Mlilwane wildlife sanctuary - travel journal

Children walking through the sanctuary
We have worked with our partner in Swaziland, All Out Africa, to devise a trip for children that attend the local Neighbourhood Care Point (NCP) centres. These centres were started by the communities who live there and most of the children who attend have lost a parent, or in some cases are orphaned. As part of their curriculum, they have been studying wildlife. The children have never visited Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary, despite living nearby, so this trip gives the children a chance to see up close some of the animals they have been learning about. Travelling by minibus and stopping for lunch ensures a fun-packed day out for the children plus they see some of the local sites and wildlife that too often, only tourists to their country have the privilege of viewing.

Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary, Swaziland is in Ezulwini Valley, located between Mbabane and Manzini. Translated as 'Little Fire' in siSwati, its name comes from the fires started by lightning which struck Mlilwane Hill. The sanctuary started a conservation movement in Swaziland that saved many species from local extinction.

Date: 10th February 2017

Explorers: 18 children from Ekuzukekeni Neighourhood Care Point (NCP), aged between four and six years old, as well as nine volunteers, two drivers and teacher Zodwa.

The weather was: Bright and sunny.

Child watching zebrasZebras
We saw: Impalas, zebras, buffalos, horses, monkeys, wild hogs and a crocodile.

We ate: Rice, chicken with salad and orange juice.

Some of our favourite parts of the day:
  • Getting the chance to see animals and wildlife that we learn about during our school time and lessons.
  • Walking around the campsite area of the game reserve and seeing a few wild hogs, while doing the walk about.
  • Having a field trip for once in my life (all the children felt the same way).

Guide on horseback
Children walking hand in hand
Quotes from the day
"I was so excited to go on my first trip, and leaving the classroom environment."
- Bavukile Dvuba (age 5)

"Seeing an impala was very nice, I would like to come back again soon."
- Ebony Dlamini (age 5)

"I saw six zebras all in one morning so I enjoyed my day."
- Snako Langa (age 4)

"I saw a guide and two others riding horses."
- Thabani Kubheka (age 5)

"I was excited to see a kudu, it looks different from our workbooks at school."
- Tiphe Dlamini (age 5)
All Out Africa logoAbout our Partner organisation: All Out Africa is a social enterprise comprising of a group of companies and a non-profit based in South Africa, Swaziland, Mozambique and Botswana. It caters to people looking for a wide variety of African experiences from volunteering, tours, research, internships, and university field studies, whilst at the same time, building sustainable long-term projects.

All Out is serious about giving back to the community and the environment. That is why they set up a foundation to help expand and sustain their project development, which include support to the six care centres for vulnerable children, a sports development program for local children and youth, community building projects, child sponsorship program to support vulnerable children at primary and high school levels to assist them with school requirements, and facilitate conservation research projects at the wildlife and marine research centres. All Out shares their passion for Southern Africa’s people, places and wildlife with the world and offers adventures that change lives.

The group of children with one of their teachers
Excitied faces on the bus
Drivers view
Thumbs up!
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