Nyika National Park

This is the oldest and largest national park in Malawi, covering approximately 3,200km2. Nyika National Park was Malawi’s first certified park, founded in 1965. Nyika Plateau is situated in the North of Malawi and is unique in Africa.

The park covers the whole of the Nyika Plateau, a unique upland with most parts lying about 2000 meters above sea level. ‘Nyika’ means ‘where the water comes from’ as the plateau is an important water catchment area in Malawi. The park consists of rolling grassy hills, forested valleys and sheer escarpments which are home to over 400 species of bird and the highest leopard population in Central Africa

The Plateau is on the UNESCO World Heritage tentative list for its cultural and natural beauty.



The montane vegetation of Nyika Plateau attracts large numbers of antelope, and zebra is common. Smaller mammals such as warthogs and bush pigs are also commonly found in the park.

In addition, Nyika is home to the highest population of leopard in central Africa! There have been a few sightings of nomadic males and recently a female lion! Although it is not likely they will stay and more likely they are simply wandering through! Nyika is a birders paradise and more than 400 species have made the park their nest!


Nyika Plateau extends on a granitic dome and is like no other in Africa. The park is composed by a succession of hills with breath-taking views, valleys of Miombo woodland and evergreen forest. The high number of rivers and impressive waterfalls explain Nyika’s name: Nyika means “where the water comes from”. Thanks to these sources the plant life is abundant with more than 3000 plant species and 200 different types of orchids!

Things to do

Mountain biking: Get on your bike and discover Nyika plateau. With a vast landscape to explore and lots to see – what better way than by bike!

Walks: If you prefer to travel by two legs rather than two wheels you can explore Nyika by foot. Not only does Nyika offer a wildlife experience but it is also full of attractions such as a Neolithic rock, trout pools, and a “magic lake”!

Game drives: Chelinda lodge offer game drives to guests, which is the best way to see as much as possible. You can also self-drive around the park.

Fishing: For those that like a relaxed sport you can give your hand at fly fishing in Nyika! 

Who the park is good for

Landscape lovers will be stunned by Nyika as well as bird watchers. If you have a passion for flowers or leopard you should definitely add Nyika to your list!

Park entry fees

Non-resident foreigner: USD10/person/day
Resident foreigner: USD7/person/day
Malawi citizen: MWK450/person/day
All below age of 12 years: NIL

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