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Eswatini (the Kingdom of Swaziland) is known for its rich culture, warm people and varied scenery.
This riding holiday offers great riding with comfortable accommodation at Mlilwane’s Rest Camp and KaMsholo’s Tinsele Camp. Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary is Eswatini’s pioneer conservation area, established over 60 years ago. On day 6, after a 2 hour drive across Eswatini, you move to KaMsholo which is a small pristine lowveld reserve tucked under the impressive Lubombo Mountains.
On some dates, in the drier months, the 7 night itinerary includes a two nights Sleep Out at EmaSomini Fly Camp.
Diversity and flexibility are the highlights of this holiday – Mlilwane offers great plains rides, climbing the Nyonyane Mountain, river crossings, with spectacular views across the Malkerns, Ezulwini and Mantenga Valleys. At KaMsholo you ride in the bushveld with giraffe sightings against the Lubombo backdrop and have the opportunity to herd the beautiful Nguni cattle.
Being largely camp-based there is also the possibility of opting out of a ride for a different activity such as a swim or a little more rest, relaxation and quiet time should you prefer.
Due to the steep terrain much of the riding will be steady, but there are also plenty of opportunities for good canters. There are some steep ascents and descents and on which you may have to dismount and walk. You should be fit enough for up to six hours in the saddle and able to sit encounters with local livestock and dogs.
The horses are mainly Warmblood crosses with Boerperd and Arab, but also include Friesian, Clydesdale and Percheron crossbreeds. They range in height from 14.2hh to 16hh.
The saddles are Leon Liversage Enduro saddles, which are very comfortable for the long hours on the trail. All horses are ridden in snaffle bridles. The riding style is English.
There is a rider weight limit of 85kg.
Hard hats are mandatory.
At the Mlilwane Rest Camp you stay in one of the four Lontweni Rondavels. Each rondavel has a double bed and single bed and en suite bathroom. There is also a veranda and private seating area.
Tinsele Camp at KaMsholo has 8 rondavels, each with a spacious bathroom and verandah. The camp has a lovely swimming pool and large lawn area. The Camp is about 2kms from the stables and restaurant area.
If on an itinerary which includes Sleep Out then two nights are spent in simple bush camps. The camping is in two man dome tents with bedrolls provided. There are warm water bush showers and eco-friendly long-drop toilets. The efficient support crew prepare meals around the camp fire and transport your luggage although you are welcome to help with camp chores and with looking after the horses.
|Holiday||Experience LevelExp Lvl||Arrive - DepartArr - Dep||Price||Itinerary||Availability|
|Mlilwane & KaMsholo||12 Jan 2024 - 19 Jan 2024||7 nights 7 ngts||$1,346.42||Book|
|Mlilwane & KaMsholo||14 Feb 2024 - 21 Feb 2024||7 nights 7 ngts||$1,346.42||Book|
|Mlilwane & KaMsholo||8 Mar 2024 - 15 Mar 2024||7 nights 7 ngts||$1,346.42||Book|
|Mlilwane & KaMsholo||9 Apr 2024 - 16 Apr 2024||7 nights 7 ngts||$1,346.42||Book|
|Mlilwane & KaMsholo (Sleep Out)||2 May 2024 - 9 May 2024||7 nights 7 ngts||$1,381.69||Book|
|Mlilwane & KaMsholo (Sleep Out)||14 May 2024 - 21 May 2024||7 nights 7 ngts||$1,381.69||Book|
|Mlilwane & KaMsholo||24 May 2024 - 31 May 2024||7 nights 7 ngts||$1,346.42||Book|
|Mlilwane & KaMsholo (Sleep Out)||12 Jun 2024 - 19 Jun 2024||7 nights 7 ngts||$1,381.69||Book|
|Mlilwane & KaMsholo (Sleep Out)||28 Jun 2024 - 5 Jul 2024||7 nights 7 ngts||$1,381.69||Book|
|Mlilwane & KaMsholo (Sleep Out)||30 Aug 2024 - 6 Sep 2024||7 nights 7 ngts||$1,381.69||Book|
|Mlilwane & KaMsholo||17 Sep 2024 - 24 Sep 2024||7 nights 7 ngts||$1,346.42||Book|
|Mlilwane & KaMsholo||6 Dec 2024 - 13 Dec 2024||7 nights 7 ngts||$1,346.42||Book|
INCLUDES Meals; accommodation; riding.
A Conservation Fee (for 7 nights) of $32.79 adult or $16.40 child will be added to your invoice.
SINGLE SUPPLEMENT (7 nights) will be charged until a sharer is confirmed. Mlilwane & KaMsholo - $92.59. Mlilwane & KaMsholo with Sleep Out -$100.03
PAYABLE LOCALLY Tips; Drinks; Cost of the transfers to and from KaMsholo which are approximately $275.57 and are split between the group.
NEAREST AIRPORT Johannesburg
TRANSFERS The transfer from Johannesburg to Mlilwane in Eswatini takes about four hours by road. Most people transfer from Johannesburg by shuttle bus which costs approximately $44.70 each way.
If not self-driving, then most international riders transfer from Johannesburg to Eswatini by shuttle bus from Johannesburg. This is a scheduled service which costs in the region of GBP 40 each way and must be prebooked to guarantee space. The ride operator can book this on your behalf and the cost is added to your invoice.
Your flight should arrive at Johannesburg airport at the latest by 07:30. This is so you will be in time to get the scheduled shuttle bus which departs from the airport at 09:00. The bus service will not wait for you if your flight is delayed. There is a later shuttle bus departing at 11:00 but you could not rely on this to have space and it would mean that you would miss the afternoon ride and incur additional transfer costs.
To save any worries over delayed flights you may wish to consider arriving into Johannesburg the day before and overnighting at an airport hotel.
Return flights should depart Johannesburg after 20:00. The shuttle bus is expected to arrive back to Johannesburg airport by 16:00 but, since it is a four hour journey and includes a border crossing, delays are possible, hence we recommend your flight departs after 20:00.
Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary is in the Ezulwini Valley of central Eswatini, south of the city of Mbabane.
Along the western highlands Eswatini has a temperate climate. The eastern and southern lowveld areas of eSwatini are generally hot. Eswatini lies in a summer rainfall region.
The autumn months of March to May see the trees change to a beautiful colour, and towards the end of May it will get cooler. June to August is winter. Days are pleasantly warm, in the range 17 ºC to 25 ºC, ideal for riding.
Nights can be cold; in the mountains temperatures can drop sharply and frosts are not uncommon. Rain is unlikely in June and July, but possible in September.
September to November is spring. It’s a lovely time of year as the rains bring the first green grass and blossom on the trees.
The horses were in excellent condition and it was very evident that the welfare of the horses was paramount. The whole holiday far exceeded my expectations. I was perfectly teamed up with a horse that ensured I had the most wonderful 6 days of trail riding. Millpond was a perfect gentleman. All the information I required had been provided by email and in my holiday pack. Magical. A gem of a holiday, I will be returning.
Michelle ,CheshireOverall rating: 5/5
Eswatini has an amazing range of terrain and wildlife for such a small country. This is an ideal trip for anyone interested in an authentic safari with wilderness camping.