Bonamanzi Game Reserve Hot
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Bordering the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, Bonamanzi Private Game Reserve is one of the Zululand Birding Routes best locations that boasts an impressive species list of around 350 bird species, that includes Pink-Throated Twinspot, African Broadbill, Rudd’s Apalis and Southern Banded Snake-Eagle.

Bonamanzi is a Natural Heritage Site covering 4000ha that is bordered by Lake St Lucia, providing a relaxed environment to explore the regions sand forests and their many endemic species, the coastal grasslands and Lala Palm savanna.

The wetland areas provide for excellent waterbirds and where game of numerous species comes down to drink. Walking trails, game drives and boat trips add to being able to properly cover the reserve and maximize on the birding and photographic experience. 



Best Time to Photograph
Dawn to mid-morning is when birds are most active in the forest. Late afternoon is also a good time for game-viewing.
Type of Photography
  • Landscape
  • Birds
  • Game
  • Insects
Best Time of Year
Throughout the year
Photographic Tips
Sand forest birding and photography may be difficult due to low lighting and dense vegetation, but sitting patiently at the viewing points can be rewarding. It is also worth making use of the local guides who know where best to locate specific species. Walking the birding trail at dawn is particularly rewarding
Recommended Gear
Mid to long range telephoto lenses together with cameras with high ISO ratings are recommended. Tripods and flashes are also suggested.


Season and Weather
Summer months can be extremely hot and humid and afternoon thundershowers can be expected. Winter weather is more pleasant with cool temperatures and more stable weather patterns.
Other Activities
  • Birding
  • Boat trips
  • Game Viewing
  • Walking


Closest Town
Getting There
Lying approximately 250km north of Durban, the Bonamanzi Game Reserve is reached by heading of the N2 and passing through the town of Hluhluwe and then turning south at the T-Junction and traveling for six km along a gravel road to the entrance. Access is restricted to residents
Bonamanzi Game Reserve


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Peter Chadwick
Author: Peter ChadwickWebsite: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
As a dedicated conservationist, Peter Chadwick has 30 years strategic and operational conservation experience in terrestrial and marine protected area management. He has worked within all of the major biomes in southern Africa as well as having provided expert conservation advice at a global level. His conservation and wildlife photography is a natural extension to his conservation work where he has numerous opportunities to capture photographs that showcase the beauty and complexity of the outdoors. Peter’s photography is internationally recognized, with this work appearing globally in a wide range of print and electronic media.