NYIKA NATIONAL PARK

ABOUT

Discover Nyika National Park and support the protection of endangered species during an eight-day expedition. Email placements@lilongwewildlife.org to find out the latest dates.

Nyika is Malawi’s oldest and largest national park. Situated in the north of the country, the park covers the whole of the Nyika Plateau, a unique upland with most parts lying about 2,000m above sea level.

‘Nyika’ means ‘where the water comes from’ as the plateau is an important water catchment area in Malawi. The park consists of rolling grassy hills, forested valleys and sheer escarpments which are home to over 400 species of birds and the highest leopard population in the region. Nyika is also home to herds of zebra, roan antelope and eland.

WHAT TO EXPECT  

Our monitoring in Nyika National Park focuses primarily on vultures – but you’ll also learn to track herds of zebra and roan antelope. Information collected is used to inform the park’s adaptive population management strategies – which means that you’ll make a direct difference to the protection and conservation of Malawi’s wildlife.

During the eight-day trip, you’ll spend time observing and recording vultures in a crucial breeding location – the data you collect will support our wider vulture conservation programme, which is helping to protect these critically endangered birds. You’ll also learn telemetry and GPS techniques to track zebra and roan antelope – all while exploring Nyika’s unique setting. The park is home to incredible birdlife so this trip is particularly special for bird lovers!

The immersive experience can be intense and requires early starts, long days and plenty of patience! You’ll also experience some truly unique moments as you learn more about the dynamics of groups and individual wild animals during your time in the park.

You’ll have some downtime to relax around the fire most evenings – listening to the sounds of the bush and chatting about the day’s events.

COSTS

£800 per person – includes transfers, food, accommodation, all activities. The cost excludes personal snacks and beverages.

ACCOMMODATION

In Nyika you’ll stay in shared rooms of two to three beds. Each room is equipped with a fireplace and its own bathroom. The rooms are situated next to a dam, ideal for bird watching or observing some of the local ungulates coming for a drink. The rooms have electricity for a few hours a day, and hot water will be available throughout your stay. Three meals a day are provided and we can cater for any dietary requirement mentioned prior to arrival. Please note that the rooms have poor mobile reception.

ITINERARY

Day 1
Morning: transfer from Lilongwe to Mzuzu
Afternoon: lunch in Mzuzu then drive to Vwaza
Evening: Health and Safety presentation; dinner and relax by the fire

Day 2
Morning: drive to Nyika
Afternoon: vulture and iNaturalist/GBIF presentation

Day 3
All day: vulture count at carcass

Day 4
Morning: vulture count at carcass
Afternoon: telemetry and GPS training

Day 5
Morning & afternoon: tracking zebra, roan and eland herds
Evening: vulture location checks; spotlight drive back to camp 

Day 6
All day: vulture location checks and tracking zebra, roan and eland herds
 

Day 7
Morning: drive to Mzuzu
Afternoon: uploads onto iNaturalist & GBIF
Evening: overnight in Mzuzu

Day 8
Transfer to Lilongwe

REQUIREMENTS

You don’t need any prior experience or qualifications to apply – just a passion for nature! The skills you’ll be using – such as telemetry and GPS – will be taught during the expedition. The only requirement is a fair amount of patience as we’ll be sitting in the same spot looking for vultures for long periods of time!

These expeditions are running with the kind support of Central African Wilderness Safaris.