Mlilwane: The Best Base to Experience Umhlanga


The Umhlanga Reed Dance takes place from the 25th of August to its culmination on the 31st Agust 2015 (Main Day) at Ludzidzini Royal Residence in Lobamba. Stay at Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary only 5km from Ludzidzini and experience this annual cultural explosion.

The week long annual event takes place at the end of August or the beginning of September. Over 60 000 maidens pay homage to Her Majesty iNdlovikazi, the Queen Mother by cutting and presenting her with Reed used to repair the windbreak( emaguma ) for her homestead.

Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctaury, located 5 km from Ludzidzini Royal Residence is the best base to experience this colourful traditional ceremony. Mlilwane has accommodation to suit every price point from backpacker accommodation at Sondzela Backpackers, to Mlilwane’s Reilly’s Rock Hilltop Lodge.

Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary‘s Rest Camp features a wide variety of accommodation suitable for families, groups as well as individual travelers and every price point. A t the heart of the Rest Camp are Rest Camp Huts; single room en-suite huts with close proximity to Hippo Haunt Restaurant or get a taste of traditional Swazi Living by beehive style hut (boguca) in one of 3 kraals, Nyala, Blesbok and Roan villages, each with 14 huts. These traditional huts have added luxury of en-suite bathroom with bedding and towels supplied. For larger family groups, Shonalanga Self Catering family cottage with its own private braai area and view of the Mlilwane plains is ideal. Lontweni Self-catering Rondavels also at Rest Camp are better suited for small families or couples alike.

For the traveler wild at heart, retire to our campsite which overlooks the Mhlambanyatsi valley and is adjacent to an ablution block with the added luxury of electricity points and laundry for your convenience.

Also located within Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary is a historic and luxury lodge called Reilly’s Rock Hilltop Lodge, the birthplace of Swazi Nature conservation. Reilly’s is surrounded by  Botanical Gardens featuring rare aloes and cycads, threatened and endangered antelope as well as abundant bird-life. Reilly’s accommodation features the main house and 2 luxury en-suite rooms with 2 standard en suite rooms with a communal lounge as well as the breakfast terrace with spectacular views of Lobamba and the Ezulwini Valley. Reilly’s also has garden cottage with 2 standard en suite rooms sharing a small communal lounge.

There is little doubt that given its location, Sondzela Backpackers is the WILDest Backpackers in Swaziland. Set within Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary. A stay at Sondzela backpackers offers the priviledge  of being among Swazi Wildlife whilst also being perfectly placed to explore neighbouring attractions of Ezulwini and beyond. With a wide range of tolerant Game surrounding you including impala, nyala, zebra, warthog you can relax and take in the Sondzela landscape

Experience true Swazi culture, nature and hospitality at its very best at Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary. Contact our central reservations office on T: +268 2528 3943 or email reservations@biggameparks.org for more information and to book.

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Author: Big Game Parks

Sawubona! Welcome to Big Game Parks' Blog! From the flatlands in the East, through the mountainous and scenic West, to the heart of the lowveld in the South East, the Kingdom of Swaziland not only offers you nearly every example of African landscape but also unforgettable wildlife, culture, adventure and birding experiences. Big Game Parks (BGP) is a private non-profit Trust which manages three game reserves in Swaziland: Hlane Royal National Park, Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary and Mkhaya Game Reserve. All follow a common mission: to conserve the rich biodiversity of Swaziland's natural heritage. In 1960 the Reilly's family established the Kingdom's first game reserve on the Reilly family farm, Mlilwane. Hlane Royal National Park and Mkhaya Game Reserve soon followed and today the company's contribution to the restoration and protection of the Kingdom’s biodiversity is of great significance (BGP actually saved 22 species from extinction in Swaziland!) and can truly be appreciated by the discerning traveller. Swaziland is well-situated between Kruger National Park and Kwa-Zulu Natal as well as Gauteng, Mpumalanga and Maputo. Big Game Parks’ well-positioned and diverse game reserves are an essential destination in any itinerary. Discover all the latest Big Game Parks tourism, conservation and community happenings right here. Sitawubonana! See you soon!

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