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Mlawula Nature Reserve - Visitor Information

Mlawula is located in the north east of Swaziland, in the lowveld and Lubombo Mountains. Ideal for groups, families, outdoor adventure, nature lovers and campers.


Magadzavane chalet, Mlawula
Magadzavane Lodge, Mlawula

Accommodation at Mlawula includes the Magadzavane Lodge, a forty bed lodge with furnished en-suite units, restaurant, bar, conference centre and swimming pool. Situated 15km away from Siteki on the edge of the Lubombo escarpement, near the Goba/Mhlumeni border, the lodge has spectacular views of the valley below.

Magadzavane Pool, Mlawula
Magadzavane Pool, Mlawula

Also available at Mlawula is the Maphelephele Cottage, which has been upgraded to sleep eight, with two upper (baboon-proofed) sleeping porches with a double bed on each, in addition to the two rooms inside, with two twin beds in each. The cottage includes full bath, sitting room with fireplace, braai area, gas hot water, oven/stove and refrigerator. No electricity. Kitchen utensils, bedding and towels supplied.

Maphelephele Cottage, Mlawula
Maphelephele Cottage, Mlawula

Siphiso Campsite

Siphiso Camp, Mlawula
Siphiso Camp, Mlawula

The Siphiso Campsite at Mlawula Nature Reserve is designed for caravans and camping. It consists of a thatched ablution building with showers, baths, washbasins and toilets and a very spacious lawn area with taps and braai facilities. Shade is provided by indigenous trees and two thatched summer houses.

Aloe keithii and African migrant butterfly
Aloe keithii and African migrant butterfly


The flora of Mlawula is notable for its great richness and diversity, more especially in the deep rocky ravines of the Lubombo mountains; here, almost pure stands of the unique Lubombo Ironwood may be found, and in their shade grows a cycad found nowhere else in the world, as well as many uncommon succulents and climbers. (See Mlawula Flora.)


  • Picnics at the designated areas around the reserve.
    • Python Pools
      Contained in a small rocky gorge, this area sometimes offers the opportunity to see klipspringer, pythons, a variety of lizards, terrapins and diverse plant species.
    • Hyaena Pool
      A small dam in the southern end of the Siphiso Valley. Hyaenas are occasional visitors to this area.
Python Pools
Python Pools

  • Short walks and Hiking Trails: Mlawula has a network of 50 kms of trails, ranging in duration from 1.5 hours to 2 days (all water must be carried), and offers the rare opportunity for visitors to walk self-guided through the bushveld to experience the more intimate encounters with nature and wildlife. The trails in the Lubombo mountains provide excellent views across Swaziland to the west and as far as the Mozambique coast in the east.
    • Khabane Cave
      After a stiff climb, this cave offers breath-taking views of Mlawula Nature Reserve and adjacent areas. Home to the endemic Swazi Euphorbia, owls and mocking chats.
    • Mahlabashane Gorge
      Accessible by foot from the Mbuluzi Valley road, it is home to numerous rare plants, endemic ironwood forests and uncommon bird species. There are occasional sightings of leopard, serval, aardwolf, pangolin, side-striped jackal, aardvark, Sharpe's gryesbok, oribi and samango monkey. More frequent sightings include spotted hyaena, black-backed jackal and red duiker.


    • Guided game drives and night drives on request (when available).
    • Self-guided drives - over 33 km of well marked road network (only daytime drives are encouraged).
      • Siphiso Valley
        The ideal area for game viewing of blue wildebeest, zebra, kudu, impala and other small antelopes in their natural habitat. The valley also offers access routes to surrounding Lubombo mountains, for visitors interested in hiking.
      • Mbuluzi Gorge
        Partly accessible by 4x4, offering spectacular river scenery, diverse bird life coupled with a wide variety of plants. Crocodiles may be seen in this gorge, which also offers visitors access to fishing spots.

      Woodland kingfisher
      Woodland kingfisher

      • Bird Watching at Mlawula is particularly rewarding and the reserve is known for its high bird diversity. About 350 species have been recorded, including African broadbill, African finfoot, Crested guineafowl, African scops-owl, Retz's helmet-shrike, Violet-backed starling and Lappet-faced vulture.
      • Mountain biking - over 33 km of dirt tracks.

      Mountain biking
      Mountain biking

      • Fishing in the Mbuluzi and Mlawula rivers is a popular past time (fishing permit required).

Mlawula on Facebook

Tel: (+268) 2343 5108/09
Fax: (+268) 2343 5111 Email: magadzavane@sntc.org.sz

GPS Coordinates:
Main gate:
26.180 S 31.998 E
Magadzavane gate:
26.322 S,31.991 E

Directions to Mlawula

Site Map
Reference Material

Visiting SNTC areas
Facilities & Accommodation

Visitor Information


Conservation Information

SNTC Headquarters: Parliament Road. P O Box 100, Lobamba, Swaziland. Tel: (+268) 2416 1516, 2416 1489, 2416 1179. Fax: (+268) 2416 1875, 2416 1480. Email: info@sntc.org.sz
National Museum:
Tel: (+268) 2416 1179, 2416 1875
Fax: 2416 1875
Email: curator@sntc.org.sz
King Sobhuza II Memorial Park:
Tel: (+268) 2416 1179, 2416 1489
Fax: 2416 1875
Email: ksmp@sntc.org.sz
Malolotja Nature Reserve:
Tel/Fax: (+268) 2444 3241
Cell: 7660 6755
Email: culturalvillage@sntc.org.sz
Mantenga Nature Reserve:
Tel: (+268) 2416 1151
2416 1178, Fax: 2416 1480
Email: culturalvillage@sntc.org.sz
Magadzavane Lodge
Mlawula Nature Reserve:
Tel: (+268) 2343 5108/9
Fax: 2343 5111
Email: magadzavane@sntc.org.sz