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. Birdlife is prolific with giant kingfishers and palm nut vultures among the 130 recorded species. This is a wonderful example of true wilderness which particularly attracts those who wish to enjoy a walking safari, fishing and climbing. In the past the reserve proved difficult to access because of the lack of roads or driveable tracks. Although there were animals in Nkhotakota, the terrain and difficult access made them difficult to find. However, the management of the reserve passed into the hands of African Parks in 2015 and they have already begun carrying out their plans to protect and further develop Nkhotakota. One of the largest elephant translocations in human history is taking place during 2016/17 with 500 elephants being brought in to Nkhotakota. Over half that number were successfully moved in 2016, as part of a total influx of over 1500 game animals. A sanctuary has been established and the reserve is being fully fenced to ensure the long term survival of all the animals in this rapidly developing reserve.
Recent years have 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.