Not many people get to Malawi, and even fewer get up to Chelinda Lodge. However, those who do are rewarded with something rather unusual – a cosy alpine lodge overlooking the glorious rolling hills of the Nyika Plateau.
What’s Chelinda Lodge really like?
Chelinda’s pine chalets will be a familiar sight to those who’ve spent any time in the mountains of Europe or North America. The eight wood and stone cabins have pine floors, deep tubs for hot baths, and log fires in the evening. And while you are most definitely in Malawi, at this altitude you need a warm pair of pjs and a hot water bottle on chilly nights. One of the cabins is set up as a family room. The main lodge has a similar chalet-like feel, with glorious views out over the rolling hills, and a cosy dining room and lounge. This is most certainly not the “standard” African experience, and as a result tends to appeal to travelers seeking something a little different and off the beaten track.
What can I do at Chelinda Lodge?
The main activities at Chelinda are day and night nature drives. If you hadn’t already realised from our write up so far, this is not an average safari experience and you shouldn’t come with a checklist of the “Big Five” to tick off. Those who do are likely to be disappointed. However, there’s a huge range of antelope here, amazing birdlife, and the chance to see both leopard and spotted hyaena. You can also try your hand at mountain biking (we often find our belts straining at the buckle in Africa, so this can be a nice way to exercise) and catch and release trout fishing. Nature walks area also available on request.
Giving back at Chelinda Lodge: For each guest that stays at Chelinda, a levy is raised for community and conservation projects. These help to educate Malawian children about the natural glories on their doorstep, run tree planting programs, and support a school near Liwonde National Park.
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