Nyika National Park

Entrance Fee

International Visitors USD10
International Residents USD7
Malawians USD1
Accompanied Children under 12 Free
Private Vehicles USD3 to USD15 (depending on weight)

Entrance gate: early-18.00 daily

About Nyika National Park

Nyika National park is located 500km north of Lilongwe, standing 2000 metres above sea level, and covers the entire Nyika Plateau.

It is Malawi’s largest at 3,200 km2 and oldest national park certified in 1965.

The park is unique in the region in terms of biological diversity, landscape, scenery and climate.

The top is one of the coldest parts of Malawi, moderate in summer but subject to fierce winds and sub-zero temperatures often recorded on winter nights.

The name, Nyika, means “Where the water comes from” as the plateau is one of the most important water catchment areas in Malawi.

The persistent moisture brings roughly 200 types of orchid into flower which blossom from January to April in the wet season.

Of these, 11 species are endemic to Nyika and a further 27 are found nowhere else in Malawi.

The landscape of rolling hills and grasslands with the flowers is breath taking and creates the scene for an unforgettable Malawi safari.

Activities include trekking, mountain biking, 4X4 excursions and bird watching.

It also offers some good game viewing and can be explored from Chelinda Camp.


Nyika National Park protects a rich diversity of mammals, and almost 100 species have been recorded, including large populations of antelope and the highest population of leopard in Central Africa.

Visitors can also expect to see eland, roan, zebra, buffalo and elephant.

Lion and cheetah are listed as infrequent visitors to the plateau, though neither has been seen in recent years. Visitors also stand a good chance of encountering spotted hyena and smaller nocturnal predators on night drives.

In recent years, a herd of more than 40 altitude-loving elephants have made their permanent home there and they are now often spotted with young.

It is also home to over 400 species of birds.

Four birds found at Nyika have been recorded nowhere else in Malawi (yellow mountain warbler, chirring cisticola, crackling cloud cisticola and mountain marsh widow), while the Nyika races of red-winged francolin, rufous-naped lark, greater double-collared sunbird and Baglafecht weaver are endemic to the plateau.

There are also three butterfly species endemic to the plateau, and one species each of chameleon, frog and toad are found nowhere else.