North-east Zululand (Elephant Coast) – Bonamanzi Game Reserve
About the Birding
Bonamanzi Nature Reserve is a self-contained wildlife and birders’ paradise in close proximity to the Hluhulwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve and the Lake St. Lucia wetlands. The 4200-hectare reserve is widely regarded as one of the top birding destinations in South Africa, featuring a list well in excess of 390 species including many highly sought-after species. A detailed network of roads, tracks and walking trails traverse a diverse array of habitats including coastal forest, coastal grasslands, acacia savannah and palm savannah. Moreover, a range of accommodation options are available offering diverse activities including boat cruises and guided walks through the reserve.
About the Birding Site
The Zululand Birding Route in the KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa was the first of BirdLife South Africa’s avitourism projects and has now been running for nearly two decades. The specific objectives of this project were to promote birding tourism within northern KwaZulu-Natal, which in turn would assist in helping to conserve the birds of Zululand by giving them direct financial value. To date the birding route has trained and mentored over 35 community bird guides, making considerable progress in developing the birding infrastructure within the region.
Other Related Information
Head north from Durban along the N2 for approximately 280km, passing both Richard’s Bay and Matubatuba. Take the Bushlands/Bonamanzi off-ramp and turn right. Follow this road past Bushlands; about 10km from the off-ramp, the Bonamanzi gate is sign-posted.
Notable points of interest include the:
Main gate: -28.0729, 32.2853
The nearest towns to Bonamanzi Game Reserve are:
St Lucia: 62km
Richard’s Bay: 93km