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Malawi North
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Malawi North

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... is the most remote and sparsely populated part of the country, largely due to its mountainous topography and relatively low potential for agriculture.

At around 3200 square kilometres, Nyika National Park is the country's largest wildlife reserve. It is largely comprised of the high altitude grasslands of the Nyika Plateau, which are renowned for the vast array of orchids and other flowers which bloom during the Dec/Mar rainy season, when the area is often shrouded in mists.

The Nyika Plateau is home to a wide range of herbivores including duikers, elands and zebras, as well as warthogs and bushpigs. The area also claims to have an unusually strong population of leopards. Elephants and lions are also present, but tend to stick to the lower ground to the northern side of the plateau.

Activities here include hiking, mountain bike safaris and horseback safaris, as well as the usual vehicle safaris.


Malawi North is somewhere we tend to recommend relatively rarely, usually to experienced safari travellers who are specifically searching out new and unusual locations.

The area can be accessed by light aircraft from the city of Lilongwe in around 2 hours.

The vast majority of visitors tend to stay in one camp for 3 to 4 nights.

Chelinda Camp ... is a colonial style mountain retreat in a remote lakeside setting within the national park.

Chelinda Lodge ... is a slightly larger lodge set high on a hillside, also within the national park.

Lukwe Ecocamp is a simpler facility lying in the foothills of the Nyika Plateau.

Zulunkhuni River Lodge ... is a very remote lodge set on the sparsely populated northern shoreline of Lake Malawi and only accessible by boat or by a 6-7 hour hike from the small village of Usisya.

The area is most commonly combined by road with other areas of Malawi including Central Malawi, South Lake, Liwonde, Mount Mulanje and Majete and Lengwe.
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Jay Hanson
Jay Hanson, Senior Safari Consultant
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