Mlilwane is ideal for: Outdoor Enthusiasts • Families • Day  Outings • Educational Groups • Conferencing and Events • Camping & Backpacking • Overlanders • Swimming • Stunning Restaurant

Welcome to Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary

Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary is Swaziland's pioneer conservation area and a beautiful, secluded sanctuary situated in the Kingdom's Ezulwini Valley, 'Valley of Heavens'. Located between Mbabane and Manzini, 24hr gate access is offered to the Sanctuary (except initial check-in which must occur before 6pm) enabling guests to enjoy the neighbouring tourist hubs of Ezulwini and Malkerns with their many unique attractions and craft shops.

 

The name 'Mlilwane' ('Little Fire' in siSwati) was derived from the numerous fires started by lightening strikes on the Mlilwane Hill but now holds significance as the little fire that started a big conservation movement in Swaziland resulting in the saving of over 22 species from local extinction across the three reserves.View Mlilwane's Fauna Species List.

 

The Sanctuary covers 4,560 hectares and comprises of a southern and northern section. The southern section's grassland plains stretch up to the striking Nyonyane Mountain with its exposed granite peak known as the 'Rock of Execution'. All of Mlilwane's accommodation, dining and activity options are concentrated in this southern section of the park, with the exception of guided trails which enter the pristine northern section.

 

Stay in a wide range of accommodation (Camping, Beehive Villages, Rest camp Huts, Self-catering cottages, the affordable Sondzela Backpackers and the luxurious Reilly's Rock Hilltop Lodge), enjoy the sanctuary's nature by foot, horse, mountain bike, self-drive or guided game drives to name just a few of its many activities, and savour a delicious meal at the popular Hippo Haunt Restaurant overlooking an exceptionally picturesque pool teaming with birdlife or one of the parks other dining options. Just fancy relaxing? Sit back, enjoy the resident game walking by or cool off by taking a dip in the rest camp's swimming pool.

Accommodation at Mlilwane

From R90.00

Camping at Mlilwane Rest Camp

Mlilwane's value-for-money camping ground is situated under an impressive, mature Eucalyptus forest with demarcated campsites. Each site has a Braai/BBQ Area while select sites have water and electricity points. An ablution Block is nearby.

The Campsite is within easy reach of camp's swimming pool, Hippo Haunt Restaurant, Activities Center and Braai/BBQ area. 

 

Relax in a tranquil environment and admire the continual stream of animals such as impala, warthog and nyala walking between the facilities, quietly tolerant of human presence. Or if you're feeling more adventurous, walk, mountain bike, horse ride or take a self-drive/expert-guided game drive amongst the game.

 

Watch out for the inquisitive warthogs - keen to share your lunch!
 
Please note camping is also available at Hlane Royal National Park.

 


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From R345.00

Beehive Villages

Traditional beehive architecture has been adopted to offer and authentic flavour of Swazi culture.

The grass dome-shaped huts are arranged in semi-circles, all semi-enclosed by traditional Swazi reed fencing. Simple yet comfortable, they are all en-suite, contain beds, a small table, bedside light and fan. 

 

Relax in a tranquil environment and admire the continual stream of animals such as impala, warthog and nyala walking between the facilities, quietly tolerant of human presence. Or if you're feeling more adventurous, walk, mountain bike, horse ride or take a guided game drive amongst the game.

 

Roan Village

  • 15 twin en-suite huts.  Being the original village, these huts are smaller with lower doors.

Nyala Village

  • 2 family huts (double & 2 singles in same room)
  • 2 triple huts
  • 10 twin en-suite huts.  

Blesbuck Village

  • 14 twin en-suite huts.  
  • Being the most recent village, the huts are wheelchair friendly with higher doors.

 


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From R345.00

Rest Camp Huts

The Rest Camp Huts were the first accommodation offered on Mlilwane, made en-suite in latter years. These huts are located in the central Rest Camp area near the Hippo Haunt Restaurant and within easy reach of the Swimming Pool, Activities Center and Braa

Mlilwane Rest Camp is found in the southern corner of the reserve where tall indigenous trees, all grown from seed, now overlook a wetland system which is home to hippopotamus, crocodile and a variety of water birds including visiting fish eagles.

 

6 Huts are available, with 2 beehive huts in the central Rest Camp area:

 

  • Rest Camp Double Huts (4 x double Rest Camp Huts: 1 room, 1 double bed, en-suite)  
  • Rest Camp Family Hut o 2 Family Huts (1 room en-suite, 1 double and 2 singles in each)  
  • Rest Camp Beehive Twin Hut o 2 Beehive Huts (1 room en-suite, 2 singles in each)


Relax in a tranquil environment and admire the continual stream of animals such as impala, warthog and nyala walking between the facilities, quietly tolerant of human presence. Or if you're feeling more adventurous, walk, mountain bike, horse ride or take a guided game drive amongst the game.


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From R375.00

Self-Catering

Situated in the greater Mlilwane Rest Camp, a selection of self-catering cottages overlook the scenic Mhlambanyatsi River valley. All units are within walking distance of the Swimming pool, Activities Centre and Hippo Haunt Restaurant. Room Only or B&B

Mlilwane Rest Camp is found in the southern corner of the reserve where tall indigenous trees, all grown from seed, now overlook a wetland system which is home to hippopotamus, crocodile and a variety of water birds including visiting fish eagles.

 

The following self-catering cottages are available:

 

Shonalanga Family Cottage

  • 2 rooms - 1 double & 4 singles
  • 1 bathroom
  • Lounge/dining area
  • Large veranda
  • Kitchenette
  • Private braai area 

 

Lontweni Double Rondavel

  • A single rondavel with open-plan bedroom and kitchenette
  • 1 king-size bed
  • En-suite
  • Shared Braai area

 

Lontweni 3-person Rondavels

  • 2 open-plan en-suite rondavels alongside each other
  • Each is a single rondavel with open-plan bedroom and kitchenette
  • Each sleeps 3 people (1 double, 1 single in one room)
  • Private Braai area 

 

Relax in a tranquil environment and admire the continual stream of animals such as impala, warthog and nyala walking between the facilities, quietly tolerant of human presence. Or if you're feeling more adventurous, walk, mountain bike, horse ride or take a guided game drive amongst the game.

 

 


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From R80.00

Sondzela Backpackers

Located within Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary is Sondzela Backpackers, which offers a wide range of excellent value accommodation in stunning surroundings with its own Swimming Pool, Bar, Laundry, DSTV & Games Room exclusively for travellers visiting Swazila

Located within the malaria-free Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary, Sondzela Backpackers is the WILDest backpackers in Swaziland. After wrestling the resident Ostrich for your spot by the pool or becoming at one with Zebras on horseback you'll understand why.

 

Facilities include:

 

  • Rondavels, Private Rooms, Dorms & Camping
  • Communal TV Lounge, Kitchen & Laundry Area
  • Games Room & Hog & Wart Bar
  • Swimming Pool within Stunning Garden
  • Great-value Home-cooked Venison Dinners
  • FREE Shuttle to and from Malandela's Restaurant & Internet Cafe
  • FREE Entry with Wild Card

 

A safe and peaceful base to chill in Swaziland, guests can also take advantage of Mlilwane Rest Camp's wide range of activities or take a Big Game Day Tour to its sister reserves, Hlane Royal National Park and Mkhaya Game Reserve which are only 1.5hr away.

 

VIEW ALL SONDZELA ACCOMMODATION OPTIONS

 


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From R890.00

Reilly's Rock Hilltop Lodge

Situated within Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary is the up-market Reilly's Rock Hilltop Lodge which offers secluded luxury accommodation and includes Mlilwane park entry fee, dinner, bed and breakfast.

Located within Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary, Reilly's Rock Hilltop Lodge is surrounded by the Royal Botanical Gardens featuring the Gilbert Reynolds Memorial Aloe Garden, threatened and endangered antelope and abundant birdlife.

 

Reilly's Rock, the former home of Mickey Reilly, is steeped in history and features six rooms, as well as an additional self-catering 7-sleeper cottage 'Down Gran's Cottage' also situated in the botanical gardens.

 

Wander the hillside trails, view the game, which includes Blue Duiker and Suni, or relax on the terraced lawns and take in the spectacular views. Begin the day with a pre-adventure breakfast on the sun deck. In the evening, share stories and sundowners around the campfire, followed by a dinner prepared and served by friendly Swazi hosts and don't forget to say hello to the resident Bushbabies. 

 

Please note no children under 13 are permitted at Reilly's Rock.

 

For full details on all accommodation options and further information, please visit the Reilly's Rock area of the website.



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Activities at Mlilwane

From R130.00

Mountain Bike Hire (per hour)

Hire a mountain bike to get up close and personal to Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary's rich flora and fauna. Bikes are well maintained and available at Mlilwane Rest Camp Reception.

Mountain Biking in Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary is a popular game-viewing activitiy along a series of trails and roads.

 

Enjoy a gentle hourly ride along the plains or a 3-4 hour mountain bike trail into some of the most beautiful mountains in Swaziland.

 

Guests are also welcome to use their own mountain bike at no extra charge or guided mountain bike hire is also available.

 

Mlilwane is also the home of the extremely popular annual Nedbank Swaziland's Imvelo MTB Classic mountain bike race which draws cyclists from afar. The event offers marked trails of different distances and levels of difficulty to ensure that everybody is catered for and is a fun day out for all with the added bonus of perhaps winning a prize to boot! This exciting event takes place in June and includes a category for children called the 'Hoglet Race'.

 

 

 


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From R140.00

Guided Mountain Biking (per hour)

Enjoy Swazi-guided mountain biking through Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary.

Mountain Biking in Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary is a popular activity which enables guests to experience nature up close and personal from a series of trails and roads.

 

Enjoy a Swazi-guided hourly mountain bike ride along the plains or a 3-4 hour mountain bike trail into some of the most beautiful mountains in Swaziland.

 

Mlilwane is also the home of the extremely popular annual Nedbank Swaziland's Imvelo MTB Classic mountain bike race which draws cyclists from afar. The event offers marked trails of different distances and levels of difficulty to ensure that everybody is catered for and is a fun day out for all with the added bonus of perhaps winning a prize to boot! This exciting event takes place in June.

 

Guests with their own bike are also welcome to use the roads and trails within the park at no extra charge.

 

 

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From R90.00

Umphakatsi Cultural Experience

Visit Mlilwane's neighbouring real Chief's Village to experience authentic Swazi culture.

Enjoy a hands-on experience of our neighbouring lady chief 'Inkhosikati' in her homestead 'Umphakatsi' - a very real glimpse of Swaziland's culture that will leave you with a newfound respect and basic understanding of the Swazi way of life.

 

Your guide, who will hand the ladies in your party traditional Swazi cloths 'Emahiya' to wrap around their waists, greets you at Mlilwane's main gate. The homestead is a short drive from the main gate and a short walk from Mlilwane's boundary fence. 

 

Before entering the Inkhosikati's homestead 'Liguma', you are requested to remove your shoes. On entry, the Inkhosikati and the village children, often wearing traditional clothing, will warmly welcome you. The standard Swazi greeting to the Inkosikati is 'Nkosi'.

 

The Inkhosikati has a vibrant, energetic and infectious mannerism and not only talks you through how the huts and traditional items are made but also teaches you the siSwati words for them. She encourages interaction; so ladies try your hand at grinding maize and plaiting mountain grass or gents, join the children in Swazi song and dance.

 

This is both informative and memorable - a taste of true Swazi hospitality - and should not be missed!

 

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From R280.00

Sunrise/Sunset Game Drive (2hr)

Enjoy a Swazi-guided Sunrise or Sunset game drive through Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary.

Embark on one of Mlilwane's open Game Viewer vehicles with a trained Swazi guide to explore Mlilwane's nature-rich plains.

 

Apart from abundant bird life and nesting water birds, there are a number of animal species to be seen including Hippo, Crocodile, Zebra, Blue Wildebeest, Kudu, Nyala, Impala, Warthog, Waterbuck, Reedbuck, Steenbok, Grey Duiker, Klipspringer and Blesbok.

 

Seldom seen, but present in the reserve are the ever-elusive Leopard and a variety of smaller mammals including Bushbaby, Mongoose, Aardwolf, Genet, Porcupine and Civet. 

 

Tea/coffee and a snack is included on the Sunrise Game Drive which offers a wonderful opportunity to observe and take stunning pictures of the reserve and its residents in the early morning light.

 

A drink is included on the Sunset Game Drive which takes guests towards the infamous Execution Rock to enjoy the sunset over the mountains and plains. 

 

 

Mlilwane Species Information:

 

Mlilwane Fauna Species List

 


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From R230.00

Game Drive (1.5hr)

Embark on one of Mlilwane's open Game Viewer vehicles with an Swazi guide to explore Mlilwane's nature-rich plains.

Apart from abundant bird life and nesting water birds, there are a number of animal species to be seen including Hippo, Crocodile, Zebra, Blue Wildebeest, Kudu, Nyala, Impala, Warthog, Waterbuck, Reedbuck, Steenbok, Grey Duiker, Klipspringer and Blesbok.

 

Seldom seen, but present in the reserve are the ever-elusive Leopard and a variety of smaller mammals including Bushbaby, Mongoose, Aardwolf, Genet, Porcupine and Civet. 

 

DOWNLOAD ACTIVITY INFO PDF

 

Mlilwane Species Information:

 

Mlilwane Fauna Species List

 

 

 

 

 


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From R95.00

Guided Services (per hour)

Enlist the help of a local Swazi guide to explore Mlilwane according to your area of interest.

Mlilwane has a team of a  Swazi guides whose knowledge will enhance your particular interest. Please note the price excludes equipment hire.

 

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From R170.00

Guided Birding Walk (2.5hr)

Enjoy an Swazi-guided Bird Walk through Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary. Includes bottled water.

Departing from Mlilwane Rest Camp, your Swazi guide will take you on a trail through Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary where you'll have the chance to spot a wide variety of bird life.

 

See if you can spot Black, Crowned and Fish-Eagle, a wide variety of Kingfisher species, Red Bishop, Bee-Eaters, Purple-Crested Touraco and at least three species of Robin-chat to name just a few of the hundreds of species of birds found at Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary.

 

 

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From R20.00

Horse Riding - Kiddie Ride

Treat your child to a memorable little horse ride at Mlilwane!

Our well-mannered horses are suitable for complete beginners and our horse-guides will ensure your child enjoys a safe horse ride to remember.

 

 


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From R175.00

Horse Riding - per hour (1-3hrs)

Enjoy a Swazi-guided horse trail through Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary

The hourly horse trails depart from Mlilwane Rest Camp and are perfect for beginner or experienced riders or those with time constraints.

 

Taken at a leisurely pace, according to the capabilities of the riders, the main emphasis is on viewing the wildlife on the plains of Mlilwane from close proximity. 

 

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From R630.00

Horse Riding - Rock of Execution Challenge (3-4hrs)

Take the Rock of Execution Challenge! Guests are met at Mlilwane Rest Camp at around 8am to embark on a wonderful scenic 4hr trail to the top of Nyonyane Mountain

Nyonyane mountain; the infamous mountain also known as the 'Rock of Execution' due to the unfortunate souls who, for their criminal activities, met their end being tossed from the peak to the rocks below. 

 

Just beneath the peak of Nyonyane, riders leave the horses in a small paddock while they stretch their legs and walk the small stretch to the top of the mountain.

 

On arrival, guests enjoy their lunch at the top while admiring the awe-inspiring views and learn about the history of the mountain from the guides.

 

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From R1500.00

Horse Riding - Fully-catered Overnight Cave Trail

Enjoy a wonderfully unique horse trail through the stunning plains of Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary culminating in a night spent in a cave to remember.

On arrival at reception, guests are escorted to the Chubeka Trails Stable where they receive a refreshing soft drink and an introduction to their horse and itinerary, in addition to a safety briefing.

 

Following the briefing, riders mount their horse and proceed on the trail. On the first day, the ride takes them up the slopes of Nyonyane mountain and around the stunning Mantenga Valley, stopping at a beautiful location for a light lunch which riders will have carried along in their horse's saddle bag.

 

On arrival at the paddock and a short walk to the cave just before dark, riders are welcomed by their Camp Host, whilst the guide feeds the horses and beds them down for the night in the paddock. The Camp Host prepares a traditional dinner over the fire, marshmallows are roasted and a bottle of sherry is offered around. After all the excitement of the day and dinner, guests drift off in very comfortable bed rolls inside the cave.

 

While the horses are groomed and fed in the morning, guests are able to make use of the ablutions (a pit latrine and a canvas sink for a quick wash). The Camp Host then prepares a hearty breakfast of scrambled eggs and toast on the open-fire before the horses are tacked up and everyone mounts their horses again for a good long ride back to camp. All belongings and the camping equipment are taken to and from the cave by vehicle by the Camp Host so when the clients arrive back at camp the following day their belongings will be waiting for them.

 

A unique trail which will be remembered forever!

 

Fast Facts:

  • 3-4 hours riding per day
  • Suitable for limited & experienced riders
  • Steep ascents & descents
  • Children over 6 years permitted

 

 

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From R3030.00

Horse Riding - Fully-catered 2 Night Klipspringer Trail

Get back to nature on this fantastic 2-night horse trail taking in the local flora and fauna and sleeping out by the Lusushwana River.

On arrival at reception, guests are escorted to the Chubeka Trails Stable where they receive a refreshing soft drink and an introduction to their horse and itinerary, in addition to a safety briefing.

 

Following the briefing, riders mount their horse and proceed on the trail. On the first day, the ride takes them up the slopes of Nyonyane Mountain and around the stunning Mantenga Valley, stopping at a beautiful location for a light lunch which riders will have carried along in their horse's saddle bag. Crossing the river, the guests will arrive at their camp spot next to the Lusushwana River.

 

Two-man Dome Tents are erected prior to the riders' arrival allowing them to simply relax and enjoy a hot beverage while their Camp Host prepares a traditional hearty dinner on the open-fire. The horses will be staying in the camp's paddocks and riders are encouraged to help feed, groom and bed down their horses.

 

Ablutions at the Klipspringer Camp consist of Pit Latrines, Canvas Sinks and a hot shower which is constructed by a hot water donkey and a canvas hanging shower bag which is hung up in a wood and natural rock shower cubicle. In the morning, guests will be woken by the Guides and the Camp Hosts will prepare a delicious breakfast before they head out to explore the beautiful Mlilwane North area as well as the community areas. The riders will stop en-route for lunch and will be back at camp on the river at around 3pm to allow their horses to rest. During this time the guides often take the clients for a short walk on foot along the river admiring the natural beauty of the riverine areas and bird-watching.

 

After another night getting back to nature in the riverine camp and a hearty breakfast  riders then mount their steeds and start their trek back to camp. They arrive back at camp at around lunch-time.

Fast Facts:

  • 4-6 hours riding per day;
  • Suitable for limited experience/experienced riders
  • Steep ascents and descents
  • Children over 8 years permitted

 

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Self-Guided Walking Trails - FREE

Enjoy a self-guided hike through Mlilwane's game-studded plains free of charge.

 A network of self-guided trails - traverse through the variety of habitats on Mlilwane.

 

Enjoy a leisurely stroll along the plains where a variety of game is often found including Wildebeest, Zebra, Blesbok, Kudu, Impala, Warthog to mention a few, or  try the harder trails leading up to the infamous Rock of Execution. Remember to sign the hiker's register and indemnity before walking.

 

 


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Nature Education - FREE

Visit Mlilwane's Interpretation Centre to gain a better understanding of Swaziland's natural heritage free of charge

Further your knowledge by visiting the skull room, read about rhino salvage operations, poaching and anti-poaching efforts and the habitats of Mlilwane.


 


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Swimming - FREE

Take a dip in Mlilwane's beautiful swimming pool with stunning views.

Mlilwane's swimming pool is located close to the Rest Camp's braai/bbq area and children's play area. 

Please note it is the parent/guardian's responsibility to supervise their child at all times while swimming. Customers use the swimming pool at their own risk. Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary is not liable for any injuries.


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Children's Play Area - FREE

Mlilwane offers a set of children's swings close to the bbq/braai area and swimming pool.

Please note the swings are for children's use only and must be supervised by an adult. Mlilwane is not liable for any injuries.


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Self-Drive Roads - FREE

View a wide range of wildlife from the comfort of your own vehicle on Mlilwane's self-drive roads.

Apart from abundant bird life and nesting water birds, there are a number of animal species to be seen including Hippo, Crocodile, Zebra, Blue Wildebeest, Kudu, Nyala, Impala, Warthog, Waterbuck, Reedbuck, Steenbok, Grey Duiker, Klipspringer and Blesbok.

 

Seldom seen, but present in the reserve are the ever-elusive Leopard and a variety of smaller mammals including Bushbaby, Mongoose, Aardwolf, Genet, Porcupine and Civet.

 

 


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Dining at Mlilwane

The Hippo Haunt Restaurant

Located within Mlilwane Rest Camp is the Hippo Haunt Restaurant which overlooks an exceptionally picturesque hippo pool where guests can admire the resident hippos, crocodiles and prolific birdlife while enjoying delicious cuisine.

Hippo Haunt Highlights include:

 

  • Tea/Coffee Station
  • NEW à La Carte Menu 
  • Light Lunches/Full Meals
  • Fully Licensed—Enjoy Sundowners with a View
  • Outdoor/Indoor Seating


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Self-Catering Options

Prefer to cater for yourself? No problem. In addition to self-catering accommodation options, Mlilwane offers braai/bbq areas and a shop selling snacks.

Self-Catering Options:

  • Wide Range of Self-Catering Accommodation Options
  • Braai/BBQ Areas Located near Swimming Pool
  • Picnic Areas available
  • Mlilwane Shop selling Ice Creams, Snacks, Soft Drinks & Braai/BBQ Packs

 

 


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Directions for Mlilwane

Directions from Amsterdam

  • The border post is approx 17kms from Amsterdam – a warning though, the road inside Swaziland from there is not too good - big holes in the road and utmost caution must be used (it is also used by timber logging trucks)
  • From Nerston to Bhunya (wood pulp mill) approx. 35km.
  • Turn right towards Manzini. Approx. 10 km from Bhunya there is a traffic circle – go half way around and then after approx. another 13km you will come to a built up area with a road turning to the left to Malkerns (M27).
  • Take this and carry on for approx. 5 to 7km to a "T" junction (along this road you will pass first a shopping area, the Malkerns police station, a number of botanical nursery’s and a restaurant and craft area called Malandela’s / Gone Rural).
  • Turn left at the T junction and drive for approx. 5 km until you see a Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary sign. Turn left onto a dirt road and drive for approx. 4 km - this will bring you to the Main Gate of Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary.
  • Reception at the gate is open from 06h00 – 17h00. After 17h00 the night guard will allow you to enter and direct you to the Rest Camp, Reilly’s Rock or Sondzela Backpackers, where gate entry is paid.

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Directions from Lavumisa/Golela Border

Distance + 165km – about 2 hours 20 min

•    Travel 130km through Big Bend and turn LEFT to Manzini; continue straight.
•    Drive through Manzini and follow signs to Mbabane - this will bring you directly onto the Manzini / Mbabane highway.
•    Travel + 20km on the highway.
•    Take the 5th off ramp LEFT ("Lobamba, Elangeni and Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary”).
•    Turn LEFT towards Lobamba and continue up the hill + 2.5km.
•    At the traffic circle, keep LEFT, passing the Parliament Buildings (on the left) and Memorial Park (on the right).
•    Turn LEFT at the next intersection.
•    Pass the Caltex filling station on your left and travel + 500m.
•    Turn RIGHT to Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary - onto a dirt road.
•    Travel + 5km to Mlilwane’s Sangweni Gate (Open 24 hrs).
•    Reception at the gate is open from 06h00 – 17h00. After 17h00 the night guard will allow you to enter and direct you to the Rest Camp, where gate entry is paid.

SUMMARY OF DIRECTIONS

MR8, Swaziland – LAVUMISA BORDER POST (07h00 – 22h00)

1.    Head north (Entering Swaziland): 31 m
2.    Continue straight onto MR8 (Go through 1 roundabout): 130 km
3.    Turn left onto MR3: 26.8 km
4.    Take the exit: 0.3 km
5.    Turn left toward MR103: 2.5 km
6.    Turn left onto MR103: 1.6 km
7.    Take the 1st right onto D55: 3.4 km
8.    Turn right
Destination will be on the left:  22 m

D55, Swaziland – MLILWANE WILDLIFE SANCTUARY (S26° 28’ 47.4” E31° 11’ 46.6”)

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Directions from Lomahasha/Namaacha Border



Distance + 130 km - about 1 hour 51 min


•    From the border drive STRAIGHT, past Simunye Sugar Estates, through Hlane Royal National Park and continue to Manzini.
•    Drive through Manzini and follow signs to Mbabane – this will bring you directly onto the Manzini / Mbabane highway.
•    Travel + 20km on the highway.
•    Take the 5th off ramp LEFT ("Lobamba, Elangeni and Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary”).
•    Turn LEFT towards Lobamba and continue up the hill + 2.5km.
•    At the traffic circle, keep LEFT, passing the Parliament Buildings (on the left) and Memorial Park (on the right).
•    Turn LEFT at the next intersection.
•    Pass the Caltex filling station on your left and travel + 500m.
•    Turn RIGHT to Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary - onto a dirt road.
•    Travel + 3km to Mlilwane’s Sangweni Gate (Open 24 hrs).
•    Reception at the gate is open from 06h00 – 17h00. After 17h00 the night guard will allow you to enter and direct you to the Rest Camp, where gate entry is paid.

SUMMARY OF DIRECTIONS

 

MR3, Swaziland – LOMAHASHA BORDER POST (07h00 – 20h00)

1.    Head south on MR3 (Entering Swaziland): 122 km
2.    Take the exit: 0.3 km
3.    Turn left toward MR103: 2.5 km
4.    Turn left onto MR103: 1.6 km
5.    Take the 1st right onto D55: 3.4 km
6.    Turn right

Destination will be on the left: 22 m


D55, Swaziland – MLILWANE WILDLIFE SANCTUARY (S26° 28’ 47.4” E31° 11’ 46.6”)

 

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Directions from Mahamba Border



Distance + 145km - about 1 hour 45 min

 
•    Travel past Nhlangano and Hlatikhulu and join the Mbabane / Manzini highway about 3km before Manzini. The distance from the border to Manzini is + 110km.
•    Turn LEFT onto highway towards Mbabane.
•    Travel + 15km on the highway.
•    Take the 4th off ramp LEFT ("Lobamba, Elangeni and Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary”).
•    Turn LEFT towards Lobamba and continue up the hill + 2.5km.
•    At the traffic circle, keep LEFT, passing the Parliament Buildings (on the left) and Memorial Park (on the right).
•    Turn LEFT at the next intersection.
•    Pass the Caltex filling station on your left and travel + 500m.
•    Turn RIGHT to Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary - onto a dirt road.
•    Travel + 3km to Mlilwane’s Sangweni Gate (Open 24 hrs).
•    Reception at the gate is open from 06h00 – 17h00. After 17h00 the night guard will allow you to enter and direct you to the Rest Camp, where gate entry is paid.



SUMMARY OF DIRECTIONS
 

R543, South Africa - MAHAMBA BORDER (07h00 – 22h00)

1.    Head east on R543 (Entering Swaziland): 17 m
2.    Continue onto MR9: 107 km
3.    Turn left to merge onto MR3:14.6 km
4.    Take the exit: 300 m
5.    Turn left toward MR103: 2.5 km
6.    Turn left onto MR103: 1.6 km
7.    Take the 1st right onto D55: 3.3 km
8.    Turn right

Destination will be on the left: 22 m

 

D55, Swaziland – MLILWANE WILDLIFE SANCTUARY (S26° 28’ 47.4” E31° 11’ 46.6”)

 

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Directions from Mananga Border


Distance + 150 km - about 2 hours
 


•    From the border, travel 5km and at the traffic circle take the first exit LEFT.
•    Continue STRAIGHT for + 32km to the T-junction
•    At the T-junction turn RIGHT and travel + 85km past Simunye Sugar Estates / town (+ 15km); through Hlane Royal National Park and continue STRAIGHT to Manzini.
•    Drive through Manzini and follow signs to Mbabane – this will bring you directly onto the Manzini / Mbabane highway.
•    Travel + 20km on the highway.
•    Take the 5th off ramp LEFT ("Lobamba, Elangeni and Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary”).
•    Turn LEFT towards Lobamba and continue up the hill + 2.5km.
•    At the traffic circle, keep LEFT, passing the Parliament Buildings (on the left) and Memorial Park (on the right).
•    Turn LEFT at the next intersection.
•    Pass the Caltex filling station on your left and travel + 500m.
•    Turn RIGHT to Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary - onto a dirt road.
•    Travel + 3km to Mlilwane’s Sangweni Gate (Open 24 hrs).
•    Reception at the gate is open from 06h00 – 17h00. After 17h00 the night guard will allow you to enter and direct you to the Rest Camp, where gate entry is paid.

SUMMARY OF DIRECTIONS


 R571, South Africa – MANANGA BORDER POST (07h00 – 18h00)
       
1.    Head south on MR5 (Entering Swaziland): 5.1 km
2.    Slight left onto MR24: 31.8 km
3.    Turn right onto MR3: 103 km
4.    Take the exit: 0.3 km
5.    Turn left toward MR103: 2.5 km
6.    Turn left onto MR103: 1.6 km
7.    Take the 1st right onto D55: 3.4 km
8.    Turn right


Destination will be on the left: 22 m

 

D55, Swaziland – MLILWANE WILDLIFE SANCTUARY (S26° 28’ 47.4” E31° 11’ 46.6”)

 

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Directions from Matsamo/Jeppes Reef Border

 


Distance + 150 km - about 2 hours



•    From the border, travel + 5km and turn LEFT (at the T-junction to your left) onto MR6 towards Manzini.
•    Continue STRAIGHT with the MR6 for + 48.1km
•    At the T-junction (to your right) turn RIGHT towards Manzini and travel + 50km to the T-Junction and turn RIGHT to Manzini. Continue STRAIGHT to Manzini.
•    Drive through Manzini and follow signs to Mbabane – this will bring you directly onto the Manzini / Mbabane highway.
•    Travel + 20km on the highway.
•    Take the 5th off ramp LEFT ("Lobamba, Elangeni and Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary”).
•    Turn LEFT towards Lobamba and continue up the hill + 2.5km.
•    At the traffic circle, keep LEFT, passing the Parliament Buildings (on the left) and Memorial Park (on the right).
•    Turn LEFT at the next intersection.
•    Pass the Caltex filling station on your left and travel + 500m.
•    Turn RIGHT to Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary - onto a dirt road.
•    Travel + 3km to Mlilwane’s Sangweni Gate (Open 24 hrs).
•    Reception at the gate is open from 06h00 – 17h00. After 17h00 the night guard will allow you to enter and direct you to the Rest Camp, where gate entry is paid.

SUMMARY OF DIRECTIONS


 R570, South Africa – JEPPE’S REEF BORDER POST (07h00 – 20h00)


           
1.    Continue onto R570 (Entering Swaziland): 2.4 km
2.    Continue onto MR1: 4.3 km
3.    Turn left onto MR6: 48.1 km
4.    Turn right onto MR5: 50.0 km
5.    Turn right onto MR3: 35.5 km
6.    Take the exit: 0.3 km
7.    Turn left toward MR103: 2.5 km
8.    Turn left onto MR103: 1.6 km
9.    Take the 1st right onto D55: 3.4 km
10.    Turn right

 

Destination will be on the left: 22 m

 

D55, Swaziland – MLILWANE WILDLIFE SANCTUARY (S26° 28’ 47.4” E31° 11’ 46.6”)

 

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Directions from Mhlumeni/Goba Border


Distance + 120 km – about 1 hour 30 min


 
•    From the border travel to Siteki – + 19km.
•    Turn RIGHT towards Manzini at petrol station.
•    Turn LEFT at the T-junction towards Manzini.
•    Drive through Manzini and follow signs to Mbabane – this will bring you directly onto the Manzini / Mbabane highway.
•    Travel + 20km on the highway.
•    Take the 5th off ramp LEFT ("Lobamba, Elangeni and Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary”).
•    Turn LEFT towards Lobamba and continue up the hill + 2.5km.
•    At the traffic circle, keep LEFT, passing the Parliament Buildings (on the left) and Memorial Park (on the right).
•    Turn LEFT at the next intersection.
•    Pass the Caltex filling station on your left and travel + 500m.
•    Turn RIGHT to Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary - onto a dirt road.
•    Travel + 3km to Mlilwane’s Sangweni Gate (Open 24 hrs).
•    Reception at the gate is open from 06h00 – 17h00. After 17h00 the night guard will allow you to enter and direct you to the Rest Camp, where gate entry is paid.



SUMMARY OF DIRECTIONS


 MR7, Swaziland – GOBA BORDER POST (24hrs)



1.    Head southwest on MR7 (Entering Swaziland): 28.6 km
2.    Turn right to stay on MR7: 12.2 km
3.    Turn left onto MR3: 71.1 km
4.    Take the exit: 0.3 km
5.    Turn left toward MR103: 2.5 km
6.    Turn left onto MR103: 1.6 km
7.    Take the 1st right onto D55: 3.4 km
8.    Turn right

Destination will be on the left: 22 m

 

D55, Swaziland – MLILWANE WILDLIFE SANCTUARY (S26° 28’ 47.4” E31° 11’ 46.6”)


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Directions from Ngwenya/Oshoek Border



Distance + 49km - about 30min
 
•    Ngwenya Glass turnoff +5km from border – well worth a visit! - open from 9am - 4pm
•    Follow the main road from the Border towards Mbabane (about 20 km). Remain on this highway until you get to the bottom of the steep hill leading into the Ezulwini Valley.
 
There are 2 directions to the Park:
 
Option 1 – Scenic Route
 
•    Travel + 8km on the highway.
•    Take MR103 off ramp LEFT and turn RIGHT, over the highway, to Sun International Hotels, Lobamba and Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary
•    Travel +  11km past the Royal Swazi Sun, Lugogo and Ezulwini Hotels, the craft markets, Gables Shopping Centre (Pick ‘n Pay) and Happy Valley Motel.

Option 2 – Direct Route
 
•    Travel + 17km on the highway.
•    Take Lobamba / Elangeni off ramp LEFT (also signposted “Mlilwane”).
•    Turn RIGHT under highway towards Lobamba and continue up the hill + 2.5km.
•    Turn LEFT at the next intersection.
•    You will pass the Parliament Buildings and Memorial Park.
•    Pass the Caltex filling station on your left and travel + 500m
•    Turn RIGHT to Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary - onto a dirt road.
•    Travel + 3 km to Mlilwane’s Sangweni Gate (Open 24 hrs).
•    Reception at the gate is open from 06h00 – 17h00. After 17h00 the night guard will allow you to enter and direct you to the Rest Camp, where gate entry is paid



SUMMARY OF DIRECTIONS (OPTION 1)


N17, South Africa – OSHOEK BORDER POST  (07h00 – 24h00)

1.    Head east on N17 (Entering Swaziland) : 0.3 km
2.    Continue onto N17 (Go through 1 roundabout): 1.6 km
3.    Continue onto MR3: 28.4 km
4.    Take the exit toward MR103: 0.2 km
5.    Turn right onto MR103: 10.6 km
6.    Turn right onto D55: 3.4 km
7.    Continue straight


Destination will be on the left: 22 m


D55, Swaziland – MLILWANE WILDLIFE SANCTUARY (S26° 28’ 47.4” E31° 11’ 46.6”)

 

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Directions from Sandlane/Nerston Border


Distance + 90 km - about 1 hour 30 min
 
•    The border post is + 17km from Amsterdam – a warning though, the road inside Swaziland from there is not too good - big holes in the road and utmost caution must be used (it is also used by timber logging trucks)
•    From Nerston Border post to Bhunya (wood pulp mill) is + 35km.
•    Turn RIGHT towards Manzini. + 10km from Bhunya there is a traffic circle – go half way around and exit towards Malkerns/Manzini
•    After + 13km you will come to a built up area with a road turning to the LEFT to Malkerns (M27).
•    Continue STRAIGHT for 6.1km to a "T" junction (along this road you will pass first a shopping area, the Malkerns police station, a number of botanical nursery’s and a restaurant and craft area called Malandela’s / Gone Rural).
•    Turn LEFT at the T junction and drive for + 4km until you see a Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary sign. Turn LEFT onto a dirt road and drive for + 3km - this will bring you to the Main Gate of Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary.
•    Reception at the gate is open from 06h00 – 17h00. After 17h00 the night guard will allow you to enter and direct you to the Rest Camp, where gate entry is paid.



SUMMARY OF DIRECTIONS


R65, South Africa – AMSTERDAM, NERSTON BORDER POST (08h00 – 18h00)
   
1.    Head north east on R65   
2.    Turn right onto R65: 15.0 km
3.    Turn right to stay on R65 (Entering Swaziland): 2.4 km
4.    Continue straight onto MR19: 32.6 km
5.    Turn right onto MR18: 26.4 km
6.    Turn left onto MR27: 6.1 km
7.    Turn left onto MR103: 3.7 km
8.    Turn left onto D55: 3.3 km
9.    Continue straight

 

Destination will be on the left: 22 m


D55, Swaziland – MLILWANE WILDLIFE SANCTUARY (S26° 28’ 47.4” E31° 11’ 46.6”)

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Directions from Emahlatini (Houtkop)/Sicunusa


Distance + 90 km - about 1 hour 30 min
 
From Piet Retief
 
•    As you approach Piet Retief from Ermelo / Amsterdam, Turn LEFT into Theo Mocke Street at the new Spur / garage complex.
•    Travel + 500m.
•    Turn RIGHT (signboard reads “Emahlatini via Klein Vrystaat”) and continue STRAIGHT on to the border post - + 20km.

From Sicunusa Border
 
•    Drive STRAIGHT, past Mankayane for + 45km to join the Bhunya / Malkerns road at a traffic circle.
•    Take the second exit and take the road towards Malkerns/Manzini (MR18)
•    Travel + 13km.
•    Turn LEFT to Malkerns (M27) (if you pass Swazi Candles you’ve gone too far)
•    Continue STRAIGHT for 6.1km to a "T" junction (along this road you will pass first a shopping area & Caltex garage on your left, the Malkerns police station, a number of botanical nursery’s and a restaurant and craft area called Malandela’s / Gone Rural).
•    Turn LEFT at the T junction and drive for + 4km until you see a Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary sign. Turn LEFT onto a dirt road and drive for + 3km - this will bring you to the Main Gate of Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary.
•    Reception at the gate is open from 06h00 – 17h00. After 17h00 the night guard will allow you to enter and direct you to the Rest Camp, where gate entry is paid.

SUMMARY OF DIRECTIONS


 R33, South Africa – PIET RETIEF, EMALHATINI BORDER POST (08h00 – 18h00)
   
1.    Head east (Entering Swaziland): 21.0 km
2.    Continue straight onto MR4: 46.1 km
3.    Turn right onto MR18: 11.9 km
4.    Turn left onto MR27: 6.1 km
5.    Turn left onto MR103: 3.7 km
6.    Turn left onto D55: 3.3 km
7.    Continue straight

 

Destination will be on the left: 22 m


D55, Swaziland – MLILWANE WILDLIFE SANCTUARY (S26° 28’ 47.4” E31° 11’ 46.6”)

 

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Directions from Manzini Town

 



Distance + 30 km - about 25 min


•    Drive through Manzini and follow signs to Mbabane – this will bring you directly onto the Manzini / Mbabane highway.
•    Travel + 20km on the highway.
•    Take the 5th off ramp LEFT ("Lobamba, Elangeni and Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary”).
•    Turn LEFT towards Lobamba and continue up the hill + 2.5km.
•    At the traffic circle, keep LEFT, passing the Parliament Buildings (on the left) and Memorial Park (on the right).
•    Turn LEFT at the next intersection.
•    Pass the Caltex filling station on your left and travel + 500m.
•    Turn RIGHT to Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary - onto a dirt road.
•    Travel + 3km to Mlilwane’s Sangweni Gate (Open 24 hrs).
•    Reception at the gate is open from 06h00 – 17h00. After 17h00 the night guard will allow you to enter and direct you to the Rest Camp, where gate entry is paid.



SUMMARY OF DIRECTIONS


 MR3, Manzini, Swaziland

1.    Head south on MR3: 19.7 km
2.    Take the exit: 0.3 km
3.    Turn left toward MR103: 2.5 km
4.    Turn left onto MR103: 1.6 km
5.    Take the 1st right onto D55: 3.4 km
6.    Turn right

Destination will be on the left: 22 m


D55, Swaziland – MLILWANE WILDLIFE SANCTUARY (S26° 28’ 47.4” E31° 11’ 46.6”)

 

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Reviews at Mlilwane

Liz Eldridge - USA on 02 October 2012

Sondzela was terrific, not at all what I expected from a backpackers. And the staff were marvelous. The beehive hut at Mlilwane Main Camp, and the mountain biking, were fun, too. I'm very glad that after all these years I finally took the time to experience a Swazi park.

Highbury High School - South Africa on 28 September 2012

I would like to say a sincere thank-you for all your help in arranging the bookings for Mlilwane & Sondzela. The boys and staff thoroughly enjoyed the stay and we were certainly well fed! I really enjoyed sleeping in the beehive hut at Mlilwane – a true Swazi experience

Toddy Landry - on 07 February 2012

We thoroughly enjoyed our experience at Mkhaya and would steer others towards the reserve without hesitation. We actually spent time in all 3 reserves - Mlilwane, Hlane and Mkhaya. Each reserve offered a different sort of experience and we were thoroughly impressed by all three and by Swaziland as a whole.

Steven - USA on 18 October 2012

It isn't often that one can walk a trail through a wildlife sanctuary. Usually it is required to ride in a vehicle but at Wlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary there are a number of trails for hikers. The Hippo Trail (approximately 4 miles) is well marked and takes the hiker through low vegetation areas where Zebras, Impalas and my favorites, Warthogs graze and generally hang out. Hippos are in the area but I didn't see any that day. I did not stay overnight on the property but came just for the hike and it was well worth it. The scenery is beautiful and though the trail was muddy in some places (it had rained hard a few days before) it was a fairly easy hike. There are some small hills, some bridges made of tree limbs and one part of the trail is just a bit steep. But nothing that should keep anyone who is a regular hiker and in fairly decent shape from trying. This would be a fun hike for families. There is something to interest everyone from birders to those who just like being in nature. And, where else can you walk so close to some of Africa's most interesting animals? There are cross country bicycles for rent on this property and some fun places to ride.

Regina - USA on 05 October 2012

I absolutely adored my time at Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary. I stayed there during a tour of southern Africa in July/August 2012. The beehive huts were my favourite part. They were set up two to a hut with a bathroom ensuite and two single beds. It was warm and comfortable, even during cold winter nights. I slept perfectly well. I appreciated being able to experience something a little cultural during my stay. The restaurant at the hotel has a lovely continental breakfast. There is a cook who will make your eggs however you like. In the dining room, the windows overlook a river where you can see hippo and crocodile. The lodging also offers a variety of activities to take part in during your stay. I did a mountain bike tour and got up close and personal with some zebra and python. You can also do a horseback tour, game drives, and swim in the pool. We also did some caving and swam in hot springs, but those activities were offered through a separate organization. As with many accommodations in Southern Africa, be prepared to see some wildlife throughout the grounds. Mind your own business and they will not bother you. Overall I would recommend the wildlife sanctuary to anyone.

Johan Weideman - South Africa on 10 April 2012

We had a peaceful stay at a stunning place. Will be back!

David Mitchell - Australia on 07 February 2012

Had a wonderful three nights in Mlilwane in May. Was the quiet time so not many around which, suited us well. Service provided was still great and everyone was willing to help, even though it was just the two of us. The night ranger had a wealth of knowledge told us about the local animals and sites by the fire at night. Place was better than expected and the food provided was a bonus. Really loved it and thanks!

Miriam Hofmann - Germany on 25 December 2011

We loved staying in the Beehive Huts - simple but an exceptional experience. Very nice stay.

Jessica Grauer - Germany on 14 December 2011

The sanctuary is very nice and very cute because there are only animals that aren't 'dangerous'. We liked the warthogs that just walked by, and at night we saw a bushbaby in a tree and had so many impalas close to our hut. The restaurant is located at a little lake and you can spot some crocodiles and birds! The hut itself was simple but very clean. We enjoyed our stay. Out of the ordinary.

Lucienne Mieth - Germany on 29 November 2011

If you book Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary, book a beehive because you can get the ordinary everywhere else. It was fun, even for older travellers. We enjoyed it a lot! Fabulous.

Tracy Hammond - South Africa on 24 October 2011

It is fabulous and a little piece of heaven! It is a great park and very well maintained by the friendly and helpful staff. We cannot wait to go back. Super!

Ylva Fälth - South Africa on 22 October 2011

Nature, clean, good food and wonderful to stay in the huts! We were very satisfied. Relaxing place.

Sharon Oldfield - Mozambique on 18 October 2011

What a relaxing place to stay in! The beehive hut was fantastic, very comfortable and cosy. The food was very enjoyable with excellent service. The staff were all friendly and we will definitely recommend you to others. It is a pity the sunset drive was cancelled due to impending storm, maybe next time. Lovely.

Taryn Skeens - South Africa on 06 September 2011

We really loved our stay and will be back next year with some family members. Great.

Ms Alixess S. - United States on 26 December 2010

The beehive huts were such a unique experience! If you truly want to experience Africa in a fun & exciting new way, stay in the beehive huts! Definitely a highlight on the trip, and the wildlife sanctuary was amazing as well! :) We'd definitely do it again if we find ourselves in Swaziland in the future.

Ms Charlene H. - United States on 02 July 2010

The accommodation is very impressive and they offer a wide variety. We arrived on rainy days so the activities were limited but still had a great time at Mlilwane. This was my second visit and next time I will budget more time to travel more around Swaziland

Ms Amy D. - United States on 13 June 2010

We love Mlilwane. Staff are always pleasant and helpful. Guest house is a great value; we will book it for Bushfire next year too! Only issue was problems with hot water.

Ms Ellen H. - Canada on 30 September 2009

I really enjoyed my stay at the Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary and would definitely consider returning.

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