Camping at Chelinda, Nyika Plateau





Results 1 to 19 of 19
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Madikwe Game Reserve
    Age
    33
    Posts
    9
    Thanked: 2

    Default Camping at Chelinda, Nyika Plateau

    Hi everybody,

    I'm new to this great community, so it's possible this question has been answered many times before.

    I'm heading up to Malawi in a week's time and am trying to find out about camping in Nyika Plateau National Park. Potentially any time in the next month or so.

    I have looked up camping in Nyika a few times and keep coming up with Central African Wilderness Safaris and see no mention of camping. Only chalets, etc.

    Even if I don't get a spot this time, it would be great to know if there is still camping up there and if so, rough cost and who to get in touch with for bookings.

    Cheers & thanks

    Dave

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Cape Town
    Age
    63
    Posts
    10,078
    Thanked: 2601

    Default

    Hi Dave, there is a camp site at Chelinda with rudimentary ablutions, but perfectly adequate. If it gets too cold (and it gets bloody cold up there) you can also book into one of the cottages/chalets/houses (there is a variety of accommodation). If you want more info, send a PM to Itchyfeet (Lisa) who worked up there for a couple of years. There are theoretically also some wild outlying campsites and cottages, but it depends on the present state of management as to whether or not they are in operation.
    The Nyika is one of Africa's most special places, so please go there, it needs support.
    Vwaza Marsh, at the base of the Nyika and close to the entrance, is also a special place, with magnificent birding and a small elephant population. RE the Nyika, it is well worth reading Laurens van der Post's "Venture to the Interior" before heading up there. Lovely stuff, even if the old man was a bit of a bull duster.
    Last edited by Tony Weaver; 2015/12/22 at 11:26 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Chantilly, North of Paris France
    Age
    70
    Posts
    826
    Thanked: 1

    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Weaver View Post
    Hi Dave, there is a camp site at Chelinda with rudimentary ablutions, but perfectly adequate. If it gets too cold (and it gets bloody cold up there) you can also book into one of the cottages/chalets/houses (there is a variety of accommodation). If you want more info, send a PM to Itchyfeet (Lisa) who worked up there for a couple of years. There are theoretically also some wild outlying campsites and cottages, but it depends on the present state of management as to whether or not they are in operation.
    The Nyika is one of Africa's most special places, so please go there, it needs support.
    Vwaza Marsh, at the base of the Nyika and close to the entrance, is also a special place, with magnificent birding and a small elephant population. RE the Nyika, it is well worth reading Laurens van der Post's "Venture to the Interior" before heading up there. Lovely stuff, even if the old man was a bit of a bull duster.
    +1 (for both Chelinda and Laurens Van Der Post)..

    Cheers..

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Cape Town
    Age
    63
    Posts
    10,078
    Thanked: 2601

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by eric60260 View Post
    +1 (for both Chelinda and Laurens Van Der Post)..

    Cheers..
    Thanks Eric, and Dave, I doubt you need to make any bookings. Be aware that it is theoretically rainy season (theoretically, because El Nino has thrown everything out of kilter) so you could have some interesting driving, but the roads in the Nyika are generally rocky rather than muddy, so you should be fine. Some of the most beautiful pictures I have ever taken have been looking west off the Nyika towards the Luangwa Valley with thunder clouds building. Check it out!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Gordons Bay as a base - travelling Africa
    Posts
    2,740
    Thanked: 92

    Default

    Chelinda is beautiful.

    The ablutions are ok, boiling hot water.
    At the nights it can be cold, its 2000 m high.

    The light is out of this earth. That together with Zebra, Roan etc.

    Some pics

    And don't miss Livingstonia.

    Tip for camping is the Lukwe Eco Camp
    Last edited by Southerndreams; 2015/12/23 at 01:44 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Pretoria
    Age
    64
    Posts
    465
    Thanked: 74

    Default

    What Tony said.

    If you're into bird watching, there are plenty specials on Nyika Plateau. I'm not sure if it's still operational, but they had a cottage in the Juniper Forest which is well worth staying at if you want to explore the forest (Bartailed Trogon, Oliveflanked Robin, etc). We camped there and used the cottage's ablutions.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Madikwe Game Reserve
    Age
    33
    Posts
    9
    Thanked: 2

    Default

    Hey thanks everyone,

    That's awesome, Ja super-keen for the scenery & birding. Ok so I'll try Itchyfeet, we'll probably just take a chance and see what happens regarding accommodation.

    Thanks a heap

    Appreciate the swift feed-back.

    Cheers
    Dave

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    UK
    Age
    50
    Posts
    461
    Thanked: 19

    Default

    As far as I know the campsite is still operational (it certainly was a few months ago). You'll have it to yourselves at this time of year. It doesn't surprise me it doesn't appear on CAWS website, it isn't really what they're selling. If you want to be sure send them an email or give them a call (although frankly if you just turn up they won't stop you camping there). Cost of camping is probably still $10pppn. The chalet accommodation is pretty expensive and the lodge prices even more so.

    The state of the road up is very changeable. There have been times when it's been impassable in the rains and even our 4WD tractor had problems sometimes but these are very much the exception. You should be fine. However allow plenty of time, it can take 6 hours from MZuzu in the wet. They will not let you through the gate at Thazima if they don't think you have enough daylight to get to Chelinda and it's 60km (1.5-2 hours) from there so I'd plan on being at Thazima gate at least 3 hours before sunset.

    Make sure you have enough fuel for the trip. I would fill up in MZuzu and then top up again in Rumpi if fuel is available. Fuel is really precious up there (it all has to be hauled up in drums on the back of a pick up) so guests running out may not find any for sale at any price.

    I have heard reports of campers being told they're not allowed to self drive. It may be better not to ask the question... Be aware though that there are only ever a handful of people up there and if you get stuck then no one is likely to be passing anytime soon. I'd think about leaving a note back at your tent saying where you've gone and when you left if you plan on exploring much beyond the plantation.

    If I can be of any more help feel free to drop me a line. It is a truly wonderful place, quite unique and well worth the effort of getting there.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Gordons Bay as a base - travelling Africa
    Posts
    2,740
    Thanked: 92

    Default

    Hi Lisa, nice to hear from you. Or is it Jerry?

    Do you know who manages Nyika now?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    UK
    Age
    50
    Posts
    461
    Thanked: 19

    Default

    Hi Beetee,

    Good to hear from you too! Hope you and Fred are both well.

    The tourism concession is still with CAWS and they have a South African couple managing the lodge and chalets now who've been there 6 months or so. I can't recall their name now but I believe he used to guide up in KZN.

    (Dave if you take a few South African delicacies with you for the managers you'll probably get treated like royalty!! I know from experience the shopping in Mzuzu is VERY limited).

    Best wishes to you both for Christmas and the New Year.

    Lisa and Jerry

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Gordons Bay as a base - travelling Africa
    Posts
    2,740
    Thanked: 92

    Default

    Yeah we are fine, planning some trips in the future. At this stage Mana Pools combined with Liuwa Plains.

    (Dave you must know that Jerry and Lisa managed the Nyika Park for a year, so they know the area quite well. We met them a few times while they travelled Afrika and we also travelled Southern and Western Afrika)

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Madikwe Game Reserve
    Age
    33
    Posts
    9
    Thanked: 2

    Default

    Hi Lisa, hi Beetee,

    Thanks for all the info. Really appreciate it all. Can't wait to check out Nyika!!
    Sorry, haven't had signal for 2 days, just got now in Livingstone, Zambia. Hopefully will get to Nyika in the next 6 days or so and will definitely top-up fuel before heading up to the Plateau.

    Cheers & Happy New Year soon, & a belated Christmas!!

    Will let you know how it went when we're back in SA.

    Dave

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Madikwe Game Reserve
    Age
    33
    Posts
    9
    Thanked: 2

    Default Re: Camping at Chelinda, Nyika Plateau

    Hi guys,

    Thanks for all the helpful info regarding Nyika. We've just returned from our holiday to Zambia & Malawi via Botswana. I'll have to type up a full report and post it on the Malawi & Zambia sections.

    Just a few quick notes, firstly, both countries were fantastic & Nyika was one of the highlights (my personal highlight of the trip). We got some great birding and game viewing in and the landscapes and forests were incredible!!

    The new manager at Chelinda camp is Paul, from St Lucia in KZN, RSA. Unfortunately I didn't get his surname or his wife's name. Very helpful guy and seemed to be settling in nicely (I think they've been then for 6 months). The day we arrived, there were already 3 camping couples at the Chelinda campsite, but Paul said we were welcome to grab a spot in the camping area and then more to a shettled campsite once one of the couples had moved on, we did this and it worked out great. The camp attendant took great care of us, cleaning up and making us a fire, and keeping it going when needed. The second night, it was just ourselves and another couple, and the last night another couple arrived. So it was fairly well occupied, despite the time of year.

    I'll post more info once I've been able to collate everything. Thanks to everyone for all the great help.

    Cheers
    Dave

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Pretoria
    Age
    40
    Posts
    37
    Thanked: 19

    Default Re: Camping at Chelinda, Nyika Plateau

    Quote Originally Posted by Jameson RRR View Post
    The new manager at Chelinda camp is Paul, from St Lucia in KZN, RSA. Unfortunately I didn't get his surname or his wife's name. Very helpful guy and seemed to be settling in nicely (I think they've been then for 6 months).
    Thanks for the pointer, Dave. Looks like his name is Paul Kilham (http://cawsmw.com/index.php/caws-wel...amp-and-lodge/). I look forward to meeting him when we head up there in a couple of weeks.

    Rudi

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Pretoria
    Age
    36
    Posts
    55
    Thanked: 5

    Default Re: Camping at Chelinda, Nyika Plateau

    Hi guys

    Will July generally be too cold for camping at Chelinda?

    Keep in mind it is my honeymoon so I will be snuggling....

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Gaborone
    Age
    69
    Posts
    6,751
    Thanked: 959

    Default Re: Camping at Chelinda, Nyika Plateau

    I am booked for August and camping, but in case the cold will go into the bones, you can always upgrade to the bush camp which means chalets.
    Confirmed that with the managers.
    Kalahari Safari
    ORRA Call: WB58 | ICASA ZRF430
    Nissan Patrol GU TB45
    | Nissan Safari GU TD42 | B'rakah 4x4 Trailer
    E34 - 535i for a bit of nostalgia
    E39 - 540i for the open roads

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Cape Town
    Age
    63
    Posts
    10,078
    Thanked: 2601

    Default Re: Camping at Chelinda, Nyika Plateau

    Quote Originally Posted by WernsKriel View Post

    Will July generally be too cold for camping at Chelinda?
    It will be bloody cold. Take along plenty of fleece blankets.
    Tony Weaver

    1991 Land Rover 110 Hi-Line S/W 3.5l V8 carburettor
    Cooper Discoverer STT tyres, four sleeper Echo rooftop tent
    2012 Mitsubishi Outlander.

    Previously Land Rover 1968 SII, 1969 SIIA, 1973 SIII, 1983 Toyota HiLux 2litre, 2006 Land Rover Freelander TD4 HSE.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    UK
    Age
    50
    Posts
    461
    Thanked: 19

    Default Re: Camping at Chelinda, Nyika Plateau

    As Tony says it will be cold. You often get a ground frost. But it will be spectacular. In the colder months the game congregates around the plantation (where the camp is) so lots to see. You can see big herds of eland, roan and zebra on a walk from the campsite. Spectacular time to be there.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Gaborone
    Age
    69
    Posts
    6,751
    Thanked: 959

    Default Re: Camping at Chelinda, Nyika Plateau

    Just returned from Chelinda, pleasant weather and good temperatures during the day, but as night falls the wind is picking up and blows the mist into the mountains so bu morning everything is dripping wet.
    Sun appears around 10:00AM to dry out any wet tents or clothes, so sleep in and get out of the sack by that time.

    Had low temps of 5-7 degC at 8:00 PM from about 20 degC during afternoon.
    Plenty of pine wood is supplied by the camp so no need to freeze, just pack the warm jacket and a beanie .
    Last edited by Kalahari Safari; 2016/09/04 at 08:18 PM.
    Kalahari Safari
    ORRA Call: WB58 | ICASA ZRF430
    Nissan Patrol GU TB45
    | Nissan Safari GU TD42 | B'rakah 4x4 Trailer
    E34 - 535i for a bit of nostalgia
    E39 - 540i for the open roads

Similar Threads

  1. Electrickery for camping
    By Elders in forum Camping, Fridges, Accessories
    Replies: 1240
    Last Post: 2019/10/08, 09:23 AM
  2. Modify old Venter trailer to use as a camping trailer
    By thejester in forum Trailers, Caravans, Towing etc
    Replies: 54
    Last Post: 2018/03/01, 09:45 AM
  3. Replies: 538
    Last Post: 2014/01/11, 10:19 PM
  4. Is all this possible with a small 2wd car?
    By Pikasso in forum Botswana
    Replies: 39
    Last Post: 2012/09/26, 03:00 PM
  5. Replies: 809
    Last Post: 2012/09/18, 09:49 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •