Edit Blog Post
Published: July 25th 2010
For the weekend, the Lilongwe interns took the bus up to Mzuzu to join us for an adventure to the Nyika plateau national park. Earlier in the week, I arranged with one of the other professors ‘Edgar’ to rent an old LAND ROVER through his friend who used it to harvest tobacco. Edgar’s friend provided a driver who was also an experienced mechanic, and agreed to pick us up early in the morning on Saturday. When Saturday came around we woke up to an extreme rain downpour, which meant that all our baggage had to be thrown in the vehicle on top of eveyone already packed like sardines in a tin (ten people plus one driver is a lot in a Land Rover for a 6-7 hour drive). On the way there we got pulled over by the traffic police, which our driver bribed K 1500(10$) to leave us alone. Our second stop was in Rumphi , a small town at the foot hills of the plateau where we picked up some food for our trip and where I got too see my very first Baobab tree. Leaving Rumphi we embarqued on the twisty gravel roads, with many switchbacks up
and down mountains until we arrived at the park gates. Inside the park the gravel roads brought us through the Nyika plateau forest where up in the trees monkeys sat and stared at us driving by. The scenic forest soon turned into grass fields and large boulders covering the vast rolling hills were I spotted my very first herd of wild zebras and elands, both amazing animals. Everyone in the Land Rover took turns riding on the roof rack of the vehicle which offered the best view of all. Finally after a 6-7 hour drive we arrived at the Chilinda lodges¬¬; the only accommodations available in the entire park. Surrounding our lodge was a immense pine forest plantation and logging camp, which with the very cold temperature it made me think I was in Canada during the fall. The accommodations were quite an upgrade from our usual hostels; the lodge provided us with a cook and a cozy fireplace with logs burning as we walked and settled into our chalet. During the evening I planned our excursion for the following day and finished the night off with a beer, watching the soccer game. The next morning we got up bright and early and ate a big breakfast prepared by our cook. We hit the road to our first destination called the Chosi view point, located about 19km from our lodge. The point offered a beautiful glimpse of the rolling hills below and large boulders left there from the last glaciations. The following site we visited was the Nganda Peak, the highest point of the entire Nyika plateau (2607m). To get there we rode trough many rough tracks, those which the Land Rover was designed for. At the base of the Nganda Peak, we had to park the SUV and hike a half hour to get to the top. The top had an incredible view of all the mountains and hills as far as the eyes could see. The mountain tops were mostly covered in a dried brownish tall grass and the valleys dressed in vivid green forest and vegetation, the color contrast was all too surreal. After a half hour we descended back to our vehicle, from there we made a long four-hour way back to the park gates along the Malawi-Zambia border. It was a long drive back to Mzuzu from the park gates; however I was lucky to sit in the front seat this time!
Tot: 2.878s; Tpl: 0.067s; cc: 6; qc: 53; dbt: 0.0519s; 2; m:saturn w:www (18.104.22.168); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.4mb