The Nyika Plateau is the remotest part of a remote country. In the far north of Malawi, on the border of Tanzania and Zambia, rises the Nyika Plateau, a vast area forming the western flank of the Great Rift Valley. This geological formation splits East Africa in two, northwards up to the Horn of Africa and the Red Sea. In Malawi, much of the plateau is protected within a national park, the country's largest, covering some 2,000 square miles.
Here is a typical grassy valley high on the Nyika. In the foreground are golden grasses that feed the herbivorous wildlife such as zebra and bushbuck. Scattered here and there are granite outcrops (kopjes) that provide habitat for reptiles such as snakes and lizards. Along the valley bottoms sheltered from wind and cold are small groves and clumps of forest that provide islands of trees in the sea of grass.
Stretching off into the distance, the rolling hills of the Nyika wilderness reach to the horizon and beyond. The middle of the landscape lies in shadow cast by clouds that march across the sky. This is one of Africa's last remaining wildernesses.
"World beyond world we saw a tremendous, rolling, folding country, clean, golden, grass-covered."
Laurens Van der Post, Venture to the Interior 1952