On Friday 19 July 2019, run away fires leapt into Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary from 3 sides, and they evacuated 84 people from Rest Camp, 45 from Sondzela Backpackers and 14 from Reilly’s Rock Hilltop Lodge. These camps are between 1 and 3km apart and their staff were fighting 7 fires at one stage. A long and challenging night kept most staff up until well after 3am on Saturday morning. It is nothing short of a miracle that their camps are still standing today.
- During the fire they were very fortunate that none of their guest or staff were harmed; all thanks to the quick reaction from the camp managers and the calmness of the guests.
- Unfortunately they did lose some animals; they are unsure of how many at this point – but thankfully they still have plenty of wildlife for their guests to see and thus the normal activities to continue.
- The fire was extinguished in the early hours of Saturday morning, all that remained was fire residue
- Though the fires at some point were mere meters away from some of their accommodation units- the staff managed to fight the fires off leaving their facilities untouched.
- Operations went back to normal the following day; so any prior bookings made are still valuable and will still be honoured.