The title Big Game Parks is a marketing title. It has nothing to do with the importance of larger species over smaller species. All creatures - great and small - are important, as are the habitats that support them. Bemvelo and ka Msholo are names synonymous with Big Game Parks. Bemvelo simply means "the people of our natural heritage”. Msholo is the name given to Ted Reilly by the Bushveld Swazis in the 1960's and through association, all protected areas became nationally known as ka Msholo (of Msholo).This was the basis for calling our new park KaMsholo Bushveld Safaris.
Big Game Parks is the delegated authority on the Game Act and CITES and operates a highly effective anti-poaching unit, all directly answerable to the King's Office.
Big Game Parks is self-sustaining without financial subsidy from Government. We subscribe to the philosophy of sustainable use of natural resources - conservation rather than preservation. We prefer to place and translocate animals alive to expand the kingdom's wildlife estate, but what cannot be placed alive, we harvest. We pride ourselves in having achieved economic viability through gate, accommodation and trading receipts, which includes the sale of wild animals. We do this to the best of our ability without compromising the Conservation ethic, simultaneously contributing to the kingdom in meaningful ways. We provide a substantial number of jobs and by necessity, we practice the strictest discipline in order to be self-sustaining.
We pride ourselves in offering value for money and being affordable to our local populace, providing an opportunity of participation in nature. Over 50% of our visitation is by local emaSwati, which for a private conservation organization is almost unheard of. Many Cabinet Ministers, and others who hold positions of power and influence today, saw their first impala at Hlane or Mlilwane when they visited us on an organized school group. We are very proud to continue to provide the opportunity and privilege to engage with nature and we will persist for future generations.
The four Parks and Reserves under Big Game Parks are all privately owned, but each is proclaimed and gazetted in law for perpetuity under conservation. They carry the highest levels of legal protection available in Eswatini (formerly Swaziland). Their land use is therefore predetermined by law and they may not be used for purposes other than those laid down by the Act, which confines their usage to Nature Conservation and related purposes.
We invite you to visit, support and enjoy our Parks and their clean and healthy environments - and you simultaneously contribute to the conservation of species and the growth of Eswatini and our people.
Without Royal support, beginning with King Sobhuza II and strongly upheld by His Majesty King Mswati III, there would be no game and no game reserves in Eswatini (formerly Swaziland) and our tourism industry would be accordingly impoverished.
The historical conservation record of Eswatini and the realities on the ground, show it is no secret why, and by whose efforts, this Kingdom still has a wildlife estate at all. If it were not for the King's personal and material commitments to Nature conservation and to tourism, Eswatini would have little, if anything, to show for it and many tourists would simply pass us by.
Parks are a tourism major attraction in any African country, bringing the well-known multiplier benefits of tourism. However, in recognising this reality, sight should never be lost of the purpose for which Eswatini's Parks were conceived in the first place - which was to provide Sanctuary for the Kingdom's restored wildlife heritage. The strong Royal support also provides our dedicated rangers the necessary encouragement and determination to safeguard Eswatini's wildlife heritage against unspeakable odds. And this is precisely what Big Game Parks does.
Our King, His Majesty Mswati III, was decorated by His Royal Highness Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands with the GOLDEN ARK - one of the most prestigious International Conservation awards - for standing by his rangers in times of trouble and for His role in saving His Kingdom's wildlife for posterity. In 2015, His Majesty received an award for his support of conservation judiciary by the Game Rangers Association of South Africa.
During our 50+ year history, Big Game Parks as a collection of the three parks has pioneered many initiatives in Eswatini.
Ted Reilly is the visionary and founder of formal conservation in Swaziland. A pragmatic man driven by love for the bush, Reilly ignored popularity, oftentimes being controversial, and he focused on his dream – to create a park system for Swaziland, at huge personal risk and financial impact.
A woman of immense courage, passion and intelligence, Liz aligned with Ted’s dream, bringing with her the business acumen and eye for quality to enable the growth of conservation and tourism. A notorious risk taker, Liz believes the sky is not the limit and there is always a means.
Petros Ngomane is a rare human being, having joined the parks before Mlilwane was officially opened and retiring only when he could no longer physically continue.
Ted Reilly's son, Mick Reilly grew up in the bush. From a very young age, there was no question of his passion and life journey.
Our Head Rangers Robert Vilane, George Mbatha and Mbuso Shiba are men of valour and integrity, leading our Rangers with unfailing commitment and discipline despite the dangers of their positions. Along with brave men lost in the field, and those still protecting our wildlife, their contribution to Swazi conservation will go down in history.
A special mention to incredible Rangers lost, some to poachers, is made. Petros Mabulane Ngomane, Japhane Magagula, Benjamin Manyisa, Richard Dlamini (Lonjwaleza), Patrick Mamba, Izaiah Cindzi, Macamuka Gamedze, Dumisa Mamba and Richard Gamedze gave their very best to Eswatini.