This privately owned game reserve and safari lodge is widely recognised as one of the best birding destinations in Southern Africa. Lake St Lucia and the Hluhluwe River give Bonamanzi its Zulu name, meaning "Look, Water!". Its 4000ha teams with game, and one of Bonamanzi's special features is that it provides a safe and interactive bush experience in which you can walk or drive, with or without the company of a trained field guide. To see the Big Five animals, the famous Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game Reserve is a short 20 minute drive away.
A wonderful climate prevails all year long with splendid summers and warm winter days. Set your own pace as you absorb the peaceful sounds and spectacles of three adjoining eco-systems: coastal grassland, tropical forest, and woodland. Comfortable accommodation and every facility is available to ensure that your stay is a pleasant one, be it a peaceful getaway for couples or families, or conference or wedding parties. And there are plenty of activities from horse riding, boating trips, game drives to relaxing at the pool to ensure that your every whim is catered for.
Bonamanzi is easily accessible, being just a few hours drive from the Durban airports as well as the Golela border post with Swaziland, and perfectly situated to explore the splendour of this heavenly part of the world. Come, and experience Zululand's warm and friendly hospitality at its finest - we'd love to share it with you.
At Lalapanzi it?s quite common to find a herd of impala sleeping outside your cottages and skittish warthog families amble around the camps all day long. Guests can watch birds and crocs from a wonderfully relaxing viewing lounge built over the dam. Lalapanzi can accommodate 52 guests and consists of 26 thatched en-suite, air conditioned chalets, all with 2 beds with private verandas. Included are family unit style chalets with inter-linking doors. The camp is situated around the picturesque Lalapanzi watering hole, with some of the units cradled by the endangered sand forest, all within easy walking distance from the Lalapanzi restaurant and swimming pool facilities.
A communal lounge and bar area raised on stilts overlooking a picturesque dam provides guests with excellent bird viewing opportunities. View the nimble Jacana bird close-up as it walks around the lily pads in the dam, or cool during the hot summers days in the Lalapanzi swimming pool. There is also a children?s play ground which keeps the youngsters busy as this ?family friendly? camp.
Tree Houses and Lodges at Bonamanzi Game Park
Enjoy the adventure of sleeping in a tree house. Nothing beats being lulled by nature ? waking to birdsong or watching bush babies scuttling in the trees at night. Bonamanzi offers 2 bedded tree houses and 4 bedded family units, all air-conditioned and complete with en-suite bathrooms, fully equipped kitchen, barbeque area and verandas.
The two-person, self-catering air-conditioned units have a fully equipped kitchen and living area with an en-suite bathroom. The raised sundeck offers guests a panoramic view of the birds amongst the trees and the animals that roam freely underneath the novel tree units. For newly weds a secluded tree house can be decorated and furnished for the couple?s first night after the wedding.
Friends and family groups can book the totally private Game Lodge with its own pool or Tree Lodge with its spectacular views over False Bay, both of which sleep 6 comfortably.
The self-catering Tree Lodge consists of three 2-bed tree houses joined together along with its own private living area with sundeck, braai area, fully equipped kitchen and satellite TV. The Tree Lodge has spectacular views amongst the tree tops where rich bird life and game frequent the watering hole in sight of the deck.
The Game Lodge is very popular with families or holiday groups. This lodge comfortably provides self-catering accommodation for 6 people with a fully equipped kitchen and satellite TV. The camp comprises of two twin-bed, air conditioned bedrooms and 2 single rooms with ceiling fans. The Game Lodge has it?s own private swimming pool where you will often find the warthogs and tame species of buck grazing.
Luxury Dinizulu Camp at Bonamanzi Game Park
Located off the beaten track this luxury air conditioned self-catering unit offers accommodation for 6 people in three separate thatched huts with en-suite bathrooms.
The ?more than comfortable? living area offers a spacious lounge and dining area with satellite TV, a built in bar, fully equipped modern kitchen and outdoors entertainment deck and braai area. The veranda is situated overlooking the Dinizulu lake where your will quite likely see a fish eagle circling and where you can sit and watch the sun set over the bush. The sparkling pool provides a relief during the long summer days. Dinizulu Lodge operates on a self-catering basis but optional catering can be booked if guest may prefer to enjoy meals at the Lalapanzi Restaurant.
Camping at Bonamanzi Game Park
Our Wilderness caravan and camping site allows you to be part of the wilderness being situated in the bush amongst the birds and safe game. These spacious sites offer superb ablutions, hot and cold running water and 220V power supply points. There are communal cleaning and braai areas for guests, with each campsite catering for a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 6 people.
Backpackers are welcome to come and stay in out new backpackers lodge with a fully fitted kitchen and bathrooms.
Bird Safari at Bonamanzi Game Park
Bonamanzi Game Park is one of the top birding spots in South Africa. Enjoy birding cruises down the Hluhluwe River and guided walks through three different eco-systems. If you?re a casual birder, all you need is walking shoes and a dollop of enthusiasm while serious birders can look forward to unusual sightings.
There are few places where you can find 29 birds on the red data list and Bonamanzi has over 349 recorded bird species. The endangered sand forest area is home to very special birds like the Pink-throated Twinspot, Lemon-breasted Canary and Rudd?s Apalis.
Guides take you out on boat cruises down the Hluhluwe River while you drink in the scenery and idly watch the world go by. Its a wonderfully relaxed way of identifying birds like the African Fish Eagle, African Jacana, Spur-winged Goose, Grey Herons, Collared Sunbird and the vivid Malachite Kingfisher and there's also a good chance of spotting Hippopotamus and Nile Crocodile. More energetic but equally rewarding, is a guided walk out onto the St Lucia Floodplains where you can see different birding habitats, rare birds like the Rosy-throated Longclaw and a whole host of waterbirds like Greater Flamingo, African Spoonbill and Great White Pelican.
Birding Walks at Bonamanzi Game Park
Bonamanzi is consistently rated one of the top birding sites in South Africa.
Three different habitats of sand forest, grasslands and woodlands have resulted in a rich diversity of species and it is because of the special nature of the area that Bonamanzi was recognised as a Natural Heritage Site in November 1995. There are few places where you can find 29 birds on the red data list. Bonamanzi has over 349 recorded bird species. The endangered sand forest area is home to very special birds like the Pink-throated Twinspot, Lemon-breasted Canary and Rudd?s Apalis.
Some of the Birds you can expect to tick off your list during your stay at Bonamanzi:
- Great White and Pink-backed Pelicans
- Black-winged Lapwing
- Cape and African Yellow White-Eye
- Gorgeous, Orange-breasted and Grey-headed Bushshrike
- Three species of Longclaw ? Yellow, Cape and Rosy-throated
- Three Robin-Chats ? Red-capped, White-throated and White-browed
- Two Scrub-Robins ? Eastern Bearded and White-browed
- Nine Weavers species
- Nine Flycatcher species
- Ten Swallow species
- African Pygmy-Goose
- African Cuckoo Hawk
- Collared Pratincole
Boat Cruises at Bonamanzi Game Park
Bonamanzi Game Park is one of the top birding spots in South Africa. One the unique qualities of Bonamanzi Game Park is the fact that we have such a water front, hence the name Bonamanzi which means, ?see the water?.
One of our most popular activities is our boat cruise where you enjoy a leisurely trip down the Hluhluwe River spotting jacana, kingfisher, crocodiles, spurwing geese and a whole host of river birds and animals. The boat trip activity also includes two short games drives to and from the river Hluhluwe.
Snack and refreshment breaks are part of all the activities at Bonamanzi and during the boat cruise one will have the opportunity to sit and reflect on the banks of the river Hluhluwe, sipping a glass of sherry, whilst watching the sun set over Lake St. Lucia.
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Our Famous Bush Braai at Bonamanzi Game Park
Do make a point of booking for the Bonamanzi Bush Braai (BBQ) during your stay. Guests meet at the Lalapanzi camp to be escorted down to the water?s edge of Dinizulu Lake where you are met by a candle-lit path leading to an array of local foods and smell of meat on the braai. Served by candlelight, you sample local delicacies and venison dishes, savour South African wines and linger with other guests around the campfire.
Due to the organization required, there is a minimum number of guests required to lay on the Bush Braai. Please enquire when making your reservation or at reception when checking in.
Game Drives at Bonamanzi Game Park
Bonamanzi Game Drives in open land rovers are offered at sunrise and sunset and at other times throughout the day, depending on guests? needs. Bonamanzi has many different antelope species, elephant, hippo, crocodile, giraffe, warthog, wildebeest, zebra, wild dog, hyena and a world famous collection of birds.
For something quite different, book the night game drive when you can see the lesser-known nocturnal animals and maybe catch a glimpse of the elusive leopard. There?s a good chance that you?ll see the hippos down at the marshes by the river Hluhluwe and lake St.Lucia. Snack and refreshment breaks are part of all the activities at Bonamanzi and there is nothing quite as pleasant as watching the sun set over Lake St Lucia with gin and tonic in one hand, biltong, cheese and biscuits in the other.
Guided Walks at Bonamanzi Game Park
At Bonamanzi, no guided walk is the same; one day you could sight elephant, the next you will find out why that fruit is called the black monkey orange or why the beetle rolls its dung.
Our experienced local guides will walk you safely through the bush, whilst explaining all you wish to know about the wildlife and vegetation. A close encounter with the giraffe is often possible and the guides will pass on all the tales and folklore about the bush.
Muthi" is the Zulu word for medicine. The Zulu people believe very strongly in natural cures and antidotes for anything from a stomach ache to a broken heart. On our walks you will find out how the Ilala palm is used to make beer, learn how the Fever tree got its name or discover which tree bark cures hay fever.
Guests can also enjoy guided walks out onto the floodplains leading into Lake St Lucia where your ranger will lead you to the habitat of rare birds like the vividly coloured Pink Throated longclaw and you can view pink-backed flamingos, spoonbills and pelicans.
Walks can be arranged for 1 ? hours to 5 hours depending on hour keen a walker you are.
Conference and Event Facilities at Bonamanzi Game Park
The biggest headache for conference organisers is finding a place where people aren't going to head off on their own in small groups. It?s really important to forge a group spirit with no outside influence. That?s what makes Bonamanzi so ideal - top class facilities and loads for delegates to do in their leisure time.
At Bonamanzi we understand that there is nothing worse than sitting around all day in conference, eating and drinking and feeling sluggish after getting no exercise for two or three days. So to keep your group bright eyed and responsive during the day, we lay on plenty of energetic and enjoyable activities.
Bonamanzi Game Park - Hluhluwe Umfolozi Reserve
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