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.
One of the largest elephant translocations in human history took place during 2016/17 with 500 elephants being brought in to Nkhotakota. Over half, that number was 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.