Chelinda Camp offers guests a truly African alpine experience. Located at high altitude on the Nyikia Plateau within the Nyika National Park in Malawi. Overlooking a crystal-clear dam with panoramic views of rolling hills, isolated ridges and open high-altitude grasslands, Chelinda Camp has access to rich pockets of wildlife endemic to this region.
Accommodation at Chelinda Camp consists of two options. There are four chalets which have two bedrooms, a bathroom, a lounge, a dining area with a fireplace and a small kitchen. Chelinda Camp chalets are ideal for private groups with their own guide. There are also six rooms with twin beds and en-suite bathrooms (either bath or shower) which share a dining area, and a bar and lounge area complete with luxurious furnishings and an inviting fireplace.
Activities at Chelinda Camp revolve around day and night nature drives which explore the rolling hills and patches of evergreen forest of the Nyika Plateau. Nature walks and mountain biking are also very popular. For the enthusiast, there is also the option of fly-fishing for trout.
Birders will be pleased to know that some 400 bird species can be found around Chelinda Camp.
Nyika National Park
Chelinda Camp is located within the 3 134kmē Nyika National Park, today Malawi's largest park. It is a wild, untouched and remote upland area, boasting the distinction as being the only big game Afro-montane area in south central Africa. The vistas in Nyika National Park are as immense as they are incredible - with high-altitude grassland the most obvious feature of the Nyika Plateau. Isolated hills and ridges, evergreen forest pockets bursting with endemism add further character to the rolling hills. Extensive patches of broad-leafed miombo woodland dominate in the lower altitudes. In summer, Nyika is a botanists' delight with masses of wild alpine flowers: including 11 localised orchid species, exquisite dieramas, gladioli, protea and kniphofia.
From a game viewing perspective, a variety of animals can be seen around Chelinda Camp - particularly in the famous Nyika Grasslands. Numbers and species vary depending on the time of year. Nyika National Park harbours important populations of roan, eland, Crawshay's zebra, southern reedbuck, bushbuck, warthog, spotted hyaena and side-striped jackal. Elephant can be seen at times and leopard can be seen in the daytime owing to the temperate climate. Birders visiting Chelinda Camp will gain access to the approximately 400 bird species which occur in the Nyika National Park. With many highly restricted distributions, Chelinda Camp remains a key birding destination in Africa. Easily seen specials include Red-winged Francolin, Pallid Harrier, Augur Buzzard, Mountain Cisticola, Mountain Marsh Whydah, Blue Swallow (seasonal: August to April) and Denham's Bustard.
The Chelinda Pine Plantation
Planted as an agricultural experiment in the 1960s, the Chelinda Pine Plantation is located in the centre of the Nyika Plateau. Both Chelinda Camp and Chelinda Lodge are situated on the edge of this forest, with the trees serving as both a windbreak and source of firewood & timber in this grass-dominated environment. These non-indigenous trees are slowly being cut back under a government-orchestrated project and the grasslands will ultimately be rehabilitated. Plans are to keep a core forest remaining around the Nyika National Park headquarters as the pines are not invasive and do not threaten the integrity of the ecosystem. In some way they will continue to add to the overall ambience and experience of the high plateau at Chelinda Camp.
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