The sun did his job over the past few weeks in Malawi. Ever since we crossed the border the temperature was great both day and night. This was about to change at our next destination. Nyika National Park is situated at an altitude of over 2300 meters! A couple of cold nights were to be expected…
We’re almost there
When leaving Vwaza Wildlife Reserve it was still 32 degrees Celsius. In the 104 kilometers towards Nyika this changed severely. The first dirt road that we took was actually quite ok. When we took a shortcut to the entrance of the park we were challenged a bit more by both steep descends and ascends. The last 60 kilometers to the campsite we noticed the air getting ‘thinner’ and by that time we knew: we were up in the mountains.
It was near the village of Chelinda when the scenery changed dramatically. Green sloping hills were basically everywhere except for the parts where the fire had burned the soil. We did notice a couple of pine tree forests. A bit later we learned that these were pine tree plantations that were planted in the sixties with the goal of using them to make paper. When the plantation was finished it turned out to be difficult to actually transport the logs to the factories down below. They then decided to leave them here and make this a National Park in 1964. Strange things can happen here… The good thing is that the ‘forests’ now provide an excellent hideaway for leopards, antelopes and numerous birds.
Cozy Campsite at Nyika
A little bit down the road we reached the campsite. At the heart of one of these forests a small grassy campsite was created. Three shelters and an ablution block were build for an amazing camping experience. There’s an excellent campfire spot at every campsite. We pitched our tent and enjoyed the last few sun rays before the sun disappeared behind the mountains. We also noticed how fast it got cold up here.
The above mentioned campfire spot came in really handy. Matteo, the excellent ranger that is working at the campsite made sure that we had enough firewood, could have a nice and hot shower and even made us a fire early in the morning. While we said we didn’t need a fire during our breakfast he made one and this was really really really good :)! What a great guy!
Here we go again
After two great but cold nights, it was time to leave the mountains. Not before we did a game drive through the magnificent Nyika park though. At one of the highest viewpoints in the park, Chosi, we said goodbye to the park with a fresh cup of coffee and some cookies in our hands. Definitely a must-see when in Malawi!