Stealth Safaris

On Horseback

Oct 15, 2001
Outside Magazine

As your horse lopes across the high grassland of Malawi's Nyika Plateau, your approach is likely to flush out a clutch of roan antelope, reedbuck, zebra, or eland. Or head south toward the rocky peaks of Vitinteiza and Mwanda, where klipspringers bound like pogo sticks over stony ground. Much of the great treeless plateau in the country's far north is unlike any other landscape in Africa—bare as the Scottish moors or the rolling grasslands of Montana. It's the site of 3,000-square-kilometer Nyika National Park, Malawi's biggest, where the upland wildlife is staging a comeback after having lost numbers to local poachers and cooking pots.

There are few roads across the plateau and vehicle traffic is restricted in the park, so the best view of Nyika is from the back of one of David Foots' fine thoroughbred or Boerperde horses. Foot can tailor a trip to suit from two to six novices or experienced riders. You'll set out from the chalets of Chelinda Camp, then stop at remote safari camps (walk-in tents, bucket showers) along the North Rumphi and North Rukuru rivers. You'll cover a lot of the landscape on the seven- and ten-day trips, which cost approximately $200 per night per person, including accommodations, meals, horses, and equipment (airfare not included). Call Equitour at 800.545.0019;

Filed To: Malawi

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