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Chelinda Lodge

Nyika Plateau, northern Malawi

Situated on the high northern plateaus of Malawi, Chelinda Lodge is a luxurious escape, surrounded by rolling hills, lakes and streams, and with a good variety of wildlife to spot from your game drives and walks.

At a Glance

  • Explore on foot with you guide to find the huge herds of Roan Antholope and Eland which live on the Nyika Plateau

  • The orchids on the Nyika Plateau are breathtaking

  • Climb Fingera Rock for the ultimate view across the Plateau

  • Explore the vast Nyika Plateau - said to resemble the Lake District - and spot some of its resident wildlife

  • Wide open spaces and great hiking and biking

  • Enjoy the one-of-a-kind scent from the pine forests as it drifts down in the early evening, scenting the air

  • In the evenings curl up in front of a roaring log fire in Chelinda's stunning main lodge, before a delicious supper

Off the beaten track, Adventure, Couples, Wildlife

Insider's View

Take a walk across the rolling hills with your guide, spotting vast herds of eland as you go, before returning to the lodge for Amarula coffee in front of their roaring log fire!

Anna Hearn

Insider's View

Try your hand at fishing in the dam

Louisa Ross-Taylor

Call us on 858 345 1761 to start planning your vacation to Chelinda Lodge or take a look at our itineraries to Nyika Plateau and northern Malawi


Malawi is dotted with rolling plateaus, the most famous and largest of which is the Nyika Plateau, found in the far north of Malawi. The Nyika National Park, at an altitude of around 2,500m, is a beautiful vista of rolling hills, dotted with over 250 species of orchid, many other wild flowers and punctuated with vast granite outcrops, small streams and waterfalls.

The plateau is also known for its pine plantations – vast swathes of bottle-green, towering trees, their rich scent drifting downwards in the early evening. The game here is easily visible – herds of zebra, eland, reedbuck and roan, with occasional (but becoming more frequent) sightings of leopard, spotted hyena and the elusive several. Last time we stayed we found a juvenile leopard hidden in a gully, surrounded by yellow flowers and clearly waiting for his mother to return from her hunting trip.

The birding is superb here as well with many owls making their home in the pine forests, and notable species such as the Bar-tailed Trogon, Malawi Batis, and the colorful (and noisy!) Schalow's Turaco.

Chelinda Lodge is situated in the lee of a large pine forest, with sweeping and, seemingly, never-ending views across the plateau. The lodge is beautifully constructed from stone and timber and the rooms and main area resemble Swedish log chalets. Each room has a large open plan living area and bedroom, with plenty of windows to enjoy the view. In the evenings, when the temperature drops, log fires are lit, scenting the rooms with pine.

Chelinda’s activities include game drives across the plateau – these can return to the lodge for lunch or take all day – walks, and fishing in the dam. The lodge also produces its own honey (utterly delicious!) and the food is excellent.

We suggest a stay of three nights here to really explore the area and take in some of the panoramic views.


Chelinda Lodge has eight pine log chalets spend along the end of a pine forest all with fabulous views. Each chalet has a fire place. There is a mezzanine viewing deck upstairs which can also be used for children. Two of the chalets interconnect to form a family unit.


Activities at Chelinda include nature drives to discover the wonders of the Nyika National Park, informative walks, birding, and mountain biking.

Location & Directions

Nyika Plateau, northern Malawi

Chelinda Lodge is situated in the 2607m high Nyika Plateau in the Nyika National Park, a vast, untouched, beautiful wilderness area, home to eland, roan antelope zebra, reedbuck, bushbuck, klipspringer, duiker, warthog, bushpig and blue monkey.

When to go

Malawi has a moderate to sub-tropical climate with three distinct seasons: from November to March is the rainy season, April to July is Malawi's winter, when the weather is cool and dry, and August to October is summer, when the weather is hot and dry. In terms of game-viewing, the dryer months, meaning a higher concentration of game at the permanent water sources, are a superb time to visit. Alternatively come for some superb bird-watching at the end of the rains.

Best time to Visit

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Call us on 858 345 1761 to start planning your vacation to Chelinda Lodge or take a look at our itineraries to Nyika Plateau and northern Malawi

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