Mlilwane wildlife sanctuary - travel journal

Responsible Travel customers are helping disadvantaged children from All Out Africaís neighbourhood care points see the local wildlife at Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary, often for the first time in their lives.

Looking out the window
Our latest trip to Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary - 2nd & 5th June 2017:
On this trip, 31 children visited the sanctuary. They were from Bethany Neighbourhood Care Point (NCP) aged between four and six years old along with one NCP teacher, one cooking lady and All Out Africa supporting staff. The children thoroughly enjoyed their day. Here is a quote from one of the children, Sibusiso Mamba (age six) - "Seeing zebras for the first time was unbelievable, so I enjoyed my day."
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 has saved many species from local extinction.

Children looking from bus windowZebras eating

What wildlife the children can see:
Impalas, zebras, buffalo, bucks, crocodiles, monkeys, springbok, birds, fish, hippos, warthogs and wildebeest.

What the children will do:
Explore the campsite park with the teachers. Visit the historic museum, with the opportunity to watch a film about the history of Mlilwane and the story of Jezebel the Flying Land Rover. This is the Land Rover which Ted Reilly, the founder of Mlilwane, used to drive when he first started the sanctuary. Children will also enjoy a plentiful lunch of chicken, rice and salad with a drink which is quite a highlight in itself! They are very excited to have so much food that they are able to take the leftovers home with them.

Some of our favourite parts of the day:
  • Seeing the animals and learning about wildlife we hadnít seen before.
  • Watching a film where we saw a big jeep that went flying in the air, lots of animals and a man catching a zebra.
  • Seeing Jezebel the Flying Land Rover in the museum. It was a big jeep!
  • Playing games under the shelter.
  • Going on a trip on a bus and singing with my friends (we were singing to Melusi the driver).
  • Eating a delicious meal with a big piece of chicken!

Eating fried chicken
Jezebel the flying landrover
Quotes from the children
"This was our first time visiting Mlilwane and we had a great time!" - Wakhile (age six)

"It was good. I have never seen buffalo and zebra in my life!" - Nomthandazo (age eight)

"I was excited to see a kudu, it looks different from our workbooks at school." - Tiphe Dlamini (age five)

"I was very happy to go to Mlilwane. I was very excited to see all the animals - impala, zebra, buffalo. I was scared to see the crocodile in the water." - Mahlubi (age six)

"I saw a guide riding a bicycle with other riders on the day." - Nokwandziswa Mangwe (age five)

"Thank you All Out Africa and Responsible Travel for such an amazing journey. It was fun and we had a lovely lunch. Thank you, thank you and God bless you all." - Nkhanini Neighbourhood Care Point
Other trips that we have run to Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary:

19th May 2017:
On this occasion, 12 children from Nkhanini Neighbourhood Care Point (NCP) aged between four and six years old visited the sanctuary. The children saw zebras, impalas, crocodiles, monkeys and wildebeest. The NCP children walked around the campsite with volunteers. They also viewed the museum within the game reserve campsite.
Happy face
21st April 2017:
In total, 17 children from Mvutjni Neighbourhood Care Point (NCP) aged between three and six years old enjoyed a sunny day at the sanctuary. One of the quotes from Phiwo (age six) about the day: "We saw buffaloes for once with my classmate and friend."
Trip group
31st March 2017:
On this bright and sunny day, 24 children visited the sanctuary. They were from Ekuzukekeni Neighourhood Care Point (NCP) aged between three and six years old. One of the quotes from the day: "I saw a Swazi hut like my grandmother's hut at home and different animal bones." - Kwenziwe Mkhatjwa (age six)
Trip group
17th March 2017:
On this trip, 21 children from Ekuzukekeni Neighourhood Care Point (NCP) aged between three and six years old visited the sanctuary on a bright and sunny day. One of the quotes from the day from Busiswa Dludlu (age six): "It was wonderful to see big mountains and rivers. And I saw a crocodile for the first time today.".
Trip group
3rd March 2017:
In total, 11 children from Ekuzukekeni Neighourhood Care Point (NCP) aged between four and six years old visited the sanctuary on a bright sunny day. One of the children said the following about their day: "I was shocked but excited to see a zebra for the first time. I would be happy to do this again one day". - Nkhosinathi Nkhambule (age 6).
Children walking through the sanctuary
10th February 2017:
On this occasion, 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 visited the sanctuary. It was a bright and sunny day. One of the best parts was "walking around the campsite area of the game reserve and seeing a few wild hogs, while doing the walk about.".
Children with
1st November 2016:
A group of 24 children from Mlindazwe Neighbourhood Care Point (NCP) aged three to six, as well as the NCP teacher, three cooking ladies and Frank the Lion (a cuddly toy!) visited the sanctuary. One of the favourite parts of the day was "seeing Jezebel the Flying Land Rover in the museum. It was a big jeep!"
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 for 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 Africa is serious about giving back to the community and the environment. That is why it set up a foundation to help expand and sustain its project development. This includes 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 its passion for Southern Africaís people, places and wildlife with the world and offers adventures that change lives.

Excited faces
2 boys
Line of children
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