Lilongwe, July 25:Director of Tourism in the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Tourism, Isaac Katopola on Monday concurred with concerns raised by Malawians that the road that leads to Nyika National Park needs urgent rehabilitation if facilities that are found at the park are to be fully utilized.
Recently, CNN Travel named Nyika National Park which is the largest park in Malawi as one of the most amazing places to travel to Africa, citing that the park is one of the most beautiful and unusual places in Africa with a plateau cut by numerous rivers that reach Lake Malawi by waterfalls off the eastern edge of the mountains.
In an Interview with the Malawi News Agency (Mana) Katopola said an area of tourism attraction is fully utilized when it has all the necessities that allow tourists to feel comfortable when they visit the plaace.
“The road to Nyika National Park is in a bad state and only vehicles that have strong tyres can reach the area. This is a huge problem in terms of travelers that wish to visit the place, as not everyone has access to such vehicles hence the urgent need to rehabilitate the road,” Katopola said.
He added; “There is an aerodrome at Chelinda that tourists use when they travel by plane to Nyika but it is unreliable because not everyone has access to a plane.”
A group of Malawians called friends of Nyika Plateau recently raised their concerns on the bad road network to Nyika national park and poor accommodation found at the area.
Chairman of the group Moses Mhango said it was a shame that only international tourists visited Park because they have what it takes in form of high class vehicles that are specially designed to travel in rough roads living Malawians that have ordinary vehicles unable to visit the park.
“Nyika is one of the best places that Malawians can travel to with their families but the road at the park is bad and accommodation there is also scarce and expensive if found, something needs to be done urgently if the place is to be enjoyed by domestic and international travelers,” he said.
Katopola said the department of tourism has raised the concerns to Government because the rehabilitation of roads is done by department of public works. He added that Nyika national park can bring in foreign currency if the road can be improved.
He said government has plans to rehabilitate the road from Rumphi to Chitipa but funding was the only hindrance to the plans.
According to www.malawitourism.com Nyika National Park which is in northern Malawi and is the largest park with an area of not less than 1250 square miles (3200 sq km), extends across the great plateau which is essentially a granitic dome and its environment is different from any other in the whole of Africa. Nyika is wonderful for trekking and mountain biking, the vegetation attracts large numbers of antelopes from diminutive duiker to eland and roan. The park has one of the highest densities of leopards in Central Africa.