Reilly’s Rock Hilltop Lodge oozes historical charm, has commanding views of Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary below, and grounds alive with birds and endangered antelope.
Within Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary just 3 km from Mlilwane’s Rest Camp is Mlilwane Hill. The hill is fenced off to facilitate the breeding of endangered and locally threatened antelope as well as safeguarding the Royal Botanical Gardens featuring the Gilbert Reynolds Memorial Aloe Garden.
Near the top of Mlilwane Hill is Reilly’s Rock Hilltop Lodge, the original home of the former Mickey Reilly, now converted into a ‘quaintly colonial’ comfortable 6-room lodge. Many a colourful story is told of Mickey Reilly, an entrepreneur who ran the McCreedy Tin Mines in the early 1900’s. His son, Ted Reilly, grew up here – and this is where Ted’s dream of nature conservation took root.
Linked to the greater Mlilwane Trails network, residents may wander the hillside, walk the trails, view the game, book an activity at Mlilwane’s Rest Camp or simply relax on the terraced lawns and take in the spectacular views. Breakfast on the veranda and campfire dinners followed by our bushbaby experience in the evenings are unforgettable.
Wildlife at Reilly’s Rock Hilltop Lodge
Grazing antelope species that are locally threatened are being bred in separate camps on the Mlilwane Hill. These include roan antelope, oribi, blue and red duiker, suni, klipspringer, grey rhebuck, red hartebeest and waterbuck. These populations are responding well to protection and have tamed down remarkably, allowing for amazing photographic opportunities and quintessential game viewing.
Accommodation at Reilly’s Rock Hilltop Lodge
From on top of Mlilwane Hill, within Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary, Reilly’s Rock has commanding views over the plains.
3 km from the Rest Camp, Reilly’s Rock offers secluded comfort while still being linked to Mlilwane’s walking trail network with access to activities. Reilly’s Rock has two distinct areas:
Main House – Reception, large lounge, dining room, wrap around veranda, breakfast patio and four en-suite rooms.
Garden Cottage – Separate but close, with two en-suite rooms, a shared lounge with fireplace and wrap-around veranda.
Mlilwane offers a great diversity of habitats including riverine, forest, mountain, aquatic and grass savanna plains, through which guided or self-guided activities are encouraged. All activities depart from Rest Camp Reception, have safety requirements and are weather- dependent.
Booking at least 1 hour prior departure (24 hours for overnight trails). Indemnities required.
Mlilwane Map with Roads & Trails sold at Reception and Sangweni Gate.
S26 28.280 E31 10.799
S26 28 16.8 E31 10 47.9
Children 13+ years are permitted at Reilly’s Rock.
Comfort and charm are foremost at Reilly’s Rock, which has been awarded AA Highly Recommended status. Each of the 6 en-suite rooms has its own character, working with the original sizes and aspects of each.
All rooms en-suite with wardrobe, ceiling fan, heater. Bedding and towels provided.
Dinner, bed & breakfast package, including conservation fee. Clean comfort with electricity.
Reilly’s Room - Luxury room. Spacious, double bed, fire place, dresser, couches Bath, shower, basin, toilet.
Wallis Room - Luxury Room. Spacious, double bed, dresser. Shower, basin, toilet.
Palm Room - Standard room, double bed, dresser, hallway. Shower, basin, toilet.
Fern Room - Standard room, double bed, dresser, hallway. Bath, shower, basin, toilet.
Cottage (Red Room) - Standard room, double bed, Bath, basin, toilet
Cottage (Green Room) - Standard room, twin singles, Bath, basin, toilet
Down Gran’s Self-Catering Cottage (Max. 7 people)
Located approx. 200m from Reilly’s Rock Hilltop Lodge, still within the Botanical Gardens, Down Gran’s Self-Catering Cottage offers magical privacy for a small group of friends, keen for a little independence in serene surrounds with amazing species that call it home. This cottage is perfect for hikers, birders, horse riders, mountain bikers and quiet time in nature. Guests are requested not to cycle within the breeding areas, using only the gate provided through the orchard.
All Mlilwane Activities are available to Reilly’s Rock and Down Gran’s guests.