Ntchisi Forest Reserve and the surrounding hills offer some of the best hiking in the country. Guests can choose to do a short stroll in the forest, a hike for a few hours or a day-long hike with an accompanying picnic. There are trails to cater for any taste, age and physique. We have created an extensive network of marked trails in the reserve which you can tackle on your own with one of our detailed maps, or you can bring one of our guides who explains you all about the rainforest.
Ntchisi Forest Reserve is ideal for bird watching and has already attracted interest from several field museums and researchers. The reserve offers both easily accessible brachystegisa forest and grassland and more challenging rainforest habitats. Many rare birds can be seen from the lodge terrace, while soaring eagles regularly add to the view from the garden. You could easily spend weeks birdwatching at Ntchisi alone and still discover new species.
Orchids & Botany
The rainforest is a haven for orchids, and the rainy season (November-April) is particularly good if you want to see them in bloom. But it’s not just the rare orchids that attract botanists to the area. The rainforest offers a myriad of entangled plants growing at all levels of the forest, while the surrounding submontane forest and grassland offers a contrasting habitat. The rainy season is also the time to enjoy the array of wildflowers in the bush. The scenery changes entirely with the seasons – the otherwise brown, scorched bush suddenly bursts with green life within days of the first drops of rain falling – the transformation of the landscape is simply amazing.
Although we are pleased to be located at an altitude too high for all but the hardiest mosquito, there are plenty of interesting insects, spiders and butterflies to be found in the rainforest and bush, if you know where to look. There are enough species of butterfly in the lodge gardens to excite even the most experienced researcher. Safaris don’t all have to be about the Big 5, as the forest is teeming with life at the smallest level, including many species with interesting behavioural patterns and disguises. Even if you prefer to steer clear of nature’s smaller creatures, you may still appreciate the amazing colours and variety of butterflies we get in our garden alone.