Overview – Mbuluzi GR
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.
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
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.
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.
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:
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