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Superb Scenery, diverse birdlife and close encounters with Africa's legendary wildlife, including the Big 5, continue to thrill many visitors and a stay in Swaziland is incomplete without a visit to one of the game or nature reserves.Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary
Mlilwane, Swazilands pioneer conservation area, is a beautiful, secluded sanctuary situated in Swazilands Valley of Heaven, the Ezulwini Valley, in between Mbabane and Manzini.
The Sanctuary covers 4,560 hectares and comprises of a southern and northern section.
The Sanctuary is Swaziland's most frequently visited reserve where one can enjoy the beauty of the surroundings and the abundant wildlife that grace the plains.
Visitors can explore the southern portion of the Sanctuary by foot, vehicle, on horseback and on mountain bikes. Those who simply want to relax can sit back in the camps and enjoy the tranquility of Nature.
Accommodation varies from the exclusive Homestead Guesthouse, to self-catering cottages, wooden huts, tradtitional bee-hive huts, camping and a international youth hostel.
Nestling next door to Mlilwane is the Mantenga Nature reserve - a small protected area of 725 hectares - housing the Swazi Cultural Village and Mantenga Falls.Hlane Royal National Park
Hlane is home to the largest herds of game in the Kingdom. Hlane with its adjacent dispersal areas covers 30 000 hectares of Swazi bushveld, dominated by ancient hardwood vegetation.
Hlane is home to lion, elephant and white rhino, with an abundant and diverse bird life, including the highest density of nesting white backed vultures in Africa.
A network of self-drive game-viewing roads criss-cross the park and guided walking safaris, mountain biking and game drives in Hlane's open Land Rover's are also available.
Mkhaya Game Reserve
Mkhaya was established in 1979 to save the pure Nguni breed of cattle from extinction and is a proclaimed Nature Reserve. Its focus has expanded over the years to include other endangered species such as black rhino, roan & sable antelope, tsessebe, white rhino, elephant and other locally endangered species.
Mkhaya Game Reserve comprises of acacia-dominated thornveld in the south and broadleaf sandveld in the north. Unique, intimate encounters with Mkhayas wildlife are almost guaranteed as all travel within the reserve is solely by Big Game Parks open Land Rovers or on foot (all guided).
The reserve is criss-crossed with dry riverbeds, dotted with waterholes and has a network of intertwined game-viewing roads.Phophonyane Falls Ecolodge and Nature Reserve
In the north-west, near Piggs Peak, is the private Phophoyane Nature reserve.
Quiet and peacefull, bar the melody of its famed birdlife, this little reserve is an example of sensitive development and its tastefully furnished cottages are a favourite stop for travellers.
Perched above the cascading Phophonyane Falls, the Reserve can rightly claim its title as Swaziland's "Garden of Eden"