THE ANCIENT PATHWAYS OF AFRICAN ELEPHANTS
After years of human destruction, African elephants are rediscovering their old migratory routes. Here are the best places to witness their movements.
With 1,800 square kilometres of rugged, inhospitable terrain, laced with crystal clear rivers falling down the edge of the Rift Valley escarpment, Nkotakota Wildlife Reserve is a magical natural haven.
However, Nkhotakota did not always paint this picture. Decades of poaching and habitat destruction reduced the once 1,500 elephants down to fewer than 100 individuals by 2015. Nkhotakota had become a vacant reserve with no value for surrounding communities.
After African Parks assumed management in 2015, the park has undergone one of the world’s largest wildlife translocations, taking in almost 500 elephants and 2,000 other animals.
With its largely untouched wilderness, Nkhotakota is ideal for travelers who desire an off-grid experience. Elephant, antelope, monkeys, lion, buffalo and the elusive leopard are known to inhabit this dramatic area of wilderness. Birdlife is particularly prolific with giant kingfishers and palm nut vultures among the 130 recorded species.
The best way to experience Nkhotakota is by walking safari or by canoeing down the Bua River from Tongole. Amongst vast expanses of miombo woodland with patches of tall grass and lush rainforest, you’ll spot lurking crocodiles, grooming monkeys, drinking elephants and African harrier hawks soaring above.
Nkhotakota is also a great fishing spot and we offer fly and freshwater fishing excursions where you might catch Chambo, Catfish and Lake Salmon. After your day of adventure under the Malawian sun, return to your lodge for a refreshing sundowner on your veranda overlooking the Bua River.
For adventurous visitors, experience an authentic bush dinner with wine before a ‘fly camping’ experience. Share stories with your guide around the fire while looking out for owls, before falling asleep under a blanket of stars to the lullaby of Malawian wilderness.
If your interest is general wildlife viewing, the dry season from May to October is best as vegetation is dry with easier sightings. The birdlife in Nkhotakota is excellent year-round, however the wet season brings swarms of migratory bird species, but also higher temperatures, mosquito activity and flood risk.