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Chelinda Lodge, Nyika National Park

Nestled into a patch of towering pine trees in Malawi’s scenic northern highlands, Chelinda Lodge looks out over the broad, wildlife-and-orchid-strewn grasslands of Nyika National Park.

The lodge is made up of eight rustic pine-wood cabins, two of which interconnect to form a family unit. Each has an ensuite bathroom as well as an open-plan bedroom, lounge and veranda, whilst the upper floor offers additional living space and a viewing area. The property didn’t neglect to fit each room with a fireplace to ensure a warm and toasty atmosphere even on the chilliest of highland nights.

Meanwhile, in the main communal area of Chelinda - connected to the cabins by raised wooden walkways - you’ll find a dining area centred around a crackling fireplace. The shared lounge opens onto a spacious deck where you can enjoy sundowners complemented by sweeping views of the park’s rolling hills - often traversed by large herds of zebra, leopard, roan and bushbuck. Activities include insightful nature walks (the area is home to one of Africa’s greatest concentrations of orchids) and wildlife-spotting game drives across the incredibly scenic Nyika National Park. The birding is superb with over 400 species recorded, as are the mountain biking opportunities with good gravel road networks throughout the park.  

Chelinda Lodge, at a glance

  • Exclusive, traditional log cabin style lodge located within Nyika National Park in Malawi’s idyllic northern highlands 
  • Overlooks the open grasslands, clear streams and forests of the High Nyika Plateau
  • Eight spacious, two-storey log cabins and one family unit 
  • Simple, cosy decor with writing desks, wing-backed chairs, fireplaces, ensuite bathrooms and upstairs viewing areas
  • Rooms are raised and connected by wooden walkways 
  • Meals can be enjoyed communally in the spacious main lounge or out on the deck overlooking the grasslands
  • Eco-friendly 

For leisure and pleasure 

  • Nature walks with professional guides 
  • Mountain biking through the park  
  • Game drives across Nyika National Park offering sightings of unusual species such as Crayshaw’s zebra and roan antelope
  • Night drives in closed vehicles in search of hyena, leopard and nocturnal birds 
  • Seasonal catch and release fishing 
  • Insightful cultural tours 
  • Great birdwatching on offer, with red winged francolins, pallid harriers and augur buzzard all to be spotted 
  • Swimming pool 
  • Small gym 

  • Gemma took on board all I asked for and arranged a fantastic itinerary. She was always prompt and professional both in planning the holiday and during the very circumstances of Covid. We would not hesitate to come back to The Ultimate Travel Company.

    TS, August 2020