COUNTRY: South Africa
AREA: Zululand and Maputaland
Idyllically located in the heart of Zululand in Northern KwaZulu Natal, South Africa, is the privately owned 4000ha game reserve, Bonamanzi Game Park, widely recognised as one of the best birding destinations in Southern Africa. Bordered by the World Heritage site, Lake St Lucia, and with the Hluhluwe river running through this magnificent piece of paradise, it is easy to see why Bonamanzi lives up to its Zulu Name: "Look! Water!"
Bonamanzi Game Park, a private South African game reserve, safari lodge and natural heritage site, is also one of the largest private wildlife and birding parks in Zululand. With over 4000 hectares of pristine African bush to explore, each day is different - whether on a game viewing safari, sighting rare African birds, tracking elephants or joining in with the Zulu dancers around the campfire.
Bonamanzi Game Park offers you an array of facilities and accommodation to suit most needs. Accommodation ranges from comfortable 3-star chalets on the Lalapanzi camp to 3-star luxury, private Dinizulu camp, which both include breakfast and dinner. Then there are always Bonamanzi's well-known self-catering tree houses where one is really in touch with nature and able to completely unwind.
Bonamanzi also caters for you whether you feel like doing business in the bush with our Conference and Event facilities to having the wedding of your dreams in the African wild. Whatever your need, Bonamanzi will do its best to make sure your stay is one to remember.
Accommodation at Bonamanzi Game Park ranges from comfortable 3-star chalets (with meals included) to self-catering lodges, to fully equipped camping facilities.
Lalapanzi Camp: 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.
This accommodation includes catered for breakfasts and dinners.
Tree Houses and Lodges: 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.
You'll enjoy spectacular views of the birds amongst the trees and the animals that roam freely underneath your unit.
This accommodation is self-catering.
Game Lodge: 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 its own private swimming pool where you will often find the warthogs and tame species of buck grazing.
Luxury Dinizulu Camp: 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 you 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: Our Wilderness caravan and camping site are 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.
This accommodation is self-catering.
Roughly translated from Zulu, Lalapanzi means ?"ome and relax here". At the Lalapanzi camp you will find the Out of Africa style Lalapanzi restaurant which offers a sumptuous buffet to cater for all tastes. Dinner, bed and breakfast is included in the rate for those who book to stay in the Lalapanzi camp but the restaurant is open to bookings from anyone staying in self-catering and the general public. At the Lalapanzi restaurant a light lunch menu is also available.
One of the main attractions of the Lalapanzi camp is the simply stunning viewing lounge built on stilts overlooking a large watering hole, where you can enjoy birds and crocs. Sitting there at sunset with a gin and tonic listening to the deafening sound of frogs is a moment you will never forget.
Candlelit bush braais in the middle of the indigenous forest near Dinizulu Dam are a real treat. Enjoy crisp linen and silverware, bubbling potjiekos, good wine and local venison delicacies all served by candlelight. Bush braais are normally on Saturday nights and by arrangement on weekdays, weather permitting. Bush braais are quite often arranged together with a night drive.
Bonamanzi Game Park is perfectly positioned, close to Hluhluwe, the heart of Zululand. A scenic three-hour drive from Durban. Access to this self contained Wildlife and Bird Sanctuary are extremely easy with good tarred roads and only a small section of dirt road which will take visitors to the entrance of Bonamanzi. The quality of all the roads on Bonamanzi are good. The N2 highway which is only 6km from the entrance of Bonamanzi gives visitors easy access to Empangeni (98km), Mkuze(62km), Umfolozi Game Reserve (80km), Hluhluwe Game Reserve (22km), Charters Creek (37km), Cape Vidal (100km) and Sodwana Bay (106km)
Bonamanzi is located in a low-risk malaria area. All rooms have a cordless plug-in mosquito destroyer.
In terms of the best time of year to visit, any time is good because Bonamanzi is a true all year round destination. The weather is almost always warm. Hot, humid days are broken by brief rain showers in the summer months of November, December, January and February. Winter months are mild and dry and you can walk around in a T-shirt and shorts during the day.
All activities at Bonamanzi Game Park are under the escort of experienced local Zulu guides who know the bush and its secrets intimately. Their passion for sharing legends, folklore and bush experiences is enthralling. Understandably, one of the most popular activities is a boat cruise, a leisurely trip down the scenic Hluhluwe river, spotting a host of river birds.
Other activities offered at Bonamanzi include:
What to do in the Hluhluwe area? Bonamanzi borders the False Bay section Lake St Lucia World Heritage Site. This unique network of inland lagoons reaches its widest point at the coral reefs of False Bay. The False Bay park includes a sand forest where plant life grows on an ancient dune ridge resulting from a coastline formed in the crustaceous era about 14 million years ago. False Bay is home to pelican, flamingo, saddlebills, spoonbills, crocodiles and hippo.
Also close to Bonamanzi Game Park are Zulu villages where you can experience the culture, traditions, craft and music of local Zulu people and sample local dishes at well established restaurants. There is a wide variety of top-quality Zulu craft for sale at a number of craft and curio shops. This includes functional art and decor like beadwork, traditional pots, wood-carvings and woven mats. Basket weaving with the Ilala palm and dyes from roots and berries has been revitalized into an art form winning international recognition.
How can you fail to be creative when you are in the middle of Zululand's untamed wilderness? Bonamanzi Game Park can host small executive conferences. The variety of venues are fully equipped and can accommodate up to 20 delegates boardroom style and 40 delegates cinema style.
Conference accommodation is at the Lalapanzi Camp, where impala and warthog roam freely and guests can watch bird, crocs and hippo from a stilted viewing lounge overlooking the dam. Air-conditioned cottages are en-suite with private verandahs. There is an Out of Africa style restaurant and pub or the option of a bush braai by candlelight served by the water's edge with the sounds of nocturnal animals all around. Top management can book into the exclusive 6 bed lodge at Dinizulu for an additional supplement.
Teambuilding at can be arranged at Bonamanzi by Beach and Bush Adventures, one of South Africa's top corporate teambuilding and event organising operators.
Teambuilding activities can be as energetic or relaxed as you desire - there are dozens of options available, and we can even tailor-make an experience exclusively for your organisation.
Accommodation rates are available on enquiry.
Extra Mattresses and extra cots can be hired at a nominal fee per night.
Enter your name and email address and we’ll get back to you!