Nkhotakota, to the east of the region and near the Lake, is one of the two large game areas in the Central Region. Its vast 700 sq miles (1800 sq km) is of rugged terrain crossed by a number of rivers which tumble down the edge of the escarpment as they make their ways to the Lake. Most of the reserve is miombo woodland with large patches of tall grasses and occasional areas of rainforest. This is 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.

The range of mammals is as good as anywhere in Malawi although the environment makes viewing difficult. Birdlife is prolific with giant kingfishers and palm nut vultures among the 130 recorded species. The last 2 years has seen the opening of brand new, professionally-run accommodation in Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve for the first time. Two lodges of international standards have been built: Bua River Lodge and Tongole Wilderness Lodge.