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Tour Packages Details

Price Per Person

USD 3,810
Country: Malawi
City: Nyika National Park
Duration: 8 Day(s) - 7 Night(s)
Tour Category: Adventure Tours
Departure Date: Thu 01 Jan '99

Package Itinerary


Less travelled than the rest of Malawi, the northern region has much to offer the avid explorer. It is a region that combines some of the most unspoilt parts of the country with authentic cultural experiences. The distance travelled is about 1 200km on mainly good roads, while the astonishing beauty and variety of scenery leaves a lasting impression on visitors. We travel north to the Viphya Mountains and an eclectic mix of commercial plantation, forest pockets and miombo woodland interspersed with beautiful dambos (seasonally flooded wetlands). Proceeding further north, we visit the iconic Nyika National Park with its cool climate and massive rolling game-filled grasslands and impressive granite outcrops. Nyika offers one of Africa's most unique (and remote) wildlife experiences. The park is home to Malawi's highest concentration of leopard, with regular sightings being reported throughout the year, together with that of serval. Good concentrations of eland, roan and Crawshay's zebra also abound. With well over 400 recorded bird species, many endemic to this biome, it is a birder's paradise. Chintheche is located on the central Lakeshore and offers a fascinating blend of stunning beaches, a vibrant local community and many activities, including village walks, cycling, snorkelling and watersports.

Brief Itinerary 

  • Day 1: Fly to Lilongwe International Airport and transfer to Luwawa Forest Lodge
  • Days 2, 3 & 4: Transfer to Chelinda Lodge in Nyika National Park
  • Days 5, 6 & 7: Transfer to Chintheche Inn on the central lakeshore of Lake Malawi
  • Day 8: Transfer back to Lilongwe International Airport for flight out of Malawi

Detailed Itinerary: 

Day 1: Luwawa Forest Lodge, Luwawa Forest Reserve 

On arrival at Lilongwe International Airport, you will be met by your guide and transferred (4-5 hours) by road to Luwawa Forest Lodge.

The drive: Heading north from the airport initially we pass over the flat central plateau with its fertile farmland and smallholdings. Gradually the road begins to climb and farmland turns to indigenous forest interspersed with granite outcrops as we approach Luwawa. The final stretch is through miombo woodland that slowly becomes mature plantation forest as we arrive at our destination. Depending on departure time from the airport we would expect to arrive at Luwawa around dusk.

Area and Location: Luwawa Forest lodge is located 250km north of Lilongwe in the Viphya Mountains. The Viphya Plateau averages 1 600 metres above sea level and is usually temperate, with clear days and cool nights throughout the year. The area around Luwawa is mainly plantation forest, but with some impressive indigenous miombo woodland and indigenous forest pockets as well.

Accommodation: Luwawa has four chalets with en-suite facilities, and a main area with a bar and full restaurant services. Luwawa uses solar energy and wind power, with a diesel generator as backup. Crystal-clear water from a nearby mountain stream is boiled and filtered for drinking purposes and the permaculture garden supplies most of the vegetables.

Facilities: Luwawa offers a wide variety of activities to suit all ages and capabilities. Hiking and mountain biking are two of the most popular activities. There are hundreds of kilometres of good forest roads and tracks just waiting to be explored, some leading to remote mountain streams and waterfalls. 

Days 2, 3 & 4: Chelinda Lodge, Nyika National Park 

After breakfast, you will be transferred (6-7 hours) to Chelinda Lodge in Nyika National Park.

The drive: The first 100km to Mzuzu is through the heart of the Viphya Mountains and a mixture of indigenous and plantation forest. Several huge granite inselbergs rise up from the Plateau and we soon arrive in Mzuzu, the bustling capital of northern Malawi, where we stretch legs and visit the market before heading on along good, tarred roads to the small settlement of Rumphi. From here the road turns to dirt and starts to climb. This fascinating drive shows constantly changing habitats as the altitude results in different vegetation types, starting with subsistence farms and savannah, slowly turning to miombo woodland and then finally entering the park at Thazima Gate. From the gate to Chelinda we ascend through three distinct habitats (miombo, mountain thicket and montane grassland) before the vista opens up into the dramatic rolling grasslands of the Nyika Plateau.

Area and Location: Nyika National Park is Malawi's most spectacular wilderness area. It boasts an incredible mixture of scenery and landscapes - pristine miombo woodland, mature mountain forest patches, crystal-clear running streams and miles and miles of open, rolling grassland. Being situated at an elevation of over 2 000 metres guarantees a wonderful temperate climate, which is in particular contrast to the lakeshore areas of Malawi.

Wildlife: Game species that can be seen include Crawshay's zebra, roan antelope, reedbuck, eland, bushbuck, warthog, bushpig, leopard, spotted hyaena, side-striped jackal and serval. Birdlife is prolific, the park being home to over 425 species of bird. Specials include Churring and Black-lored Cisticola, Montane Widowbird, Fülleborn's Boubou, Bar-tailed Trogon, Ruwenzori Nightjar and Olive-flanked Robin-Chat.

Activities: Day and night game drives, guided walks and mountain biking expeditions across the Plateau. Birding and fly-fishing are also available.

Accommodation: Chelinda Lodge provides a combination of rustic elegance and a wilderness experience that is unique to the region. The Lodge consists of 8 cabin-styled chalets constructed of stone and pine, with an en-suite bathroom, fireplace and an upstairs seating area and viewing deck. Fine dining can be enjoyed in the spacious main lounge or on the grand outdoor deck with incredible vistas. 

Days 5, 6 & 7: Chintheche Inn, Northern Lakeshore 

This morning, you will be transferred (around 6 hours) to Chintheche Inn on the central Lakeshore.

The drive: We retrace our steps to Mzuzu and then take one of Malawi's most beautiful roads: the windy descent to Lake Malawi at Nkhata Bay. Being the country's highest rainfall area, the countryside is particularly lush - even in the height of the dry season. Rural communities dot the surrounds and the steep, farmed slopes produce picturesque banana and cassava plantations mixed with patches of indigenous forest. We stop for a look at the famous port of Nkhata Bay and then head south along the lakeshore to Chintheche through rubber plantations, fishing villages, and the Kawalazi Forest Reserve, a remnant patch of lowland rain forest, where we may stop for some birding.

Area and Location: Chintheche Inn is situated on the central shores of Lake Malawi on what is acknowledged to be one of Malawi's finest beaches. Against the backdrop of the Viphya Mountains and patches of tropical rainforests, the white sandy beaches of Chintheche stretch for miles, broken only by small rocky outcrops.

Activities: A variety of mountain biking trails pass local fishing villages and markets. Village tours can be arranged to provide a unique window into rural life.

The gardens and surroundings of the Inn make for relaxed birding, while a wide assortment of watersports are available, including kayaking, snorkelling and boat rides. Scuba diving and horse riding are also available at nearby Khande Beach. Nearby Bandawe Mission provides a glimpse into the area's colonial past.

Accommodation: Accommodation is available in ten brightly furnished en-suite rooms that are comfortable and draw inspiration from local materials and crafts. Each room opens out onto the beach and there is a welcoming reception and dining area with a bar. Meals can be taken indoors or outside in the gardens, by the swimming pool or on the beach.

Day 8: Transfer to Lilongwe International Airport 

After an early breakfast, you will connect to a 4-5 hour road transfer back to Lilongwe. We will ensure that you arrive at Lilongwe International Airport in time to connect to your onward flight connections.

Landscapes of Malawi includes:

Accommodation on a per person sharing basis, all meals from dinner on Day 1 to the end of the scheduled safari, road transfers as specified,
National Park fees, safari activities at Chelinda Lodge and non-motorised watersports at Chintheche Inn.
Landscapes of Malawi excludes:
Drinks throughout, laundry, motorised watersports at Chintheche Inn, activities at Luwawa, all personal purchases (including curios, spirit liquors, telephone calls, etc.) and gratuities.
1. Please note that various policies apply to each safari in terms of age limits, number of guests required / accommodated, arrival / departure times, luggage allowance, additional overnights required etc. Please ensure that you are aware of these when booking onto a safari or contact us for further details.
2. If a single guest is willing to share and we can match with another guest of the same gender, the single supplement will not be charged. However, if there is no suitable match, the single supplement surcharge will apply.


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