Blogs from Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary, Swaziland, Africa


Africa » Swaziland » Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary October 12th 2016

Arrived into our camp in Swaziland on Tuesday after a very hot journey. I had a bizarre experience at the border where a very happy border man vigorously shook my hand!! We stayed in a game park which because it had no cats meant we could walk around. The food there was excellent and we even ate Impala which is a type of antelope. We stayed in more beehive type huts with a sliding door which I again had to crawl into. We shared the camp with warthogs and antelopes! I tried to take a picture of the mother warthog but she came at me and I nearly fell over. On Tuesday evening after our evening meal we watched traditional Swazi singing and dancing, including high kicks from the men and women. On Wednesday we went ... read more

Africa » Swaziland » Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary October 11th 2016

Alarm goes off at 05:03 (I never set it for round numbers), it’s still a bit dark. I’ll have five more minutes I think. Wake up five minutes later, check my phone, it’s 5:45. Quickly jump up and put shorts on, t-shirt on, socks and shoes on that had been left at hand as this was my last chance. I’d promised myself to do it yesterday too but couldn’t bring myself to venture out of the sleeping bag at such an ungodly hour. Tent zipped open and there are actually a few people about which takes the edge off my premature sense of achievement. Chloe is there, licking fat off the braai (Chloe is a nyala – a pretty spiral horned antelope). Stopwatch is fastened to wrist as I stumble stiffly to the bathroom for rapid ... read more
I think you should always smile...
Swazi traditional village
Impalas and Nyalas

Africa » Swaziland » Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary February 21st 2015

This afternoon was a great highlight for our trip - we were entertained in a Swazi village near the entrance of Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary. The chief (a 37-year-old widow) was out on royal business, so her daughter led the visit. The local guide, Sicuelo, and his assistant, Sonnboy, first dressed us appropriately by wrapping a cloth around our waist (women) or over one shoulder (men). Sonnboy knotted our wraps, taking care to have the printed image of the king right-side-up and right-side-out. Then we were led into the village. Sicuelo asked us to wait under a tree and not to wander because he had to seek permission for us to enter the village and the chief’s compound. Meanwhile, Sonnboy taught us how to respond to the greeting phrase. After some time Sicuelo brought us into the ... read more
High Veldt
Mud Weaver nests
Swaziland on horizon

Pongola, SA to the Kingdom of Swaziland. 216 km (134 miles) Tuesday, March 18th Rain cleared up this morning, but the ground was soaked underneath the RV. Valerie carefully backed out, but quickly mired down in the muck and we had to be towed out like the rig right beside us, by the mechanic who followed us along. Drove first about a km into town, to fill up with diesel fuel and get drinks and snacks. I bought some huge avocados from a young boy selling 5 of them in a sack to people at the “garage” (a gas station to the Americans reading this). We paid more than the locals, I am very sure, but they were cheap for us, at the price he asked for them. Unhappily, even after putting them in a brown ... read more
1403-359 Storks on the Mlilwani Wildlife Sanctuary
1403-360 Storks and other birds roosting in the trees
1403-361 One of several ponds on the reserve

Africa » Swaziland » Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary August 25th 2012

I got very lucky on the day I was leaving Sodwana Bay and South Africa. Curtis, from USA, who was also staying at Natural Moments, was leaving the same day I was for Johannesburg in his rented car. He kindly agreed to drop me close to the Swazi border, but in the end brought me all the way to the Onverwacht border post with Swaziland. At first, this didn’t look like it would be the best border to cross at. We had to follow a gravel road for a few kilometres before re-joining the tarred road to the border. There wasn’t a much signs of any other vehicles going through, which didn’t bode well for my hopes of getting a lift of some sort to the next town. The Swazi immigration official gave me some grief ... read more
Red Hartebeest

We spent lunch and the afternoon and early evening at Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary. A few of us took an open air LandRover tour of the park to see ample zebra, impala, antelope, wildebeast, monkeys and a hippo. Amazing vistas of the hills and valleys here in Swaziland - strikingly beautiful. The weather was very pleasant so the animals were out in force and it was comfortable for us. Mostly pictures tell the story.... read more
Guest Huts
On the Trail

Africa » Swaziland » Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary February 28th 2012

After leaving Kruger Park, driving south, we entered yet another African country: Swaziland. First on the agenda was to clean the camper. The dirt roads in Kruger made a red dusty mess of both the inside and the outside of the camper. Frequently, on the roadside, you see CAR WASH- at some very unlikely spot. The first one we saw, we pulled in. There was a tap for water, with a hose, some buckets, and one guy who looked VERY ragged. The price- 50 Rand- (South American Currency) equivalent to about $6. Cdn. Mark commited to the deal. Immediately, about 4 other guys showed up- they all took buckets and rags- and proceeded to clean the camper like it had never been cleaned. They scrubbed- sprayed and dried it- even under the wheel wells- the tires- ... read more
Bush pig
Pretty bird- couldn't find the name

Africa » Swaziland » Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary September 15th 2011

Our destination in Swaziland was the Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary – a beautiful retreat up in a valley in the mountains where you can sleep in traditional bee hive huts. We really had no idea what to expect in Swaziland as there was no real website for Mlilwane and it was not on trip advisor. So for me I was a bit nervous as I like to know what I am getting into ahead of time. Once again though, this place far exceeded anything we even imagined. Before reaching our destination, we first stopped at the Swazi Candle Factory – a little place very close to Mlilwane where they make candles by hand. It’s not really a factory like what we think of. It is more of a Candle shop. The man was sitting right there ... read more
The delicious lunch we had outside the candle factory
Roan antelope

Africa » Swaziland » Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary September 7th 2011

M – Take a look at this series of photos and find out. This little scene came as a little light relief after this Rhino’s mates had finally finished starring me down (see previous blog) and decided to move on into the bush or sat back down in the mud.... read more
And a couple more that are difficult to reach
And another itch
At least I think he's scratching an itch

Africa » Swaziland » Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary September 6th 2011

M – Swaziland is one of those exotic place names I can remember from my childhood. Perhaps I heard it on the news or maybe I saw it on a map but I suspect it is more likely that I saw it on a stamp - yes I did collect stamps as a kid! We needed to get to Durban from the Kruger to visit the Indian Consul and cutting through Swaziland is the quickest route. Swaziland is an odd place. Both it and Lesotho sit like islands within the North East of South Africa. Due to the need to deposit our passports at the Indian Consul in Durban for a week to get our Indian Visas we couldn’t actually go to Lesotho but I wasn’t going to miss out on Swaziland! Swaziland is a small ... read more
Two Rhinos suddenly take an interest in me
Still looking
They move on a little

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