Nkube Community Project

 

Nkhube Community Borehole Project– made possible through funds generated by the Nedbank Swaziland’s Imvelo Mountain Bike Classic and carried out by Big Game Parks Projects.

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The Nkhube community situated on the boundary of Mlilwane North, faced with the need for clean drinking water. Big Game Parks provided a solution by installing a borehole and water tank at no cost to the community. The borehole and tank operate solely on independent solar power, making it both environmentally friendly and sustainable.

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Solar was the chosen form of energy to power this project, due its environmentally friendly nature and its low maintenance. An additional environmentally friendly aspect, stemming from this project is the fact that the borehole water can also be used by the community to carry out household chores such as clothes washing. Instead of washing clothes in the stream, the community can wash clothes closer to home with no pollution of the stream caused by washing powders and soaps.

A huge thank you to Nedbank Swaziland for their sponsorship towards our event and of course to the riders for their contribution to the project fund through entry fees, which in turn enable us to carry out this wonderful community project!

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Introducing Imvelo 2017!

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Following an exciting Imvelo 2016, we bring you the annual Imvelo MTB Classic 2017 at Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary! The race date is set for 3rd June 2017 with online entries opening on 11th April 2017. You can also enter manually by visiting either Big Game Parks Central Reservations Office;Hlane Royal National Park or at Swaziland’s Adventure Sport and Cycle shops in Mbabane or Manzini.

FAST FACTS

Online entry: 11th April 2017
Race Date: 3rd June 2017
Venue: Mlilwane
Distance & Start Time:
64km – 8.00am (Classic)
35km – 9.15am (Challenge)
22km – 9.45am (Family Fun)
12km – 9.55am (Hoglets)
Register: 02/06/17 Gables

Entry Fees

  • Momentum Classic 64Km E 395.00
  • PureJoy Challenge 35Km E 320.00
  • Spur Swaziland’s Family Fun Ride E 220.00
  • MilkyMax Hoglet 12.5Km E 195.00

 

 

ACCOMMODATION

Limited accommodation available at Mlilwane Rest Camp or Reilly’s Rock Hilltop Lodge or Sondzela Backpackers. BOOK NOW!!

Watch this space for more updates! Get training!!

World Wildlife Day 2017

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The starting point of the Clean Up Campaign

World Wildlife Day is a time to celebrate our African Wildlife, and globally the 3rd March 2017 embraced the theme, “Listen to the Young Voices.”

 

It has been said that almost one quarter of the world’s population is aged between 10 and 24, continued efforts need to be made to encourage young people, as the future leaders and decision makers of the world, to act on both local and global levels to protect wildlife. It is our mission to open up Swaziland Youth and the likes to realistic conservation.

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Pupils from Esitjeni Primary School

World Wildlife Day encourages people around the world to come together to address ongoing major threats to wildlife including habitat change, over-exploitation or illicit trafficking. This year World Wildlife Day proposed the challenge, “Do one thing to help the world’s wildlife.” Big Game Parks teamed up with the Manzini Rhinos Rugby Club and worked with pupils from Lobamba National High School and Esitjeni Primary School to do our bit by running a “Clean-Up Campaign” from Esitjeni Road to Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary main gate. The event started at the two schools’ morning assembly, 07h45 at Lobamba National High and at 08h00 at Esitjeni Primary School. Our team split up into 2 groups- 1 group addressed Esitjeni Primary and the other addressed Lobamba National High. Each group was joined a mix of Rhino Rugby Club players and Big Game Parks staff.

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Rhinos Rugby Club

A quick presentation was given, with the hope of inspiring young people to take action and conserve our wildlife and natural environments.  We discussed the threat of devaluing wildlife by substituting Conservation, (wise and sustainable utilization of self-renewing natural resources) with preservation and protectionist philosophies. Good conservation produces surpluses and available habitat is finite; so what must we do with surpluses?   Spiritually, culturally and consumptively the growing trend of towards protectionist is a  greater threat to the continued existence of Africa’s Wildlife.  If wildlife has no practical value to people, what are the chances of it maintaining priority, or even being sustained?  Nature itself subscribes to conservation rather than the stagnation preservation prescribes.

The purpose of the “Clean-Up” Campaign was to highlight how doing something so small, such as picking up litter, can make such a difference. Sometimes it’s a lot of little things adding up that make a big difference!

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Wondering what you can still do? Why not join us on one of our next “Clean-Up Campaigns”? Watch this space for more details! Why not make a donation to wildlife? Or even better… Why not visit one of the beautiful parks our Kingdom has to offer? Did you know, just by paying your entrance fee, YOU are helping wildlife and actively funding Nature Conservation!

 

Our collective conservation actions can be the difference between wildlife surviving or disappearing. Let’s all come together and do our part!  Even though World Wildlife Day is over, lets do a little something for our wildlife and environment every day.

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Lobamba National High

 

 

 

#ResolutionRun 2017 – a roaring success!

Total Swaziland’s #ResolutionRun

4th February 2017, Hlane Royal National Park

her-dt-17-1341Swaziland’s third #ResolutionRun, sponsored by Total Swaziland and organized by Big Game Parks, was our best year yet, with a growth in numbers and support. This year we had 207 runners, a growth of 146% from our first event in 2015 (84 runners).

Two lovely tweets received this week are testament to positive growth (personal handles left out):

“Heard good reviews about this year’s #ResolutionRun, great improvement on last year. Next year we join”

“Yes, (Mr X) only had good things to share. Am in next year 100%”

Held at Hlane Royal National Park, the event aims to promote visitation to north-east Swaziland and to promote healthy outdoor living. These objectives were well met, with Hlane being fully booked for the event, and other parks in the Lebombo Conservancy seeing a rise in occupancy over this particular weekend. Further to this, the turnout from across Swaziland, and the Lowveld residents specifically, was astounding – fantastic to see! We will keep this annual spotlight on this region and continue to give you all a lot to run for.

Big Game Parks encourages time spent in Nature and wild places, and to this end, we create fun events throughout the year, giving our locals and regional guests reason to ‘get out there.’  Our parks are for people as much as they are for wildlife.  And nature is our heritage, to be nurtured and enjoyed – always with respect.  It is heart-warming when our events are well attended and the resulting photos show fun was had!  It has been a founding belief that we only conserve that which we love – and to love something, we have to know it.  So here’s to more time spent in the wild, building a love for the great outdoors, healthy living and sense of pride n our environment!

A big shout out to our sponsors – Total Swaziland, Swaziland Milling, Parmalat, Galitos, Black Mamba Chilli, Ice Co, Buffalo Soldiers, African Alliance, International Tool Hire, DHL, Dixies and Big Game Parks. Thank you to all our sponsors for making our #ResolutionRun possible and for assisting in it’s positive growth.

Particular mention is made of AM Consultancy, RSSC, Swazi Trails and Tongaat-Hulett for their strong corporate support of our event – thank you! It is great to see corporates promoting health and outdoor life in such a positive and tangible manner.

Results:

Congratulations to those who come in up front:

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MENS 1st Sifiso Sibandze

2nd Celumusa Maziya

3rd Ntokozo Mhlabane

1st Melusi Mkhabela

2nd Sibusiso Mbingo

3rd Musa Mcongwane

LADIES 1st Tenele Maziya

2nd Tokky Hou

3rd Xoli Shongwe

1st Nothando Masilela

2nd Leonie Piek

3rd Nomvula Gulwako

And of course, a big commendation to all those who both entered and crossed the finish line. May you hold your outdoor fitness resolution strong this year, now that you are all off to a fantastic start!

See you all at Hlane next year!

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Safari Specials 10th January – 31st March

Safari Specials  10th January – 31st March

With the crazy festive season behind us, life returns to normal, kids return to school and we all traipse back to the office, unwittingly falling back into the same old rut.

But there is hope! Big Game Parks aims to build and encourage an ethic of healthy outdoor living and conservation consciousness. To this end, we invite you to make the most of our Quiet Season Specials, a chance to retreat into nature at a very affordable rate. All our parks – Hlane Royal National Park, Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary and Mkhaya Game Reserve – offer up to 30% discount on a minimum 2-night stay on fixed accommodation. For our more discerning guests, Reilly’s Rock Hilltop Lodge is the perfect quiet retreat surrounded by birds and the Royal Botanical Garden.  Our camping on Hlane and Mlilwane is so reasonable, it’s almost constantly on special.

With accommodation rates so affordable, there is plenty left in the kitty for the actual holiday – the mountain biking, game walks, game drives, birding and horse riding.

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Guided Game Walk on Hlane Royal National Park

Better still, if you choose Mlilwane and bring your own bike, you can cycle or walk without a guide at no extra cost.  Mlilwane has up to 20km of hiking trail, and many km of dirt roads which wind through our ever-changing habitats providing an awesome adventure.

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Walking Trails on Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary – the Donga Route

It is time to pack those hiking boots, mountain bike, bird book and bino’s… book your weekend adventure while our rates are simply irresistible!  Your family will love you for it…. reservations@biggameparks.org

It’s Baby Season!

Summer season in Swaziland is full of exciting game viewing with animals of all shapes and sizes.  Many of our mammals subscribe to breeding seasons, producing their young from October through to March each year.  Wildebeest, impala and blesbuck are among the summer births.  In fact, according to Ted Reilly, you will not see a blesbuck lamb before 5th October.  Amazingly, since I heard this, I kept an eye out every year to prove him wrong, and almost every year, the first sightings of a lamb was on the 5th or 6th of October!

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Probably the most endearing of the babies are the warthogs… the ‘hoglets’.  Mothers quietly graze around the camp, while these cheeky minions bounce, race, do excited 360 degree turns as if someone pulls an invisible handbrake and off they go again….or suddenly drop onto their tummies in an angelic, non-plussed manner.  One hog brings her babies to the camp fire on a chilly day, and generation after generation are learning to do this.  They are quite happy to share half the fire with our guests, as long as they get to roast themselves.

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It has been an extremely hard year in the lowveld though, with a drought spanning 3 long years.  This past winter saw nature reducing stock at an alarming and gut-wrenching rate. In days of old, animals could simply migrate, but there is nowhere to go to now.  The parks have hard perimeters – or the animals face becoming a welcome meal  beyond the fence.  It has not been a good year for rhino calves, but the giraffe have managed to keep their populations expanding.

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