Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary in Swaziland
Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary is Swaziland's oldest conservation area, which was created to protect the wildlife in the area from diminishing. The beautiful, diverse landscape of the sanctuary, provides a refuge for animals to thrive in and a place for people to relax and appreciate the natural world. There are no big predators in the area, so you are free to wander the trails on foot or horse back and breathe in the fresh air. From grassy plains in the south to the rugged mountains in the north, the sanctuary is a scenic paradise with much to see and do!
Best Time to Go
May - September
Average Safari Cost
$80 - $1,000 pp/day. Park fee: $3.20
Sunrise and sunset game drives, horse-back safaris, walking safaris, Nyonyane Mountains, Usutu Forest, Hippo pool, overnight horse trails, mountain biking and the Rock of Execution and more.
Why Visit Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary
The Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Ezulwini Valley - the Valley of Heaven. The southern part of the park is where most of the tourist activities occur, since the north is dominated by the Nyonyane Mountain with its striking granite peak called the Rock of Execution. The sanctuary offers many walking trails and horseback safaris so you can explore the land with or without guidance and take in the natural splendour.
Explore the sanctuary for some unique and intimate animal encounters and relax in the exquisite environment. If you're up for a challenge, there are guided trails that lead up the mountainous land in the north, which offer some breathtaking panoramas from high viewpoints. Travel here for some outdoor relaxation and unique game viewing opportunities!
Pros and Cons
- Mountain biking, walking safaris and horseback safaris available
- You can travel with or without a guide
- Excellent birdwatching
- Good game viewing
- Different accommodation options
- Lacks many typical safari animals
- Some activities may be expensive
Best Time to Go
Start your African Adventure
Tailor-Made South African Safari
We constantly strive to improve our award winning safari packages each year. I believe this is the best safari package we have ever offered, providing great quality at an affordable price. We start this safari at our safari base, the exclusive Rukiya Safari Lodge located on the banks of the Blyde River in the Wild Rivers private Nature Reserve. Rukiya is not only our safari base but is also a key location for our leopard research program. Following four days at Rukiya with our team, you will visit three other game reserves to ensure you can enjoy a variety of different lodge styles and reserves to give you a comprehensive safari experience. This safari provides a perfect balance between big five game viewing and a chance to gain a better understanding or be involved with wildlife conservation. As well as opportunities to explore in the company of wildlife conservationists. Of-course there is also time for some R&R to sit back, relax and enjoy the African bush. We recommend our safari itinerary shown below, as we’ve developed and honed it over many years in keeping with our company ethos and moreover feedback from safari guests. It covers all the elements that we feel should be included in an African safari, and has received many five star guest reviews”.
South Africa Rainbow Route - SAa17
The Rainbow Route is an overview tour of South Africa including neighbouring Kingdom of Swaziland. The tour covers many highlights with a strong focus on the national parks. This diverse country is explored over great distances that may involve long days on the road, generally followed by a full day to experience the area. The fully accommodated tour offers a great value for money way to explore South Africa.
Wildlife and Birds
- Suni antelope, oribi, African wild cat
- Zebra, impala, nyala, kudu, hippo, crocodile, warthog
With over 200 recorded species of bird, Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary is a great birding destination. Various herons, ducks and cormorants can be found around the water sources while many birds of prey circle the skies.
- Southern bald ibis
Getting There and Safety
Most visitors will fly to the King Mswati III International Airport via South African Cape Town or Johannesburg airports from where you can drive or book a domestic or charter flight to an airstrip closer to the Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary.
For the flights to Swaziland, it is advised to check Skyscanner (for multiple destination flights), to see which airlines can take you there and compare various ticket prices.
If you are based in the UK and Europe, check out these flights to Swaziland.
If you are based in the USA and Canada, check out these flights to Swaziland.
All foreign visitors need to have a valid passport with several black pages. Some nationalities may visit for a maximum of 30 days without a visa, but may apply for an extension. Other nationalities will need to apply for a visa in advance. Check whether you should apply for a visa on the Swaziland Ministry of Home Affairs website.
For more information on visas see our Swaziland Safari - Complete Country Guide.
The recommended vaccinations for Swaziland are diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, varicella, polio, hepatitis A and typhoid. Check with your local medical authority which vaccinations are necessary.
Check your local travel health authority for more information:
Going on a safari in Africa comes with obvious risks. We recommend you get travel insurance for all safaris in Swaziland. Make sure your insurance has full medical coverage, emergency air evacuation, repatriation and the standard travel insurance for cancellations, delays and luggage cover.
Check World Nomads’ travel insurance calculator to see the cost of your safari trip cover.
Pack clothes for both hot and cold weather as temperatures are very hot during the day and cold at night. Try to pack neutral, earthy toned clothes and avoid bright colours and white. Other essential items are a hat, sunglasses, sun screen, toiletries, closed shoes, torch, batteries, insect repellent, first aid kit, binoculars and camera.
For more details on what to pack see our Safari Packing List.
Horseback safaris are safe for beginners and the horses are used to the trails so you do not need to have ridden a horse before. The guides can help you and give you tips on how you should ride.
For more information on horseback safaris in Africa see our Horseback Safari - Expert Travel Guide to Africa.