Nyika National Park Malawi
Nyika is a national park in Malawi stretching over an area of approximately 3200 square kilometers. The park is the largest national park in the country and it covers the whole of the Nyika plateau in Northern Malawi, about 480 km north of Lilongwe and 60 km north of Rumphi by road.
The name Nyika means ‘’where the water comes from’’ since the plateau’s elevation makes it wetter than the surrounding areas. The park is one of the most important catchment areas in the country. It is a home to a number wildlife including the large numbers of antelope in the montane vegetation, the common duiker to eland and the roan. The park also hosts the zebras near Chelinda and the highest part of the plateau. In Central Africa, Nyika national park is said to be having the highest densities of leopards though the estimation is not yet clarified by the scientific survey. Smaller mammals in the park include the warthogs, bush pigs, smaller cats and the porcupine. The lions and the elephants have been seen on the high plateau recently.
Safari activities in the park
This experience is done on the plateau and it exposes one to varying vegetation and panoramic views. The park is a home to larger animals including the zebras, roan, eland, bushbuck, reedbuck, warthog, and the leopards. Also, Nyika is well known for hosting the duiker species including the rare red duiker and others.
Night game drives
Explore the park at night in a 4×4 safari vehicle during the guided night game drive. This experience is a great opportunity to sight the nocturnal wildlife including the bush pigs, honey badgers, servals, civets, genets, bush babies and the nightjars that take up the middle of the park roads as the hunting grounds.
This is one of the most enticing activities in the park because of the amazing views of the variety of the wildflowers. The park encompasses wildflowers like the yellow Helichrysums, delicate pink, blue gladioli, pelargoniums, tiny hibiscus, and the orchids which are like the blue disa which grows among the exposed rocks. The proteas and the giant lobelias also came into the park.
Still on the walking safaris, the parks has some forests with huge buttress rooted trees, ebony, red barked Hagenia trees, yellowwoods and so many others. These forests are also a home to some animals like the monkeys which are heard shouting in the woods.
Visiting the Chisanga Falls
The visit of the falls involves taking a short hike through the Brachystegia woodlands with their new spring leaves emerging in the rich burgundy colors. These falls vary from dry season to the wet but there’s always a high rush of the falling water no matter the season.
Birding in the park is good all year round but the best time for it is during the months of October and January when the migratory birds are present. It records over 400 species of birds including the rare Denham’s bustard, the wattled crane and others. There are most challenging birds to sight and these are the forest birds which include the bar tailed trogon, mountain Greenbul, moustached green tinker bird, yellow streaked bulbul, the starred robin, cape batis, the white tailed crested flycatcher and the eastern double collared sunbird.
Best time to visit the park
Nyika national park can be visited all year around but the best time for game viewing is during the dry season. The best colors of the flowers occur during the months of November to March after the rains have come. During this season, the migrant birds also expand the bird population. The warm season of the park is from September to May and the rains fall between the months of December and March.