Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve

Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve is situated in the east of Malawi, near the Lake. The Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve is the oldest park in the country and a beautiful example of wilderness. African Parks became responsible for this park and undertook the biggest elephant translocation bringing in elephants from Liwonde National Park and Majete Wildlife Reserve.

Wildlife of Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve

Nkhotakota used to have more than 1,500 elephants but, after years of poaching, less than 100 of them remain. This is one of the reasons why 250 elephants were moved from Liwonde National Park and 250 others from Majete Wildlife Reserve to Nhoktakota Wildlife Reserve, creating Malawi’s premier elephant sanctuary in Nkhotakota and restoring the park to its former glory. The Bua River is home to crocodiles and the birdlife in Nkhotakota is prolific with more than 280 bird species recorded.

Vegetation of Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve

Nkhotakota is a rugged terrain crossed by many rivers tumbling down the edge of the escarpment as they make their way to the lake. The main part of the reserve is Miombo woodland with patches of tall grass. The summit of Chipata Mountain is covered by an evergreen forest.

What to do in Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve

Walking safaris: Nkhotakota offers walking safaris. You will be accompanied by a guide and learn to read animal tracks, discover the medicinal properties of many types of indigenous plant life and explore unspoiled African wilderness.

Fishing (catch & release): There are many varieties of fish present in the river all year round. Common types of fish found in the river include: chambo, catfish, mpasa, nkholokolo, paper-mouth fish and redeye labeo. Please note: all fish are returned to the river.

Canoeing: Take to the water and see the animals from a different viewpoint.

Bird safaris: There is an abundance of birdlife in the park, although, visitors needn’t voyage from the lodge to observe the birds as they are plentiful around the lodges. However, for real enthusiasts, a bird safari provides the ideal opportunity to observe some of the most varied birdlife in East Africa.

Who is the park good for?

Nkhotakota is a true paradise for those who seek nature and landscapes as well as a bush experience. If you enjoy walking safaris and are not looking to see the big game and if you are a passionate about nature Nkhotakota might be the right destination for you.

Park entry fees

Fees for day visitors and vehicles are:

  • Malawi Citizen: MK450
  • Malawi Residents: US$7
  • Non-residents: US$10
  • All children under 12 enter: Free

Fees for vehicles entering the reserve are:

  • For vehicles weighing less then 2000 kg: US$3
  • Vehicles 2000-5000 kg: US$5
  • Vehicles over 5000 kg: US$15

Where to stay in Nkhotakota

Rafiki Safari Camp

Situated on the border of Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve, Rafiki Safari Camp is a peaceful and wild getaway. The lodge sits upon a small hill overlooking the bush, with the Bua River babbling away in the gorge below.

Bua River Lodge

Situated right on the banks of the beautiful Bua River and located within the Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve, this lodge is a peaceful and heavenly retreat.

Tongole Wilderness Retreat

Set in the relatively unknown and untouched Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve, Tongole is a sanctuary for luxury in the wild. Tongole focus on gentle walks, birding and canoeing.

Tours including this destination

Malawi South to North

22 days / 21 nights
Malawi

Conservation Malawi

11 days / 10 nights
Malawi

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