Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary

Meaning “little fire” in the local siSwati language, this is Swaziland’s oldest nature reserve, with a rich history of conservation. Just 4 500 hectares large, it nevertheless saved more than 20 species of large fauna from local extinction, after decades of hunting in the 1800s. Situated within the Kingdom’s “Ezulwini” valley, it is beautifully set in among high granite hills and rolling grasslands.

Blog posts

So much has been achieved…what of the future? – Interview with Ted Reilly – Part 3

Click for part 1 and part 2 of my interview with Ted Reilly, head of Big Game Parks in Swaziland.

How did you end up as a conservationist?
As a young boy, I grew up at Mlilwane which used to be my family’s farm. Then I went to Hilton College in Natal which is located on its own large nature reserve where natural history was part of my school experience.
That was a unique privilege for any boy, and after school I started working at Natal Parks Read more »

Trading rhino horn, and hunting – Interview with Ted Reilly – Part 2

For part 1 of my interview with Ted Reilly, head of Big Game Parks in Swaziland, click here.
What’s your opinion on the proposed trading of rhino horn?
Nothing will ever stop the poaching. There is no magic wand that will absolutely solve the problem.
But if trade is to be tried, then it must be done very soon, so we can cushion the losses that surely will come. If trade doesn’t work, then we have enough rhinos left to pull the plug on trade and save what’s left. If we wait until there are only a few thousand rhino left, then they will become extinct. Already, Read more »

Swaziland showing Africa how to save rhinos – Interview with Ted Reilly – Part 1

If you’re concerned about the calamitous state of rhinos – and wildlife - in Africa, then consider what Ted Reilly has to say. Now 75 years old, Ted has worked his whole adult life for the protection of the Kingdom of Swaziland’s wildlife and its natural habitat.
With support from King Sobhuza II, Reilly pioneered and implemented the establishment of the kingdom’s protected areas.

In 1960 Reilly turned the small family farm of Mlilwane near the capital Mbabane into a wildlife sanctuary, after the British colonial powers denied him land elsewhere to establish a national park. Mlilwane was then proclaimed in 1964 as the first formal conservation area in Swaziland. The ‘farm’ was then donated to a non-profit Trust to perpetuate it as a refuge for Swaziland’s beleaguered wild Read more »