Nyika National Park (NNP) is Malawi's largest national park with an an area of 3200 km2, covering almost all of the Nyika Plateau and km2 ranging in altitude from 2440 m in the west to 2135 m in the east. NNP includes a unique montane ecosystem of grasslands and rainforest. The plateau's elevation creates a moist habitat that hosts a variety of orchids and wildlflowers throughout the year. The escarpments and northern hill areas are composed predominantly of Brachystegia woodlands and Protea scrub.
Draining the Nyika plateau the main perennial rivers are the North Rumphi, Chilinda (Rumphi), Runyina and North Rukuru. Originating from broad grass-covered dambos on the plateau, they have cut wide and deep valleys. There is only one natural lake on the plateau, Lake Kaulime near Chilinda, formed by a landslide which blocked one of the headwaters of the North Rukuru.