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Essential information

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Getting to Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve

The turnoff to the reserve's main gate is 10km north of Nkhotakota town. Public transport along the coast road north of Nkhotakota can you drop you at this turnoff, from where the gate is 10km away along a dirt track. You can walk to the gate, but you can't walk in the park unaccompanied. If you are staying at Bua River Lodge, SMS or email 24 hours ahead (don't call, because mobile reception at the lodge is bad) to be picked up from the turnoff (US$5 per person) or Nkhotakota (US$10).

Ulendo Airlink offers charter flights to the reserve from Lilongwe and Likoma Island (adult/child one way US$271/194 each; minimum two passengers). The airstrip is near Tongole Wilderness Lodge. Note that you are not guaranteed exclusive use of the aircraft. A more affordable option is to check the 'bid to fly' section of Ulendo Airlink's website and make an offer for a seat on one of the listed flights.

Getting around Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve

The reserve roads are mostly navigable in a 2WD car during the dry season, if a little steep on certain stretches. Car access is less assured during the wet season; in general, call ahead to check on road conditions. The very potholed Nkhotakota–Kasungu road passes through the reserve's southern section.

Health and safety

Insurance

  • Comprehensive travel insurance to cover theft, loss and medical problems is highly recommended.
  • Some policies specifically exclude dangerous activities such as scuba diving, motorcycling, skiing and even trekking: read the fine print.
  • Check that the policy covers ambulances or an emergency flight home.
  • Find out in advance if your insurance plan will make payments directly to providers or reimburse you later for overseas health expenditures.
  • If you have to claim later, make sure you keep all documentation.
  • Paying for your airline ticket with a credit card often provides limited travel accident insurance – ask your credit card company what it is prepared to cover.
  • Worldwide travel insurance is available at www.lonelyplanet.com/travel-insurance. You can buy, extend and claim online anytime – even if you’re already on the road.
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