Bonamanzi Game Reserve is a Natural Heritage site located in Zululand, South Africa, and offers an impressive wilderness experience. With just under 10,000 acres, Bonamanzi is one of the largest privately-owned wildlife and birding parks in the region. Located next to the World Heritage Site of Lake St Lucia, the Game Reserve boasts an excellent location and is easily accessible from Hluhluwe, 15 minutes away. The Hluhluwe River forms the Eastern border and offers incredible biodiversity made up of sand forests, savanna and wetland areas. Bonamanzi is an easy three-hour drive from Durban and about an hour from the Golela border with Swaziland. Transfers can be arranged from the Richards Bay Airport.
Bonamanzi Game Reserve offers an incredible diversity of fauna and flora and makes for a wonderful outdoor experience. Considered one of the best birding destinations in South Africa, there are few places where guests can find 29 birds on the red data list. Over 349 bird species have been recorded in Bonamanzi Game Reserve, and the endangered sand forest protects special species such as the pink-throated twinspot, the lemon-breasted canary, and Rudd’s Apalis. River birds found along the Hluhluwe River include the Jacana, kingfisher, and Spurwing geese. During a game drive, safari-goers can expect to spot different antelope species, giraffes, warthogs, elephants, zebras, wild dogs, and hyenas. The lesser-known nocturnal animals are a treat and include the elusive leopard.
The best time to visit Bonamanzi Game Reserve is during the dry season between May and September. The vegetation thins out, and wildlife is abundant around available water sources. The dry season occurs during winter, which means it can get quite cold during a safari. During the wet season, which is from October to April, the climate is warm, the landscape is lush, newborns are around, and it is the best time for birding.
The Game Reserve offers a variety of safari activities for guests to enjoy. All activities are led by local Zulu guides with extensive knowledge of the surrounding fauna and flora. From birding adventures and boat trips to guided game drives and bush walks, there are plenty of opportunities to explore the African wilderness during a stay at Bonamanzi. For something truly unique, guests can enjoy an evening under the stars as they sit around a roaring fire and dine on delicious South African cuisine. Complete with Zulu dancing, this bush braai is a great way for guests to immerse themselves in the wild.
Bonamanzi Game Reserve boasts an excellent location and offers a variety of accommodation to suit any discerning safari-enthusiast. Accommodation ranges from air-conditioned tree houses and luxury chalets at the Lalapanzi Camp to the self-catering game lodge and the luxury Dinizulu Camp.
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