateau as well as delphiniums, lobelias, gladioli and various other species of flower. It’s definitely the best place in Malawi to see wild-flower blooms.
Nyika National Park Wildlife Safaris
Nyika National Park Wildlife Safaris Elephant, zebra and a variety of antelope such as eland, roan and reedbuck can be found in Nyika National Park. During the breeding season massive herds of both eland and roan congregate in the park and can be quite a spectacle to behold.
Hyena, jackal and serval are all present in the park, as well as leopard. In fact, the plateau and surrounding area is said to have one of the densest populations of leopard in Central Africa, and is certainly the best place to see leopard in Malawi. Smaller creatures can also be the highlight of a visit to the plateau and a variety of frogs, toads and chameleons – including the Nyika whistling chameleon – can be found here. Game drives, game walks and bike rides are the best ways to explore Nyika and see its inhabitants.
Birding in Nyika National Park
Nyika National Park is a bird haven with over 400 different species recorded including the rare Denham’s bustard and endemic red-wing francolin. The endangered wattled crane can be found on the Nyika Plateau as can several species that aren’t found anywhere else in Malawi, such as the mountain yellow warbler, chirping cisticola, wing-snapping cisticola and mountain marsh widowbird.
Nyika’s Birding specials include the bar-tailed trogon, great snipe, malachite sunbird, olive-flanked robin chat and the Sharpe’s akalat amongst others.
Best Time to Visit Nyika National Park
Malawi’s wetter period from November to April is when wildlife and bird viewing is best in Nyika and the wildflower bloom occurs. Weather tends to be moderate and enjoyable.