Bongani, a full trip report

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10 years 8 months ago #4905 by Doug
Doug created the topic: Bongani, a full trip report
Myself and Karen, together with a colleague from her office, headed off too Bongani Mountain Lodge near Nelspruit.

We immediately hit the ususal heavy fog/mist but this did not detered.

We arrived at the entrance gate where you park your cars and headed up by open Land Rover too the lodge.

The lodge itself is set high up on a hill over lookign the valley of the 8000 hectare reserve.

View from the lodge balcony
What adds to the wild feel is the fact that at night, you may not walk around by yourself as the camp is not fixed. They say the regularly have buffalo, elephant and rarely even line in amongst the chalets. That first afternoon we were pleasantly surprised to see Nyala feeding in the reserve.

Nyala feeding in the camp

Amongst the birds heard and seen on the first day included Scarlet-chested Sunbird, Amethyst Sunbird, White-bellied Sunbird and Black-headed Oriole.

That evening we headed out on a rather chilly night drive and amongst other we saw Kudu, Impala, waterbuck, Giraffe and Rhino.

Giraffe with Red-billed Oxpecker

On the birding front we saw a range of species including Bataleur, Black-backed Puffback, Chinspot Batis, Red-billed Oxpecker and Common Scimitarbill roosting inside the hollow trunk of an old tree.

Common Scimitar-bill

The next morning we headed out early for a game drive again and this time we added Buffalo to our list, just waking up from an evening nap.

Buffalo, part of a herd

We then headed back to camp and I managed to get a relatively good shot of Yellow-breasted Apalis.

Yellow-breasted Apalis near the swimming pool

On the next evening drive we picked up some more birds including Fork-tailed Drongo.

Fork-tailed Drongo on the night drive

The highlight of the drive was a large heard of Buffalo wallowing in a riverbed and also elephant.

Fork-tailed Drongo on the night drive

As the evening progressed, the sunset became increasingly spectacular and we even asked the driver to stop for photographs.

African Sunset

The next day we went on another game drive and finally ghot what we were after and found a small pride of lions, including this young male.

Young male Lion

I finished off with some photoraphy in the camp and got the following species below.

Amethyst Sunbird

White-bellied Sunbird

Ashy Flycatchyer

African Dusky Flycatcher

Cape White-eye

All in all a marvelous weekend and just a quick thanks to all the people involved in arranging such a fantastic weekend away. Also compliments to all the staff at Bongani and to Sipho the most interesting and knowledgeable game ranger I have ever met with a slight lunatic edge to his amazing skills with the Land Rover.

Full animal list for the trip
White-tailed Mongoose
Vervet Monkey

Full bird list
Cattle Egret
Saddle-billed Stork
Hadeda Ibis
Jackal Buzzard
Natal Francolin
Helmeted Guineafowl
Laughing Dove
Cape turtle-dove
Emerald-spotted Wood-dove
Grey Go-away-bird
Fiery-necked nightjar
Brown-hooded Kingfisher
Striped Kingfisher
Common Scimitarbill
Greater Honey-guide
Crested barbet
Black-collared Barbet
Acacia Pied Barbet
Cardinal Woodpecker
Golden-tailed Woodpecker
Fork-tailed Drongo
Black-headed oriole
Pied Crow
Southern Black Tit
Dark-capped Bulbul
Terrestrial Brownbul
Kurrichane Thrush
Familiar Chat
White-browed Scurb-robin
Green-backed Camaroptera
Long-billed Crombec
Chestnut-vented Titbabbler
Yellow-breasted Apalis
Lazy Cisticola
Rattling Cisticola
Tawny-flanked Prinia
African Dusky Flycatcher
Ashy Flycatcher
Southern Black Flycatcher
Cape White-eye
Chinspot Batis
Striped Pipit
Yellow-throated Longclaw
Common Fiscal
Black-crowned Tchagra
Grey-headed Bush-shrike
White-crested Helmet-shrike
Black-backed Puffback
Cape Glossy Starling
Red-billed Oxpecker
Scarlet-chested Sunbird
Amethyst Sunbird
White-bellied Sunbird
Southern Grey-headed Sparrow
Spectacled Weaver
Pin-tailed Whydah
Swee Waxbill
Blue Waxbill
Common Waxbill
Bronze Mannikin
Yellow-fronted Canary
Black-throated Canary
Streaky-headed Seed-eater
Cape Bunting
Cinnamon-breasted Bunting
Golden-breasted Bunting

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  • Johan van Rensburg
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10 years 8 months ago #4913 by Johan van Rensburg
Johan van Rensburg replied the topic:
That Pentax is doing the business, Doug.

Great pix! Thanks for sharing.

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10 years 8 months ago #4914 by Doug
Doug replied the topic:
Thanks Johan

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