Christmas Lunch Winner!

Apart from great safari and outdoor experiences on offer, Big Game Parks is known for her sumptuous Christmas Lunches served at Hlane Royal National Park,  Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary and Mkhaya Game Reserve every Christmas.

Last year’s Christmas Lunch was even bigger than before! By simply booking their Christmas Lunch with us, guests were entered into a competition to WIN an over night stay at Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary.

With hundreds of entries from the different guests we had at the three parks, we have a winner! Mr Ray Dlamini who had lunch at Mlilwane’s Hippo Haunt Restaurant is our Christmas Lunch Competition winner.

Dlamini won himself an overnight stay at Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary on a bed and breakfast basis for two.

Congratulations to Mr Ray Dlamini. We hope you enjoy your prize and experience at Mlilwane.

If you haven’t won on this occasion, keep your eyes glued on or your local newspapers for our regular competitions.

Meanwhile, you can still enjoy delicious meals with our wide range of dining options at our parks. With Valentine’s Day coming up, spoil your loved one more than dinner and spend a night with our Valentine’s Day Special  at Mkhaya Game Reserve and Reilly’s Rock Hilltop Lodge.

Contact our central reservations for more information.


Swaziland’s Border Hours Extended

With less than 5 days  till Christmas, Swaziland’s Ministry of Home Affairs and its counterparts in South Africa have announced an extension of the operation hours for three major border posts into Swaziland. For the many returning students, workers and tourists these news brings a sigh of relief to most.

The three border posts that will have their hours extended during the festive season are the Ngwenya, Mahamba and Mananga Border Gates.

The scheduled extension hours are:

  • From the 12th to the 19th December 2011:  Ngwenya will run from 07h00 to 12h00 midnight.
  • From the 20th to the 24th December 2011:  Ngwenya will run for 24 hours.
  • From the 22nd to the 24th December 2011: Mahamba border post will run from 06h00 to 00h00 midnight.
  • From the 20th December 2011 to the 2nd of January 2012: Mananga border will run from 07h00 to 20h00.

All other border posts leading into Swaziland will not be affected by the extension and will operate as usual.

 Swazi Trails

Secretary Bird Spotted at Mlilwane

The Secretary Bird, known to Mlilwane’s groundsmen as rasta, has been spotted at Mlilwane.

This bird of prey, which can rise to 1.3m high, has been spotted walking about at Reilly’s Rock and the Roan Antelope enclosure.

First Katie, Marketing Manager, got excited when she saw it. She was followed by Nonzuzo, Mlilwane Camp Manager, and then soon Mlilwane was a buzz with news of this walking-vulture-like bird.

Nokulunga, from Marketing, took a break to capture this bird on camera.  She says it was for BGPBLOG.ORG but we know the hype had got to her too…

Next time you are around Mlilwane, look around, you might just spot this bird walking about!

Hlane Impresses at East3Route Excursion

Hlane Royal National Park hosted the final leg of the East 3 Route excursion on the 26th of October 2011.

The East3Route is an initiative by the governments of Swaziland, Mozambique and South Africa to promote and share tourism between the 3 countries.

 The excursion  had  a 250 strong delegation that consisted of  Ministers, media, tour operators and tourism stakeholders which included our very own tourism executive Mike Richardson, and celebrities travelling the three countries.

The last leg of the excursion which started in iSimangaliso Wetland Park and followed to Ponta do Ouro was at Hlane. And what a show stopper Hlane staff pulled!

 The 250 guests enjoyed a Sibhaca dance from BGP 2011 Dance Competition Champions on arrival.This was followed by a game drive where everyone was excited to see lion, elephant and white rhino among other animalsThey then enjoyed a delicious lunch served at the restaurant overlooking the watering hole.

The Minister for Tourism in Swaziland, Macford Sibandze, also gave speech highlighting the Kingdom of Swaziland and the tourism industry and investment opportunities abundant in the Kingdom.

 The excursion was concluded by a Black-tie Gala Dinner at the Royal Swazi Sun Convention Centre attended by our marketing department.

 The guests really enjoyed their short stay at Hlane especially the game drive and hospitality they received there.

Swaziland in Spring: Birding & Botany Blooms.

Birds at Reilly's Rock Hilltop Lodge

As Swaziland springs into life; local, regional and international visitors flock to its game studded plains to experience some of Southern Africa’s best birding and botany bloom.




BGP Birding & Botany Attractions

Hlane Royal National Park

Home to the largest herds of game in Swaziland with four of the Big 5 including Lion, Hlane also boasts a wide range of flora and fauna which attracts avitourists and botanists alike.

For budding botanists, the park has been rated as having one of the best examples of Knobthorn Acacia nigresens in Southern Africa which still blooms into spring while the bright yellow variety of Gloriosa Spinosadoes and Fireball Lily Scadoxis multiflorus light up the skies later in the season.

Hlane also has the highest density of tree-nesting vultures in Southern Africa, according to Ara Monadjem, who also recorded that White-backed Vulture nesting sites are very specific to protected areas such as Hlane, literally ending along the fence line.  Avitourists often spot vultures nesting throughout spring on top of Hlane’s Acacia trees or whilst bathing in the Mbuluzi River.

Mkhaya Game Reserve

Game viewing tracks between indigenous trees allow intimate encounters with Elephant, White and Black Rhino, and a rich diversity of flora and fauna in this superb refuge for endangered animals – widely renowned as an exciting conservation success. Local guides share their knowledge on open Land Rover drives and walking safaris, providing superb photographic opportunities which attract bush, birding and botany enthusiasts.

Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary

Mlilwane is the Kingdom’s most popular eco-tourism destination with 24-hour gate access and a wide range of accommodation and dining options to suit every pocket and palate. Visitors are able to enjoy nature on horseback, mountain bikes, hiking trails and open 4×4 drives. Fantastic birding walks are offered where Black, Crowned and Fish eagles as well asSwaziland’s National Bird; the Purple-crested Turaco are often spotted. Aquatic species such as the Finfoot, White-fronted Bee-eater and around six species of Kingfisher can also be seen.

Recommended Accommodation for Birding & Botany Enthusiasts

 Reilly’s Rock Hilltop Lodge

This stunning lodge located within Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary is steeped in history and attracts photographers-in-the-know from across the world keen to capture the birding and botany gem for themselves. Up-close encounters with rare and endangered small antelope such as Blue Duiker and Suni, a vast array of exquisite birdlife and regular nocturnal visits from Bush Babies keen to be fed a banana or two on the rooftop, provide the perfect subjects against a canvas of mature Royal Botanical Gardens featuring rare aloes and cycads and spectacular elevated views of the game-studded plains. The lodge’s beautiful rooms, famous Swazi hospitality and roaring log fires also add to the appeal.

Best for Bush Fanatics: Stone Camp

Swazi hospitality is a feature of Mkhaya Game Reserve’s Stone Camp, where traditional meals and dancing are enjoyed beneath a giant sausage tree before visitors retire along lantern-lit paths to their own semi-open stone and thatch cottages. Simple African Luxury at its very best.

Recommended Dining  for Birding & Botany Enthusiasts

 Hippo Haunt Restaurant at Mlilwane

The Hippo Haunt Restaurant at Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary overlooks a beautiful hippo pool surrounded by stunning vegetation and an abundance of aquatic birds and wildlife. Visitors can savour delicious meals including game while gazing at the resident hippos and crocs on the terrace or on cooler days cozy up on a comfortable couch next to a fireplace indoors.