eSwatini (formerly Swaziland) - Mlilwane Explorer

Experience Level
  • Open Apr-May, Jul-Sep
  • Set arrivals
  • 8 to 9 nights / 6 days of riding
  • Weight limit: 13st 5lbs (85 kg) (187 pounds)
  • Usual maximum: 8

The Kingdom of Swaziland is known for its rich culture, warm people and varied scenery. Based at the historical Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary, the riding route takes us through plains game, up into the scenic western mountains and passing through rural Swazi communities. During ascent, the rides may be slow, but there will be opportunites for faster riding each day.

After the riding from Mlilwane you head first to Hlane where there is the opportunity to see lion and elephant from the safety of a safari vehicle and then on to the lowveld of Mkhaya Game Reserve home to both black and white rhino.

The reserves you visit have completely different habitats – Mlilwane is mountains and grassland; Mkhaya is typical lowveld thorn veld, so an amazing combination.

The horses are mostly Arab x Boerperd x Warmblood ranging from 15hh – 16hh and trained to ride English. They are ridden with a loose contact in snaffle bits and Liversage trail endurance saddles.

Riders must be confident at a canter and fit enough for up to six hours in the saddle, with the occasional section on foot. You should be competent to handle horses both from the saddle and in-hand over river crossings and tricky paths.

You should be able to mount from the ground (although mountain rocks can be found).

Due to the steep terrain, there is a strict rider weight limit of 85 kgs in riding clothes and only a limited number of horses suitable for anyone 80kgs - 85kgs.

Hard hats are mandatory on this ride.

For the first two nights you stay at the main rest camp where the rooms are styled on traditional beehive Swazi huts with the added benefit of en-suite bathrooms. During the ride accommodation is in simple bush camps (three nights) and one night at a comfortable country hotel.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 between the overnight stops. Guests are welcome to help with camp chores and with looking after the horses.

After the riding you stay at Ndlovu Camp in Hlane (one night) and at Stone Camp in Mkhaya (two nights). Accommodation at both is very comfortable with en suite flush loos and showers, but no electricity.

Accommodation Gallery

( GBP | EUR | USD )

Upcoming Dates

Additional dates may be possible for groups of 6 or more.

Holiday Experience LevelExp Lvl Arrive - DepartArr - Dep   Price Itinerary Availability
Mlilwane Explorer
19 May 2019 - 28 May 2019 9 nights 9 ngts £1,967.02 View (.pdf) Book
Mlilwane Explorer
11 Jun 2019 - 20 Jun 2019 9 nights 9 ngts £1,967.02 View (.pdf) Book
Mlilwane Explorer
4 Jul 2019 - 13 Jul 2019 9 nights 9 ngts £1,967.02 View (.pdf) Book
Mlilwane Explorer
2 Sep 2019 - 11 Sep 2019 9 nights 9 ngts £1,967.02 View (.pdf) Book

Prices

INCLUDES Accommodation; meals; riding; game drives; park entrance fees and transfers between lodges in Swaziland.

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT of £236.04 is charged until we find you a sharer. If you are willing to share (and we find you a sharer) but would like a single tent for the three nights camping this is available at a supplement of £101.77.

PAYABLE LOCALLY Tips.

NEAREST AIRPORT Johannesburg.

TRANSFERS The transfer from Johannesburg to Mlilwane in Swaziland takes about four hours. The shuttle bus costs £36.01 each way and we book this for you. Your flight should arrive at Johannesburg airport by 8am. Return flights should depart after 8pm. If your flight arrives outside these times additional transfer costs may apply.

In The Saddle Gallery

Location

Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary is in the Ezulwini Valley of central Swaziland, south of the city of Mbabane.


Weather & Climate

Along the western highlands Swaziland has a temperate climate and in the eastern and southern lowveld areas Swaziland is generally hot. Swaziland lies in a summer rainfall region.

During the autumn months of March to May, 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/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.

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Guest Review

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 ,Cheshire

4.5 star rating Overall rating: 4/5

Mlilwane Explorer Riding Specialist

Chris says

Swaziland 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.

My Top Tip

Temperatures will drop in the evening and throughout the day as we ride higher so wear clothing that can be added as layers.

Email: chris@inthesaddle.com

Chris Day
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