News from Bua River Lodge

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It doesn't always rain during the wet season!

A few clear days with showers at night. The air is scintillating, the colours unbelievable. The Bua River is full, but still sparkling. And the clarity of the late afternoons is just stunnning!

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With the advent of the rains each year, so arrive the fireflies. Insects of the forest edge they congregate in their thousands around the camp site, which to them, presumably, resembles the boundary of the woodland. For a week or so they appear in large numbers, flashing their chemically-illuminated tails in search of a mate. The spectacle is quite magical!

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The Rains have Arrived

The rains are here, bringing with them a flush of new green in the forest, crystal clear light and water in the river. Beautifully coloured butterflies, a multitude of beetles and other insects, including fireflies, an enormous variety - in size, shape and colour - of flowers, have all appeared in the space of a couple of weeks. Confused Kingfishers hover over the brown water of the river wondering where the fish have gone!

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More elephants visit the lodge

The latest visit from elephants, this time a group of 5 adults, one sub-adult and a calf. They stayed in the channel between the "mainland" and island, where fresh rainwater had accumulated in rock pools. The river is running brown with silt washed out of the farmland to the west of the Reserve, and elephants prefer clean water.

Sadly, one of the cows had a snare wound on one of her hind legs. She moved OK, but the wound was suppurating. We hope that soon anti-poaching patrols will put an end to this ...

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Whte-backed Night Heron spotted at Bua River Lodge

The elusive and nocturnal White-backed Night Heron has not been recorded before at Bua River Lodge. This individual was resting (and perhaps nesting) in the reeds across from Island A, from where this - not very clear, sorry - photo was taken

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We are getting more and more elephant visits during the day time. This small group of two cows and a calf have been regular guests over the past few weeks. In fact, they are coming a bit too close for comfort at times!

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Our guests were enjoying afternoon tea at the lodge yesterday afternoon, when this herd appeared out of the bush. Eight adults, two sub-adults and two calves, they fed for a couple of hours on the reeds in the river, seemingly quite unconcerned about the watching humans. Later that night, three came within 10 metres of my tent and this morning I had one feeding 5 metres away.

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Bua River Lodge access improved

We are delighted that the road from the tarmac to the Reserve gate has recently been graded. There is no need to worry that your saloon car won't reach the lodge!


Magical! Elephants in the light of the full moon. Our guests were enjoying a pre-dinner drink by the fire last night, when two cows and a calf emerged into the light of the full moon. While our guests ate their dinner the elephants quietly consumed theirs, just metre from the lodge. Apparently completely unconcerned, the elephants quietly moved into the reeds and, still clearly visible just 20 metres away, our guests sat and watched them from the Riverside Deck while drinking their coffee. Sorry, no photos. :( Well, it was dark!

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July at Bua River Lodge

It is beautiful now on the Bua. The river is clear and sparkling in the winter sunlight. The air is warm during the day and cool at night - cool enough for a log fire at the "boma". Walking safaris are seeing more and more animals - elephants, bushbuck, waterbuck and klipsringer - as well as the guaranteed crocs and baboons! The birds are becoming more active too - the beautiful Little Bee-eaters are a common sight in the reedbeds outside the lodge, our resident finfoot continues to put in the occasional appearance, fish eagles are calling and the solitary goliath heron is still around!

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Elephant visits to Bua River Lodge increase

We rarely see elephants in the daytime, so the visit we had from four and a very small calf the other day was very exciting! Four adults and a very young calf emerged from the forest on the north bank of the Bua. After a while, they crossed into the reedbeds in front of the lodge. They stayed in the beds, quietly feeding, not the least alarmed by the people watching. Eventually they moved into the forest between Riverside A and B then behind the camp site and eventually up behind the Lodge itself.

We are being visited more and more frequently by elephants and I like to think it is the effect of the Lodge itself that is encouraging them. They do not feel threatened and, because we have kept fire out of the lodge area for 4 years now, there are plenty of succulent young trees and bushes for them to browze on, not to mention the reeds. Long may they continue coming.

Inside Island B

Number One on TripAdvisor

Back to Number One for Nkhotakota on TripAdvisor! Please click on the link at the bottom of the page to see all our reviews.

Pel's Fishing Owl confirmed on the Bua

Finally, a sighting of Pel's near Nyankhoma Pool. Our guests were watching flocks of trumpeter hornbills and green pigeons feeding in a large fruiting tree beside the river, when their binoculars picked up this distinctive large owl.

The finfoot has also been in evidence again recently, as have black stork and palm-nut vulture.

Crossing the Bua on the all-day hike

Fifty Kilometres of Walking Trails opened.

We are delighted to announce that we now have over 50 Km of walking trails open within the beautiful interior of Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve. The trails cover long stretches of the Bua River, including waterfalls and rapids, quiet pools and magnificent gorges.

You can now also hike the Bvundikira Hills, north of the river, with magnificent views of the river, the reserve and the lake, an all day hike, with two river crossings!

Most of these walks can be booked on arrival but longer ones need prior booking. Contact us for more details.