Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary - travel journal

Looking out the window
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 local communities 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 gave 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, the name comes from the fires started by lightning which struck Mlilwane Hill. The sanctuary started a conservation movement in Swaziland that has saved many species from local extinction.

Date: 2nd and 5th June 2017.

Explorers: 31 children from Bethany Neighbourhood Care Point (NCP) aged between four and six years old.
Details of the adults: One NCP teacher, one cooking lady, All Out Africa, two supporting staff.

The weather was: On both days weather was bright and sunny.

3 gazellesExcited faces on the bus
We saw: Fish, crocodiles, hippopotamuses and zebras. We also took time in walking around the campsite park, with our NCP teachers.

We ate: Rice, chicken with salad and variety of fruit juices.

Some of our favourite parts of the day:
  • Seeing real wildlife animals was the best thing ever.
  • Seeing zebras for the first time was totally exciting.

Antelope running
Quotes from the day
"I was so happy to see such animals... Can we do this again?"
- Yenzo Nxumalo (age 5)

"Wonderful day it was! Was amazed!"
- Sibongile Diamini (age 6)

"Seeing zebras for the first time was unbelievable, so I enjoyed my day."
- Sibusiso Mamba (age 6)

"I saw cyclists and people riding horses."
- Themba Maphalala (age 5)

"I was excited to see a huge huge crocodile on the riverbank."
- Girlie Dlamini (age 5)
Summary of the Day – Bethany NCP (Trip to Mlilwane): The children were happy to see the wild animals such as impalas, zebras, wildebeest, crocodiles and hippopotamus and the big dam with fish. They liked the delicious food that was given to us. They also enjoyed going around the forest seeing long trees with monkeys. The 'Uncles' (All Out Africa supporting staff) were very nice and explained the names of the animals to the children. This helped the children learn about the animals and their behaviour.

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.

Happy faces
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