Activities at Mbuluzi
As there are no stocked ‘big 5’ animals at Mbuluzi it is the perfect place for self-guided activities in the bush. This means activities at no extra cost, in your own time and with real privacy. There are large Nile Crocodiles in both rivers running through the game reserve so caution when fishing and when near to the water’s edge is advised.
Mbuluzi Game Reserve has a number of mammals that make for great game viewing both by vehicle and on foot as there are generally no big game or potentially dangerous animals around.
The main species of mammals that we see in the reserve are:
- Grey Duiker
- Chacma Baboon
- Vervet Monkey
We also have occasional sightings of Hippopotamus, Bushpig, Cape Clawless Otter, Red Duiker, Serval and a number of small carnivores. For a comprehensive list of all the amazing biodiversity we have you can check out our iNaturalist project.
There is a well-laid out network of trails throughout the game reserve and guests can walk from their lodge, or drive and start a trail from some other point of interest. The trails interlink and can be walked individually or connected to make a longer hike. As well as the trails there are a number of scarcely used jeep tracks that make for great hiking routes. Information on the trail routes can be gained at the reserve reception. Be cautious of crocodiles when crossing rivers.
Mbuluzi Game Reserve is a bird watchers paradise and is one of the best birding opportunities in Eswatini., with over 300 species of birds that have been recorded in Mbuluzi. This Includes rarities such as Dwarf Bittern, Narina Trogon, African Finfoot, Grey- headed Kingfisher, African Cuckoo-Hawk, Eurasian Hobby, and Thick-billed Cuckoo. As well as being able to walk around the game reserve tracking down birds there are a number of well-appointed bird hides too.
Mbuluzi Game Reserve is a perfect place to mountain bike in amongst the big and friendly animals. There are a number of single track routes and an extensive jeep track network to explore. You will struggle to find better game viewing and bushveld views on mountain bikes than at Mbuluzi. Bring your own bikes and gear. Be cautious of crocodiles when crossing rivers.
WATCH OUT FOR CROCODILES!
The property is crossed by two meandering perennial rivers. The Mlawula and the Mbuluzi which support a healthy population and variety of fish. Fishing is permitted for lodge and camping guests, but bring your own gear. There are several species of bream, barbell (catfish), large scale and Natal yellow fish. For bait fishing you can try worms for the bream, white bread for the yellows and chicken livers for the barbel.
Spinners will catch bream, catfish and some yellow too.
Fly fishing: Try small nymphs flies for yellows, woolly buggers and large dry flies for bream. Good spots for yellows tend to be where white water enters a larger pool; cast into the white water, let your fly, bait, lure drift into the pool.
Some of the species that have been caught recently are:
- Mozambique tilapia (Oreochomis Mossambicus)
- Redbreasted Tilapia (Coptodon Rendalli)
- Sharptooth Catfish (Clarias Gariepinis)
- Silver catfish (Schilbe Intermedius)
- Largescale Yellowfish (Barbus Marequensis)
- Threespot Barb (Barbus Trimaculatus)
- East coast Barb (Barbus toppini)
- Imberi (Brycinus Imberi)
- Silver Robber (Micraleste acutidens)
- River Goby (Glossogobius Callidus)
Catch and release is encouraged
WATCH OUT FOR CROCODILES!
Visit Neighbouring Game Reserves
If you fancy seeing some big five game while staying at Mbuluzi then you can visit Hlane Royal National Park. A great place to see White Rhinoceros or African Elephant. Or book a game drive to see the Lions. There is a small fee to enter Hlane or use a wildcard.
Alternatively you could take a drive or cycle around the scenic Mlawula Game Reserve and visit Magadzavane lodge for a meal and swim with a view. The cycle to Magadzavane from Mbuluzi and back is about 42km with a great climb and then decent in the middle. There is a small conservation fee for Mlawula that goes a long way to helping them keep the reserve going.
If you would like to experience some Swazi Culture you can visit the Shewula community and mountain camp. There is an option for a guided tour of the community and also a traditional Swazi style meal.