Malawi 2011 - Nyika National Park & Vwaza Marsh Wildlife Reserve

Nyika National Park

The Park is in the far north-western corner of Malawi. Approaching from the south we had a wonderful view of the Plateau.

The plateau is over 2000m high and very different from the rest of the country as it consists of rolling, grassy hills with relatively few trees.

We saw lots of roan antelope in the Park, especially near the dams.

This female bushbuck spent a lot of time at the campsite.

The campsite at Chelinda (S10 35.099 E33 47.975) has a wonderful view over the hills. We often saw zebra, eland, roan antelope and bushbuck passing by, especially first thing in the morning.

We certainly needed this big fire as it got very cold once the sun went down. The 2 guys who looked after the site were wonderful, bringing us plenty of wood, lighting the fire for us and even insisting on doing the washing up!

One afternoon it became overcast and then started raining - we were frozen even with a fleece. In the end we remembered about the little kitchen hut so made a dash for it. Kevin put some wood on the fire and we soon warmed up. Our fellow campers, Mel and Graeme, a great couple from Jo'burg, joined us and, once the rain stopped, we spent the rest of the afternoon with them swapping stories - and then shared their braai fire as our fireplace was flooded. They suggested some good places to visit in Zambia which will be useful on our way back to South Africa and for future travels.

We had hoped to do some walking in the Park but were told at the Lodge reception (which has recently been privatized) that it was no longer allowed so we were restricted to driving around the Park.. One morning, as we were exploring, I pointed out a group of eland to Kevin, he took his eyes off the track for a couple of seconds - and we ended up in a bog! It took us 2 1/2 hours to get out. There were no trees around so we couldn't use the winch but fortunately there were several rocks so Kevin jacked the truck up and was able to put them under the wheel and eventually, on the third or fourth attempt, he got the truck out - thank goodness....

Placing rocks under the wheel.

A very muddy Kevin next to 'the hole'.

Driving across a wooden bridge over one of the dams in the Park.

Vwaza Marsh Wildlife Reserve

This reserve is south of Nyika. We had intended staying for a couple of days but discovered that there was no water at the campsite (S11 08.001 E33 39.100) so just stayed for the afternoon.

The campsite overlooks a lake.

We were lucky enough to see this herd of elephants who came down to the lake for a drink.

On our drive alongside the dam we saw several impala, kudu and a warthog.

There were also quite a few birds near the dam.

African Jacana.

An eagle - not sure what sort.

We often saw bikes being pushed along the road being used to transport goods.

A large pile of wood.

A couple of boys with sugar cane.

Dedza Pottery & Mphunzi Mountain.

Southern Lakeside - Monkey Bay, Cape Maclear & Senga Bay.

Zomba Plateau & Mulanje Massif.

Majete Wildlife Reserve.

Kasungu National Park.

Viphya Forest Reserve.

Nyika National Park & Vzawa Marsh Wildlife Reserve.

Northern Lakeside - Chintheche & Mkondowe.

Livingstonia.

Diary (Word document).

They start learning to carry goods on their heads at an early age!

 

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