Most of Nkhotakota is made up of miombo woodland with large patches of tall grasses and occasional areas of rainforest. At 1800 sq km, it is Malawi’s biggest game reserve and a wonderful example of true wilderness, which particularly attracts those who wish to enjoy a walking safari, fishing and climbing. The reserve is difficult to access because there are few roads or driveable tracks.
Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve’s heart is the Bua River valley, which bisects the reserve, tumbling from the high plateau west of Lilongwe to empty into Lake Malawi. Inside the reserve, the river has cut deep, rocky gorges, interspersed with quiet, tree-fringed pools, the haunt of some very large crocodiles.
The river is the breeding ground of the lake salmon or Mpasa as it is known locally. This fish is endemic to Malawi and provides excellent angling (strictly catch and release) particularly between April and June as the river starts to clear.
Nkhotakota is a wonderful example of true, unspoiled wilderness, which particularly attracts those who wish to enjoy a walking safari, fishing and climbing. It is less about the game viewing and more about nature.
Lake Malawi is very closely located eastwards of the park and is a short day trip away. The sparkling waters of this famous lake are home to an abundance of fish and offer some of the best diving and snorkelling in the world.
Nkhotakota town, which is situated in between Lake Malawi and the reserve carries a history of the old slave trade of the 19th Century. In those days, converting to Islam meant that one couldn’t be enslaved, which has resulted in the primarily Muslim faith in the area today.