Nyika National Park in Malawi

Nyika National Park is the biggest and oldest park in Malawi. Situated on the Nyika Plateau, the park offers breathtaking views and sunsets over the highlands. The land turns a deep gold in the dying light as the sun dips in the sky. Shimmering granite boulders, fields of blossoming flowers and flowing rivers that turn into cascading waterfalls make this park one of the magical places to experience. Animals roam free throughout the land and adds to the natural beauty of the park. This is a must-see safari destination, which guarantees an unforgettable experience!

  • Best Time to Go

    May - October

  • Average Safari Cost

    $50 - $150 pp/day. Park fee: $10 (adult), $0 (children under 12).

  • Highlights

    Jalawe Rock, the Juniper Forest, trout pools, waterfalls, horse riding safaris, stunning and diverse scenery.

Why Visit Nyika National Park

Nyika National Park is arguably one of the most beautiful places on the continent. From grasslands and valleys to forests and green hills covered in blossoming flowers, the park's landscape is wonderfully diverse and offers a breathtaking experience.

See Jalawe Rock, an enormous granite outcrop that juts out from the plateau and provides a beautiful viewpoint. A number of rivers originate from the wet climate of the plateau and flow through the park and tumble down the highlands in waterfalls. Zebra, antelope and elephants roam through various areas of the land and even lion sightings have become more frequent. From trout fishing in the dams to exploring the land on horseback, Nykia National Park offers many exciting activities and adventures. Travel here for an inspiring and enriching safari journey.

Pros and Cons

  • Lots of activities - including horseback riding, mountain biking and forest walks
  • Excellent photographic opportunities
  • Great wildelife viewing
  • Stunning scenery
  • Excellent birdwatching
  • Limited accommodation options
  • Weather is quite chilly on the plateau, even during summer

Best Time to Go

The best time to visit Nyika National Park is during the dry season, from May to October. This is a good time for wildlife viewing as animals congregate around the rivers and water sources and can easily be seen in the thinning vegetation. Days are warm and pleasant with average temperatures of about 73˚F (23˚C), which can peak in October to about 86˚F (30˚F). Nights can get very cold, especially on the plateau with its high altitude. It's almost always cloudy in the highlands, which can make it quite chilly on the Nyika Plateau.

The wet season is from November to April and brings warm, humid weather and frequent rainfall. January and February are the wettest months of the year and rain showers may disrupt travel plans and activities. There is also a higher risk for malaria during these months as there are more mosquitoes.

For more information when to visit see our Malawi Safari - Complete Travel Guide.

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Wildlife and Birds

Nyika National Park offers excellent wildlife viewing on its open plains and grasslands. Zebra and antelope graze throughout the highlands, while elephants and lions roam the lower lying plains. Nyika National Park also has the highest concentration of leopards in the region so be on the lookout for these beautiful, spotted predators.
List of Animals
  • Lion
  • Elephant
  • Leopard
  • Buffalo
  • Zebra

Rare Animals

  • Leopards, lion

Frequently Seen Animals

  • Buffalo, zebra, antelope, elephants

With over 400 recorded species of bird, Nyika National Park is an excellent birding destination. See special sightings of the rare Denham's bustard and Nyika's endemic red-winged francolin. Moustached green tinkerbirds and bar-tailed trogons are special sightings found within the park's forested areas.

Endangered Birds

  • Wattled crane

Endemic Birds

  • Red-winged francolin

Getting There and Safety


For the flights to Malawi, it is advised to check Skyscanner (for multiple destination flights), to see which airlines can take you there and compare various ticket prices.

If you are based in the UK and Europe, check out these flights to Malawi.

If you are based in the USA and Canada, check out these flights to Malawi.


For more information on visas see our Malawi Safari - Complete Country Guide.

Vaccinations and Malaria

Check your local travel health authority for more information:

Travel Insurance

Going on a safari in Africa comes with obvious risks. We recommend you get travel insurance for all safaris in Malawi. Make sure your insurance has full medical coverage, emergency air evacuation, repatriation and the standard travel insurance for cancellations, delays and luggage cover.

Check World Nomads’ travel insurance calculator to see the cost of your safari trip cover.

What to Pack

Pack for warm and cold weather as temperatures are warm during the day and can get very cold at night. Try to pack neutral, earthy toned clothes and avoid bright colours and white. Other essential items are a hat, sunglasses, sun screen, toiletries, closed shoes, torch, batteries, insect repellent, first aid kit, binoculars and camera.

For more details on what to pack see our Safari Packing List.