Contributor: Paul Kilham
Lying in the north of Malawi, Nyika Plateau is regarded as one of Africa’s most iconic areas of wilderness, and it is renowned as a park that is a key part of Malawi’s natural heritage. With the first few bursts of rainfall of the much-loved Green Season, this untouched and remote upland area transforms into a botanist’s delight and comes to life with lush shades of green and an endless array of colourful and vibrant hues. Over the course of the Green Season, guests visiting the plateau and embarking on safaris in Nyika National Park have the opportunity to go in search of hundreds of rare and endemic species of orchids and wildflowers, whilst taking in the breath-taking scenery and skylines atop the plateau.
Home to more than 200 orchid species, you can expect to see a spectacular display of bright and vividly coloured flowers blossoming across the plateau’s verdant highlands and montane grasslands. Of the 200 orchid species that occur on the plateau, five have been identified as edible species. Another seasonal spectacle on the plateau is the countless range of wildflowers that bloom steadily throughout the rainy season, adding to the splendour of the plateau’s vistas with their bright and brilliant colours.
During the Green Season, the highlands of Nyika Plateau also bear an abundance of lupins (wild peas), which serve as a valuable source of protein to the many herbivore species that inhabit Nyika National Park. Another interesting flora sighting that guests visiting Nyika can enjoy is that of Hagenia trees transforming to yield lush and furry leaves as they absorb extra water to carry through to the following dry season.
Green Season Facts on Nyika Plateau:
- Most of the orchid species that occur on the plateau are endemic to Nyika.
- Hagenia trees (scientifically referred to as Hagenia abyssinica) are flowering plant species that are native to the high-elevation Afromontane regions of central and eastern Africa.
- During the Green Season, the lush, high-altitude grasslands of Nyika Plateau yield an endless array of alpine flowers, ranging from rare, localized orchid species, to exquisite dieramas, gladioli, protea and kniphofia.
About Central African Wilderness Safaris:
Central African Wilderness Safaris (CAWS) is an ecotourism company that offers the finest quality safari experiences and the ultimate holiday getaways in Malawi, the warm heart of Africa. CAWS offers both up-market tailor-made luxury safaris as well as more affordable budget safari options. The company is dedicated to offering personalised and authentic travel experiences that have a minimal impact on the planet and a lasting impact on people.
Photo credits: Dana Allen
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