Why add BGP to your Itinerary?

Ideally located between Kruger National Park and Kwa-Zulu Natal as well as Gauteng, Mpumalanga and Maputo (see maps below), BGP’s wide variety of wildlife including the Big 5, alongside excellent management, makes it an essential destination for inclusion in any African Itinerary.

Does BGP Match My Requirements?

Benefits of using BGP:

  • Excellent Location
  • True Value For Money
  • Unparalleled Game Viewing
  • Easy Logistical Management
  • Famous Swazi Culture & Hospitality
  • Accommodation To Suit All Price Points
  • Wide Range Of Activity Add-Ons
Accommodation Options:
  • Camping/Caravanning
  • Overnight on hiking/horse-riding trails
  • Self-Catering
  • Cultural Beehive Huts
  • Rondavels
  • Family Cottages
  • Unique Bush Cottages
  • Luxury Lodge
Activity Options:
  • Sunrise, Midday, Sunset Game Drives
  • Game Walks
  • Bird Walks
  • Self-Drive
  • Cultural Visits
  • Mountain Biking
  • Horse Riding
Dining Options:
  • BBQ/Braai Areas
  • Self-Catering Facilities
  • Restaurants
  • Curio/Snack Shops
  • Conference/event/group dining package options
Corporate Options:
  • Conference/events facilities
  • Client retention packages
  • Teambuilding packages
How Can I Find Out More?
BGP will be at stand AF303 at this year’s World Trade Market (WTM) in ExCel in London from Monday 7th – Thursday 10th November showcasing Hlane Royal National ParkMlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary and Mkhaya Game Reserve as essential destinations in any African Itinerary. Interested in adding BGP to your itinerary? Simply fill in the form below to set up an appointment at the show. If you’re unable to make the show but are still interested simply fill in the form and say so in the comment field and we’ll be in touch.

BGP Meeting/Information Request Form:

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Second Rhino Poaching Incident Hits Swaziland

At Midnight on Tuesday 27th September 2011, Swaziland fell victim to her second Rhino poaching incident; a pregnant white rhino cow poached for both her horns at Hlane Royal National Park. The incident shortly followed the loss of Swaziland’s first rhino in over 20 years which capped the African Rhino Range State record on Friday 3rd June, and the subsequent death of her weaner calf. A cost often not considered when rhinos are poached is the resultant loss of the calves due to loosing their mothers. Swaziland lost one such calf in the first incident while the unborn calf of the second cow can also be added to the cost of poaching. This has obvious impact on the breeding potential of the rhino population especially as rhinos normally calve every three years from the age of approximately ten years old. The second incident confirms that the first incident was orchestrated by the same South African Rhino Poaching Syndicate. Both horns and two firearms have been recovered following a tip-off to the Royal Swaziland Police.

Swazilandis one of the few remaining stable breeding environments in the world and this is now at risk. To date poachers have never reaped the promised rewards for their participation. Indeed, duringSwaziland’s Rhino War of 1988-92 when the Kingdom lost almost 80% of its Rhino to poaching, not a single poacher was paid the promised reward. Similarly, the re-emergence of rhino poaching this year has lead to arrest or in the most recent incidence, death, within a matter of days following the sharp detective work of the Royal Swaziland Police, the commitment of the rangers and, importantly, to the eager support of the concerned public.

Swaziland also has a highly-respected and strict Game Act, a tight-community culture, in which large poaching operations can’t fail to go unnoticed, and the support of its monarchy and people who culturally place the protection of their children’s natural heritage, and the preservation of one of their key employers; the tourism industry, as a priority.

The two incidents below serve as an example of the perils of rhino poaching:

On 3rd June 2011 Swaziland lost her first rhino to poachers since 1992, capping the African Rhino Range State record. Ironically, the brutalised Rhino carcass, a young two-ton white rhino cow and mother to a calf which later died as a result, was discovered on Saturday 4th June; World Environment Day. Five men were arrested within three days for the poaching incident, but the two (ultimately charged for the poaching) were initially released on bail. The shooter had escaped back toSouth Africa with some of their accomplices, apparently commissioned by a South African.

On 27th September 2011 a second, pregnant rhino cow, was shot dead by poachers, again at Hlane Royal National Park. Having heard the gunshots at midnight rangers found the carcass from the viewpoint of a hired helicopter the following morning. Both horns were missing. Big Game Parks worked closely with the Royal Swaziland Police and leads were quickly established. On the 28th September, the Royal Swaziland Police received a tip-off and homed in on Maphatsindvuku near Hlane. The suspects opened fire after refusing to surrender and the police were compelled to shoot in self-defense which resulted in three South African men shot dead. The men were in possession of two rhino horns and a mini .223 Ruger as well as a 375 H&H Magnum. The three men are believed to be of the same syndicate which orchestrated the June poaching incident, some allegedly on bail for rhino poaching cases and others having broken out of jail cells from Badplaas Prison in Mphumalanga South Africa, while one is suspected of killing a South African policeman. The suspects are allegedly connected to at least 12 rhino murders in Songimvelo Game Reserve inSouth Africa’s Mphumalanga province on the North-West border of Swaziland as well as other surrounding areas.

Big Game Parks would like to express its gratitude to the public for their support of rhino conservation through public sympathy as well as passing on valuable information to the rangers and police to help them solve these serious crimes. Further, we urge the public to continue to support their natural heritage by simply visiting and enjoying the wildlife withinSwaziland’s parks.

In this instance, Big Game Parks offered a R10, 000 reward for any information leading to the arrest or conviction of those involved in the rhino poaching incident. Aware of the very real threat of the eruption of a second rhino war in Swaziland, Big Game Parks is also offering a R20, 000 reward for information which is proven to prevent a rhino poaching incident from occurring and which successfully brings the perpetrators to book. In light of these recent incidences, it is vital to remain vigilant and prevent future human and wildlife casualties by sending any information on suspected future poaching practices to The Royal Swaziland Police or to Big Game Parks via email: poachingalerts@biggameparks.org or by phoning +268 76043867.

BGP Photography Competition Winners revealed!

Many thanks for all your wonderful submissions for our BGP Photography Competition this August 2011. You’ll remember the theme was ‘Wild Swaziland’ in celebration of the Kingdom’s rich biodiversity of wildlife. Our judge, professional photographer Roger de la Harpe, certainly didn’t have an easy task with a wide range of photos submitted from visitors from across the globe to each of our three parks: Hlane Royal National Park, Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary and Mkhaya Game Reserve.

On this occasion there was something special in the air at Mlilwane with the winning 3 photographs all hailing from this park, and we also had a double-winner; Roy Bicknell from Swaziland, whose pictures caught Roger’s eye, stealing both 1st and 2nd place!

And the winners are…

1st Place: Roy Bicknell, Swaziland
Prize: Roy’s stunning photo ‘All Puffed Up’ of a Red Bishop wins him a night for two people at 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! Prize includes dinner, bed and breakfast and Mlilwane Conservation entry fee.

2nd Place: Roy Bicknell, Swaziland
Prize: Roy’s impressive close up ‘You looking at Me’ of a hippo at Mlilwane wins him a guided mountain bike trail for two at Hlane Royal National Park.

Roy will enjoy the majesty of Hlane Royal National Park on a 2 hr Swazi-guided mountain bike trail for two! Home to the largest herds of game in the Kingdom, with four of the big 5, including lion, Hlane offers visitors the chance to discover Swaziland’s natural heritage up-close-and-personal. Ndlovu camp overlooks a waterhole frequented by White Rhino and elephant and bushveld cuisine is served at the beautiful semi-open restaurant. Other activities available at Hlane include guided game and birding walks and game drives. Prize excludes conservation entry fee.

3rd Place: Bridget Wray, Swaziland
Prize: Bridget’s shot ‘Future Foretold’ of a Roan Antelope at Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary wins her a Chubeka Horse Experience for two at Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary

Future Foretold

Bridget will enjoy a guided hourly horseback trail through Big Game Parks’ stunning Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary where visitors may spot hippo, crocodile, black eagle, nyala and warthog sightings, along with an abundance of beautiful birds. Make a day of it by taking advantage of the stunning hiking trails while you’re there, bringing along meat for a braai or enjoying the Hippo Haunt Restaurant’s famous bush cuisine. Prize excludes conservation entry fee.

You’ve won! How do you claim your prize?

Congratulations! Simply email marketing@biggameparks.org to claim your prize voucher. We hope you enjoy your prize and experience at Big Game Parks. All prizes subject to BGP’s terms and conditions.

Haven’t been lucky on this occasion?

If you haven’t won on this occasion, perhaps you’d like to try your luck at one of our forthcoming competitions or take advantage of our photography specials or future photography events? Here’s how to find out more…

Current 3 nights for 2 special at prime photography destinations: Mkhaya & Reilly’s Rock:
Simply email our friendly reservations team on: reservations@biggameparks.org to book or find out more

Regular competitions on our blog
Check bgpblog.org for our regular competitons, offers and promotions

Photographic safari at Mkhaya Game Reserve  
Stay tuned for more information via email or contact marketing@biggameparks.org to express an interest

BGP Hosts Water Table at Swazi Slojos

Swazi Slojos
Swazi Slojos

Big Game Parks is hosting a water table tomorrow; Saturday 24 Septemeber 2011, at the Swazi Slojos 21.1 km race, and would like to wish all runners the best of luck.

Over 400 participants will be up bright and early for the half-marathon race which starts at 06h30 at Ezulwini Sun Hotel.

Big Game Parks will be at Water Table No.3, 13.5 km from the start line at Elangeni. Water, juice, and fruit aren’t the only things we will be providing. Over 400 athletes will also be cheered on by BGP staff as they race to the finish line.

As soon as you hit the dirt road, under the MR3 Freeway around Elangeni, look out for our banners and anticipate the best hydration point!

Best of luck and see you there!

Come and visit BGP at the Getaway Show!

Come and see Big Game Parks at the Getaway Show

The Kingdom of Swaziland’s Big Game Parks will be at The Getaway Show at the Coca-Cola Dome in Johannesburg from 2-4 September 2011.

We will be at Stand B42  promoting our limited 3 Nights for 2 special offer at Swaziland’s prime photography destinations: Mkhaya Game Reserve and Reilly’s Rock Hilltop Lodge.

We will also be chatting to you about our other exciting products on offer.

Come and let’s have a chat, at the Getaway Show, this weekend!

BGP Photography Comp Hots Up….Only 2 weeks to go!

With only two weeks to go until we close our BGP Photography Competition and announce the lucky winner of a luxury night’s stay for two at Reilly’s Rock and runners-up who will receive a guided mountain bike trail at Hlane Royal National Park or a Chubeka Horse Ride at Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary, the competition’s certainly hotting up. Will any of the submissions below take the coveted prizes…or could you take the winning shot?

"Warthog Family" taken by J.W.le Roux at Hlane Royal National Park
“A Lazy Day in the Sun" taken by Michael Goodling on Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary
'Baby Barnowl' by Heide Carey taken at Hlane Royal National Park
'Hornbill with mini Hamburger' taken by Jacobus Cilliers at Hlane Royal National Park

More than Gold: The Rhino Rescue Project

Swaziland’s proud 20 year rhino record was recently shattered with the loss of a young female rhino and her calf at Hlane Royal National Park. Big Game Parks was touched by the level of support from local, regional and international supporters who greatly lamented this loss. One such supporter, Melinda MacInnis, stepped up and, along with her highly-respected team, is currently making a documentary showing how the Rhino Wars have been brought back to Africa, and how the fate of Swaziland’s (and the world’s) rhino population hangs in the balance.

These truly majestic animals represent some of our planet’s last great megafauna and stand as a symbol of what our species is doing to every other. Rhinos have existed on this planet for millions of years and have always  been a part of the human experience, sparking our imagination and wonder. And now because some have decided that their horns are worth more than gold, we are about to wipe them out.

Through education, legislation, and the development of a global voice, we aspire to bring rhinos back from the brink of extinction. Melinda has already finished filming in Swaziland and is now in the post-production phase. Because everyone has so far worked for free (most especially John Mans, the Emmy-nominated, veteran nature and adventure cinematographer) or for drastically reduced rates, Melinda’s been able to capture something really remarkable and worthy of reaching as large an audience as possible, and now they just need that final push!

Please help spread the word of this project to turn the tide for the world’s rhinos!

How you can help