Overview – Mbuluzi GR

Alan Murphy
Expert
By Alan Murphy

Alan is a renowned Africa expert and has authored many Lonely Planet guidebooks, including the Swaziland section of their 'South Africa, Lesotho & Swaziland' guide.

Alan has authored many Lonely Planet guidebooks, including the Swaziland section of their 'South Africa, Lesotho & Swaziland' guide.

Alan has authored the Swaziland section of Lonely Planet's 'South Africa, Lesotho & Swaziland' guide.

Alan researched and wrote about Swaziland for Lonely Planet.

The privately owned Mbuluzi Game Reserve in Swaziland (Eswatini) is well run. Contrary to the neighboring Mlawula Nature Reserve, poaching is well under control here and wildlife numbers are increasing. Aside from crocodiles, the reserve doesn’t have any dangerous animals and activities are self-guided. Other than driving around, walking and mountain biking are encouraged. The habitat is kept pristine and birding is superb. A portion of the proceeds generated by the reserve go to a community development fund.

Best Time to Go June to September (Dry season, best wildlife viewing)
High Season Dec to Jan (It never gets very busy)
Size 30km² / 12mi²
Altitude 150-450m / 492-1,476ft

Pros & Cons

  • Off-the-beaten-track destination
  • Accommodation options inside the park include luxury lodges
  • Family friendly
  • Unspoiled wilderness with pristine habitat
  • Safe for unguided walking and biking
  • Small park with limited road network
  • Not many big safari animals

Mbuluzi GR Safari Reviews

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  • Wildlife
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  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding

Wildlife

The reserve has a good variety of animals which are quite easily seen. Some of the wildlife you’re likely to encounter include giraffe, greater kudu, blue wildebeest, waterbuck, zebra, impala, bushbuck, nyala, duiker and warthog. There are crocodiles in the rivers and hippos occasionally come through as well. On a night drive, you might be lucky enough to see nocturnal species like civet, genet, honey badger or bushpig. Hyena are often heard and leopards are around, but seldom seen.

Scenery

Mbuluzi Game Reserve is bound by the beautiful Mbuluzi River and the Lubombo Mountain Range in the east. It boasts a remarkable diversity of habitats. This includes riverine forest with towering sycamore figs and wild date palms, rocky cliffs, knobthorn savannah, acacia bushveld and open grasslands.

Weather & Climate

Mbuluzi’s weather and climate can be compared to Swaziland in general. Read more:

Best Time to Visit

Mbuluzi can be visited throughout the year, but the dry months from June to September are best for wildlife viewing. During this time, the bush is less thick and animals drift towards permanent water sources. As Mlawula isn’t primarily a wildlife-viewing destination, you might prefer the wet summer months when the scenery is lush and green. Birding is best then too as migratory birds are present. The summer months (from October to May) can be very hot though, and it rains regularly in the afternoon. April and September are beautiful transitional months.

Getting There

Mbuluzi can usually be accessed in a 2WD vehicle. It is located about 90km/55mi from Manzini and the drive takes about 1½ hours.

Health & Safety

Please read our malaria and vaccinations page for Swaziland, and our general wildlife viewing safety precautions page for more info:

Want to Visit Mbuluzi GR?

Mbuluzi GR Safari Reviews

  • Expert Rating
    0.0/5
     –  0 Reviews
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
  • User Rating
    0.0/5
     –  0 Reviews
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding