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Mbuluzi Game Reserve
Conservation Area
Game Reserve
10km rom Simunye, Lubombo Mountains, North Eastern Eswatini
-26.15493718, 31.98214532

 

   

Mbuluzi Game Reserve (MGR) is a small yet highly picturesque privately managed bushveld reserve that is home to plentiful wildlife. MGR is 2340 hectares in size and located in the Lubombo Mountains of Eswatini. Game-viewing roads, hiking trails and a mountain-bike route wind around the reserve, criss-crossing the Mlawula River and offering impressive views.

The terrain undulates between the deep Mbuluzi gorge and steep Lubombo escarpment, with dense riverine forests, rocky cliffs and open savannah. It supports a good population of giraffe, nyala, kudu, blue wildebeest, zebra, impala and other herbivores. Hippos move in and out of the reserve, while spotted hyenas and leopards are occasionally seen. Over 300 bird species have been recorded, including a number of rarities. The river holds a diverse number of fish species, numerous large crocodiles and other aquatic life.

MGR has a limited focus on tourism with a campsite and self-catering lodges. It is a self-guided destination only and is popular for hiking and mountain biking as it lacks dangerous game.

 

Conservation & Community Highlights:

  1. Being in the unique yet limited Lubombo Biome, the active protection and conservation of the MGR area is extremely important. We have a strong focus on protecting and monitoring our ecology with a formal and active ecological management program.
  2. MGR is one of the founding organizations of the Lubombo Conservancy that was set up to assist in incorporating communities and other protected area neighbours into a larger, stronger conservation area.
  3. MGR is a founding stakeholder in the (UNESCO) Lubombo Man & Biosphere Reserve.
  4. MGR has an active community development fund that performs a number of programs within the neighbouring communities. Examples are:
    • LEARNER BURSARIES PROGRAM: The community development fund sponsors a number of students from the neighbouring Maphiveni community. The main criteria looked at when choosing new learners are vulnerability and the level of likelyhood to succeed. The program has been hugely successful.
    • LESSONS IN CONSERVATION (LiC): LiC has identified our communities with youth that have the potential to be awakened. Their passionate team along with Mbuluzi staff and select Community Members then conducts their lessons in these communities.
    • MBULUZI GAME RESERVE BICYCLE DONATION PROJECT: The project is an initiative by Mbuluzi Game Reserve whereby used bicycles are given to young learners in the Shewula community bordering Mbuluzi. The first shipment to be given out is around 450 bicycles.
    • SCHOOL VISIT PROGRAM: This is an initiative whereby each year the game reserve invites the grade 7 students from Jack Hersov Primary school with staff to come for a day visit to the game reserve for a bush walk, game drive and a conservation talk.
  5. Mbuluzi Game Reserve has always been open to allowing research activity on the property and many interesting and useful research projects have been conducted. To take this research further, Mbuluzi now has created a partnership with the company All Out Africa who has set up a Savannah Research Centre. 

 

Future Aims:

  1. To further grow the LiC program throughout the country with the end goal being that EVERY high-school learner has an opportunity to visit a game reserve somewhere in the country at least once during their education.
  2. To have the boundary fence to our protected area neighbours removed to create one large conservation area with a higher biodiversity, and in particular the larger game species. Our hope is to incorporate large areas of community-controlled land into this area.
  3. To continue to grow our focus on research and education at the reserve and in particular for this to be with local Eswatini Nationals.
  4. To increase our tourism income to be a more financially robust and sustainable conservation entity.
  5. To partner with conservation organizations to supplement our income in order to grow and expand our ecological management & community programs.

 

Images provided.