Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary Budget Travel


Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary lies in the beautiful Ezulwini valley, located in central Swaziland. It is the little mountain kingdom's oldest protected area and is entirely managed and owned by a non-profit trust. Ezulwini means "valley of heaven" and once you have been to this magnificent mountainous reserve you will understand why.

Swaziland's pioneering conservation effort, Mlilwane is also this landlocked African nation's most popular eco-destination, for both local visitors and international travellers. Mlilwane means "little fire" in isiSwati and is seen as the spark that ignites the greater conservation movement within the country. It lies south of the capital city of Mbabane and encompasses dramatic mountains and the large Usuthu forests.

Terrain, Fauna & Flora

The formerly mining and farming land of the 4560 hectare sanctuary encompasses a diverse range of habitats that is home to an extensive collection of animal species. No dangerous game species reside in this wilderness area, making it safe for walks and self-drives. The southern part of the park stretches over open grassland plains to the exposed granite peaks of Nyanyane Mountain. Nyanyane is also known as Execution Rock, due to its history as the execution site for dissenters by Swazi Kings of the past. The views from the top also happen to be spectacular. The southern part of the park is the main tourism hub. The northern stretches can only be accessed by guided Chubeka trails on horse back.

Mlilwane has a variety of wildlife big and small and the southern wetland system is the ideal spot to catch hippo and crocodile sightings as they laze in the sun. Swaziland has also recorded over 500 bird species, on a par with the number of different birds found in the Kruger National Park, making it a prize birding destination.

Activities in Mlilwane

Mlilwane is an outdoor lover's paradise. Well loved for its horse trails through the incredible mountains and valleys, doing some pony trekking is an ideal way to get close and personal with the wildlife in a way that is eco-friendly and fun. Bike trails and hiking are also a very popular options for taking in the beautiful surroundings. Guests are invited to stay in a traditional Swazi homestead known as a Beehive hut and experience the culture and heritage of the proud Swazi people.

The Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary has a variety of accommodation options available, ranging from affordable self-catering or backpackers to the more indulgent luxury lodges. 

Mlilwane experiences summer rainfall, which helps cool the summer temperatures, reaching up to 40 degrees Celsius. Swaziland may be the smallest country in the southern hemisphere, but it makes up for its size in the warmth and overwhelming friendliness of its people. 


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