When Norman English strolls around base camp at Nyika National Park he is in for a surprise. Two eland cows are happily grazing in camp, alongside a few staff members that are making lunch. The eland cows are so relaxed they even munch at a few of the discarded cabbage leaves! It is heartening to see as it reaches to the heart of the Peace Parks mission for Nyika National Park as well as other transfrontier conservation areas: to restore and rejuvenate the area so that wildlife and humankind can live alongside in harmony.
Malawi’s Nyika National Park is the country’s largest and oldest protected area. It consists of a large highland massif located on the country’s border with Zambia and includes mountainsides and footslopes covered in miombo woodland. When travelling from the entrance gate at the foot of the plateau towards the highest point in the park, it is remarkable to witness how the landscape changes from deep green forests to rolling grasslands boasting magnificent antelope.
Included in the Global 200 Ecoregions, which comprises the most outstanding and representative habitats for biodiversity on the planet, Nyika’s high-lying areas are often shrouded in mist, giving them a unique appeal unlike the traditional big five destinations in other African conservation areas. The biodiversity in Nyika’s high-altitude moist grasslands, as well as the natural beauty of its wide-open spaces are awe-inspiring. During the ‘green season’ when rainfall is at its highest, the plateau transforms from golden grasslands into a botanist’s delight, with hundreds of different species of wildflowers in full bloom.
Peace Parks Foundation has a long history with this landscape, dating back nearly two decades when, together with the governments of Malawi and Zambia, the Foundation began exploring the conservation benefits and commercial opportunities that a peace park could offer to this region.
There is so much more to come for Nyika National Park. Keep following peaceparksTV.com to continue this incredible journey.