Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Bonamanzi Private Game Reserve

The manned entrance gate to Bonamanzi Game Park

The Bonamanzi Private Game Reserve is located in Zululand,  east of the N2 and south from Hluhluwe Town, with the Hluhluwe River as its eastern boundary.  This looking out over the False Bay section of the Isimangaliso Wetland Park's Lake St Lucia. This game reserve is 4000 hectares in size and hosts a wide diversity of wildlife. Elephant, Rhino, Buffalo, Wildebeest, Zebra, Giraffe, Warthog, Nyala, Impala, Kudu, Suni, Red and Grey duiker. Hippo and crocodile in the river and rarely seen Leopard and Hyena. It is regarded as one of the finest birding destinations in Zululand, if not South Africa. Imagine 29 bird species on the red data listing with a total count of some 408 species.

Pink-throated Twinspot

With its biodiversity of Sand Forest, Savanna, as well as Wetlands, Bonamanzi Game Park was proclaimed a World Heritage site in 1995. The density of wildlife is prolific with seemingly some animal appearing around every corner. A photographer’s dream destination.

Amongst the forest and waterways Bonamanzi offers a variety of accommodation, in clean, well appointed units.

Bonamanzi Game Park Reception

There is a central ‘Main Camp’ with reception, with the Lalapanzi accommodation units, 

 comfortably appointed 2 sleeper brick under thatch chalets with air-conditioning, along with the Lalapanzi Combo units that can interlead and have a communal kitchen,

 private shower and toilet en suite. There is a barfridge and TV.

The veranda has seating with views over the picturesque nearby lake.

 a large multi-functional conference centre, with nearby smaller  conference facilities

a viewing / functions room overlooking a large dam,

The versetile functions / viewing room with bar and kitchenette if needed

one section of this Lake-side structure is air-conditioned'

A special place for sundowners

 the restaurant 

Bar with terrace and comfortable chairs


and a swimming pool 

and child play centre. 

The restaurant offers three meals a day, and in my opinion exceeded their 3 star status with excellent quality and presentation of the dishes. There appeared enough diversity in choice to satisfy most palettes. Breakfast is buffet style with your choice of egg preparation.

I can recommend their well priced and generous luncheons too.

 On Saturday nights a Boma  braai dinner is offered with additional entertainment from local Zulu folk with their skilled dancing and singing. Enjoy the traditional experience!

There are numerous satellite Lodges, ‘Tree houses’ and camp sites within the Game Reserve. Mail us on for more information on these

Game Lodge - 10 sleeper

Expansive veranda, views and swimming pool

One of the Main bedrooms

The two large 'main' bedrooms are in the right-hand-side structure

Tree Lodge - 6 sleeper

Dinizulu Lodge - 6 sleeper

Nyala Lodge - 18 sleeper

Tree Houses 2 and 4 sleeper

2 sleeper self-catering Tree House

Bonamanzi is some 25 minutes drive from the northern Memorial Gate entrance to the Hluhluwe Imfolozi Park. One is able to self-drive on the property or choose to go on a guided open vehicle game drive. There is the option too for their guides to take you to the Hluhluwe Imfolozi Park for a guided game drive in an open Safari vehicle, or drive yourself there.

This privately owned venue is well managed and has been continuously upgraded and maintained with Wi-Fi access and working utilities. The staff are particularly helpful and attentive.

Access to Bonamanzi Game Reserve is off the N2 on a short good gravel road and may be approached from the Bushlands glide off, or from the Hluhluwe town. Entrance is secured by an efficient gate guard access protocol.

There are a number of selfguided trails within the reserve and one may freely walk within the camp and accommodation units. One need always take care, but the elephant, rhino ands buffalo tend to keep to an area to the north of the game reserve, away from the public.

Bonamanzi Private Game Reserve offers possibly the most affordable good selfcatering accommodation in a real, reasonably sized wildlife environment, in the immediate Zululand area.

Photographs by Jeremy, Lana and Twane Williamson