Mlilwane Explorer

On this centre-based holiday, you will be riding in two different reserves looking for a variety of species and exploring unique sceneries in the Kingdom of Eswatini. Mlilwane’s diverse habitats support a surprisingly extensive species list, whilst KaMsholo is a nature-rich 700ha reserve, dominated by the Umbrella Tree. Aside from the nature and wildlife, you will be introduced to the Swazi culture, passing through rural Swazi communities and learning more about their way of life. This holiday is quite flexible which makes it ideal for people who might want an introduction to Africa before moving on to more challenging offers. The Mlilwane Explorer is also available with the option to camp for 2 nights – please contact us.
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Horseback Safari
10 days/6 days riding
From £1,165
Open to non-riders

Itinerary

Highlights

- Ride across two reserves, Mlilwane and KaMsholo.
- Learn about the Swazi way of life and unique culture.
- Observe a wide variety of species including giraffe, wildebeest, impala, and many more!
- A sleep-out version of this trail is available for the more adventurous riders.
- Non-riders welcome - bring your non-riding friends and family to accompany you on this adventure.
  • Day 1 1: Home – Johannesburg

    Overnight flight to Johannesburg. Flights are not included, but can be booked on request
  • Day 2 2: Johannesburg – Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary

    Upon arrival to Johannesburg you will be transferred to Milwane Wildlife Sanctuary (5 hours).

    Arrive at the sanctuary early in the afternoon, where the local team will be waiting for you. You will have time to meet the horses and, if you wish, you may go on a hiking trail to get acquainted with the surrounding area. You will leave for a sundowner ride in the afternoon.

    Dinner and overnight at Lontweni Rondavels.

  • Day 3 3: Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary - 5 hours riding

    Today, you will set off on your first ride on the reserve where you will hopefully have the opportunity to see some game and get more comfortable on your mount. You will be riding along the water course where there are high chances to spot crocodile, hippo and a wide variety of water birds like the fish eagle. Before returning to camp for lunch, you will explore the eastern plains, home to wildebeest, impala, zebra, and many more. The afternoon ride will lead you to the western plains.

    Dinner and overnight at Lontweni Rondavels.
  • Day 4 4: Usushawana river - Approx. 5h-6h riding

    After breakfast you will set off on a full day ride along the Usushawana river. You will witness beautiful landscapes along the way and perhaps even spot some wildlife.

    Dinner and overnight at Lontweni Rondavel.
  • Day 5 5: Specialty Ride - 4 hours riding

    Today you will be going on a specialty ride which might include a Poachers Breakfast, Hunt Ride, or a ride to a Community Craft Centre. In the afternoon you might relax by the pool, or read a book before departing on a sunset drive.

    Overnight at Lontweni Rondavels.
  • Day 6 6: Manenga Viewpoint - 6 – 7 hours riding

    After breakfast, you will get on your horse and ride towards Manenga Viewpoint which will take your breath away with the landscapes it offers.
    The afternoon is spent at leisure and there will be a sundowner ride late in the afternoon.

    Dinner and overnight at Lontweni Rondavels.
  • Day 7 7: KaMsholo - 5 - 6 hours riding

    Today you will set off on a morning ride before transferring to KaMsholo. Tucked under the Lubombo mountain, this reserve offers a totally different landscape with beautiful views. In the late afternoon, you will set off on a sunset ride to get to know your new horse.
    Overnight at KaMsholo Biushveld Safaris.

    Please note that today’s transfer isn’t included in the price.
  • Day 8 8: KaMsholo - 4 – 5 hours riding

    After breakfast you can try to help gather the local Ngunyi cattle. After having lunch, you can either go out on the afternoon ride which will be focused on tracking the giraffe, or if you would rather stay at camp, you may opt to relax by the pool.
    Overnight at KaMsholo Biushveld Safaris.
  • Day 9 9: Departure to Johannesburg - No riding

    After breakfast you will be transferred to Johannesburg airport (5 hour drive). Return flights should depart Johannesburg after 20:00 as delays at the border may happen.
  • Day 10 10: Home

    Arrival home.

Dates & prices

Price details

- Flights or transportation to your destination (international/domestic) are not included, but can be booked on request - please contact us for rates.

- Rates are per person, based on two riders sharing accommodation.

- Groups are composed of a minimum of 2 international riders and a maximum of 10 riders plus guides.

- If would like to stay in a single room you will be charged an extra £85/€95/$95

- The shuttle bus from Johannesburg to Mlilwane in Swaziland cost approx. £40/€50/$45, each way. This shuttle takes 4 hours and your guides will pick you up from Mlilwane and transfer you to camp which takes an extra hour.
Please note that the transfer on day 7 isn't included. Its price isn't fixed due to volatile fuel prices, and is also indexed on the group size. It may range from £50 to £130, please contact us for an updated quote.

- A sleep out version of this holiday is available. Instead of staying in the mentioned accommodations on day 4 and 5, you will be camping out. Please e-mail us to know more.

- Accompanied minors are welcome from 8 yo, provided they match the riding requirements.

- There is a rider weight limit of 85kg/ 13.4 stone / 187lbs.
Please Note
The itinerary may be modified at anytime for security reasons, meteorological or events beyond our control such as blocked roads, rivers in flood, drought, strikes and local holidays. Equus Journeys, our local partners and their local guides will always strive to find the best solution and will alter the itinerary as needed.
The names of the hotels and accommodation are given for information only and depending on availability, they may be modified without notice and replaced by another of a similar standard.

Price includes

Accommodation

Double bedroom/tent with bedding

Meals

Full board from dinner on day 2 to breakfast on day 9

Additional equipment

Saddle bags

Price doesn't include

Meals

Beverages and personal extras

Transport

International flights
Airport transfers
Plane departure fee (approx. E30)
Transfer on day 7 - please check "Dates & Prices"

Extras

Tips to the local team

Insurance

Cancellation and travel insurance are not included in the above listed price. Please note that insurance is mandatory. We recommend taking out an insurance policy as soon as your trip is booked to cover you in case of cancellation
Visas and personal purchase

Optional

Accommodation

Single room/tent supplement
  • Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    02/02/2023 11/02/2023 £1,165 €1,372 $1,363 Open Book now
  • Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    18/03/2023 27/03/2023 £1,165 €1,372 $1,363 Open Book now
    05/04/2023 14/04/2023 £1,165 €1,372 $1,363 Open Book now
    29/04/2023 08/05/2023 £1,165 €1,372 $1,363 Open Book now
  • Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    31/08/2023 09/09/2023 £1,165 €1,372 $1,363 Open Book now

Equestrian info

Horses

There is a herd of 50 horses which consists mainly of crossbreeds of Arab, Warmblood, Boerperd and Thoroughbred with some recent additions of Percheron, Friesian, Clydesdale and Shire crosses.

In height they range from 14.2hh to 16hh.

Minimum riding ability

Minimum riding ability

To participate on this riding holiday, you must be an intermediate rider or above. You must be comfortable riding at all three paces and riding out in open spaces.

There is a rider weight limit of 85kg/ 13.4 stone / 187lbs.

Pace

Due to the steep terrain much of the riding will be slow, but there are also some opportunities for good canters. You might be asked to dismount due to the steepness of the terrain in some areas.

Please note that the pace can be adjusted according to the group’s riding ability.

Tacking ability and participation

You are welcome to help with camp chores and look after the horses.

Trip conditions and Requested experience

You must be comfortable riding outdoors to take part in this holiday. You should be fit enough to endure the long hours in the saddle

Equestrian equipment

Trail saddles with simple snaffle bridles and rope halters. Helmets are mandatory on this ride, we advise each rider to bring their own to ensure proper fit.
Saddle bags are provided.

Travel info

Comfort

Lontweni Rondavels offers accommodation in cottages that include en-suite bathrooms, kitchenette, and veranda overlooking the river valley.

KaMsholo Biushveld Safaris offers accommodation in cottages that include coffee station, basic kitchenette, and en-suite bathroom.

Meals

During the trails you will be served fresh fruit and vegetables. When possible, meals are all prepared over an open fire. Vegetarian diets can be accommodated as well as some other special requests, please inform us before booking.

Note: Vegan diets cannot be accommodated.

Climate

In the winter, the days are pleasantly warm, in the range 17 ºC to 25 ºC, ideal for riding. In the summer (November-March), temperature can easily go up to 30 ºC or even 40 ºC. There are high levels of humidity and rain is possible

Nights can be cold and in the mountains temperatures can drop sharply and frosts are not uncommon. Rain is unlikely in June and July, but possible in September.

Guide and local team

This trail is managed by Ann Reilly, she has a immense love for the horses and joins the rides as much as she can.
All trails are led by Liswati Guides, they all have a passion for horses and tourists, and have been trained in field guiding, client care and first aid levels 1&2.

Tips

Tipping in this region is usually around 10%.

Packing list

Please bring your own shower supplies (shampoo, conditioner, …).
Head
- You will be required to wear a hard hat when riding and you should take your own to ensure a correct fit.
- Sunhat for when not riding
- Sunglasses - with a cord attached so they don't fly off when riding
- Buff or bandana

Upper body
- Long sleeved shirts provide protection from the sun and thorns
- T-shirts
- Fleece, jumper or jacket - the evenings can be cold, particularly May - October
- Waterproof jacket - the rains can be difficult to foresee and it's better to be prepared. Rain is more likely Oct-April
- Casual clothes for the evening

Legs
- Lightweight, comfortable riding trousers or jodhpurs - we recommend riding in them at home before taking them on holiday to ensure they don't rub
- Shorts for lazy lunchtimes
- Casual clothes for the evening

Hands and Feet
- Comfortable riding boots. We recommend short boots with half chaps but you may wish to take long chaps to protect against thorns. We don't recommend taking your favourite long leather boots in case they get damaged.
- Sandals, flip-flops or trainers for moving around the lodge and camp
- Gloves - your hands are particularly exposed to the sun whilst riding

Nightwear
- We recommend pieces that cover up your skin to lower the chances of getting bitten by mosquitoes.

Other useful items
- Binoculars for viewing game
- Camera and high capacity memory card. Spare battery
- Bumbag for carrying your camera and small items whilst riding
- Headtorch or small torch for moving around camp at night

In your luggage
- Any liquids, such as shampoo, moisturiser, deodorant unless they are less than 100ml and all bottles can fit in a small, clear, plastic ziplock bag. Some toiletries are provided by the camp so you can pack lighter.

In your hand luggage
- Any valuables, such as your camera, ipod, ipad etc.
- Your riding hat

Medical kit
- Sunscreen and lip balm - must be high factor
- Insect repellent, preferably containing deet
- Any medication you regularly take
- Blister plasters in case of any rubs
- Antiseptic cream, plasters, aspirin, anti-histamine, insect-bite salve etc...
- Spare prescription glasses/contact lenses
- Anti malarial tablets and Yellow Fever Certificate if required (check with your doctor)

Our Recommendations
- Take a second, smaller bag to pack things you may need during the day such as a book or suncream then you can easily access it during the long lunch break
- We recommend travelling in your riding boots and carrying your hat and some riding clothes in your hand luggage - then if your luggage goes astray you are still able to ride!
- You should also bring a copy of your passport/insurance in case you lose your documents. You can also save a copy into your mobile phone.
- You can bring pictures of your family and small gifts for your host family if you like.

Visa & Health

Formalities

If you are visiting Eswatini, your passport should be valid for 3 months from the date you arrive and have at least 2 blank pages. As an international traveller you are highly likely to pass through South Africa before and/or after travelling to Eswatini, please note that you will need to have an additional 2 blank pages to enter and/or leave South Africa.

For tourists, visas are not required by citizens of most Commonwealth countries, the USA, and most European countries, please click here to check the list of countries that do not require visa. Leisure or business travellers are allowed to visit Eswatini for a period of 30 days. Following this period, you will have to ask for a 30-day extension at the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Please note that if you are leaving Eswatini by plane there is a mandatory tax of E30 (local currency).

Source:
https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/eswatini/entry-requirements

https://www.thekingdomofeswatini.com/visa-guide/

Health

At least 8 weeks before your trip, check the latest country-specific health advice from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC). Each country-specific page has information on vaccine recommendations, any current health risks or outbreaks, and factsheets with information on staying healthy abroad.
Travellers should ideally arrange an appointment with their GP around five weeks before travelling. This appointment provides an opportunity to assess health risks taking into account a number of factors including destination, medical history, and planned activities. Your healthcare provider may also give you advice regarding food and water precautions. For those with pre-existing health problems, an earlier appointment is recommended.
Make sure to acquire appropriate travel insurance before you go.

Some prescribed and over the counter medicines available in your country may be considered controlled substances in Eswatini, if you are travelling with prescription medication make sure to carry a medical certificate from your doctor confirming that the medication has been prescribed for a certain medical condition. You can check for further information here. Check

this link

to know more about good practices when travelling abroad with medication.

The HIV/AIDS infection rate is high so you should exercise normal precautions for avoid exposure.

Basic healthcare is available in Eswatini, but there are shortages of even common medications. Medical evacuation to South Africa is necessary for serious accidents and emergencies. Local private hospitals can arrange evacuation but only if you are fully insured or you can pay in advance. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation.
If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 933 and ask for an ambulance. You should contact your insurance/medical assistance company promptly if you are referred to a medical facility for treatment.

Source: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/eswatini/health

Voltage

In Eswatini, power sockets provide a standard voltage of 230V with a standard frequency of 50Hz. The usual plug type is M (three round pins) so taking a plug adaptor is advised.

Budget and money

The currency used in Eswatini is the Emalangeni which is fixed to the South African Rand. South African notes (but not coins) are legal tender, as are most major credit cards. ATM machines are readily available.

If you are planning on converting money to the local currency, please keep in mind that Emalangeni are difficult to exchange for other currencies outside Eswatini so you should reconvert before you leave or you can use your last E50 to pay the mandatory departure tax.
Credit cards such as Visa, Mastercard and American Express are widely accepted in hotels, restaurants and shops.

Telephone and jetlag

Time zone: GMT +2
Phone code: +268