Mkhaya Game Reserve

The Mkhaya Game Reserve lies nestled in the southeast of Swaziland, right in the heart of the sweeping Lowveld. In this tranquil space, the vast wilderness of unspoilt natural beauty rustles with the movement of wild game and resounds with the melodic chants of the endemic birdlife. It is in this beautiful landscape that passengers aboard Rovos Rail’s African rail tour will discover a true African paradise.

Mkhaya is a siSwati title named for the Knob Thorn tree (Acacia Nigrescens) which has roots firmly planted in the reserve. Visitors to the reserve will be able to spot many of these trees due to their characteristic thorns which are large and distinctly knobbed. Luxury train journey travellers will also bear witness to a number of African game species, housing four of the Big Five including the endangered Black Rhino.     

Owing to the danger of poaching and unbridled efforts of Swaziland’s foremost nature conservationists, Mkhaya Game Reserve acts as an established safe haven for endangered species. Another conservation effort includes an intensive breeding project dedicated to re-establishing scarce species in Swaziland. 

Settled in a safe, tranquil space away from the dangers of poaching, Mkhaya’s community of wildlife roams free and unfazed in the confines of the beautiful reserve. In addition to the Black Rhino, visitors can also expect to see the pure Swazi Nguni breed of cattle, Tsessebe, White Rhino, elephant, giraffe, buffalo, hippo and crocodiles. Birdlife enthusiasts will encounter an exquisite variety in the confines of Mkhaya, with endemic birdlife including the elusive Narina Trogon and Purple-Crested Lourie. 

Mkhaya is staffed and patrolled entirely by local Swazis from the neighbouring communities. Along with a caring, hospitable staff, the reserve boasts what is arguably Africa’s most effective anti-poaching unit which is self-financed through visitor revenue and is actively involved in the battle against illegal poaching.