MTN Bushfire 2015 travel tips and options


Words: Karla Smit

Swaziland’s highly acclaimed three-day music and arts festival, MTN BUSHFIRE 2015 is fast approaching. Taking place from May 29th – 31st 2015, tickets, accomodation and travel packages are selling out – so make sure to book now to avoid any disappointment.

MTN BUSHFIRE 2015 promises three days of music, art, personal expression and social activism that celebrates creative expression whilst promoting social responsibility, stimulating the economy and drawing talent and tourists from across Africa and around the world. MTN BUSHFIRE wants to ensure the safety of everyone attending the event and is therefore providing some travel tips and packages to make the journey easy, fun, and most of all – safe. Tickets to MTN BUSHFIRE can be purchased online at



MTN BUSHFIRE invites everyone to #BRINGYOURFIRE to the festival;  supported by the Motor Vehicle Association there are a number of travel tips and options to ensure you travel to and from MTN BUSHFIRE safely. For those staying off-site, the festival’s Park & Ride service allows you to travel to and from selected accomodation options and the festival so you can enjoy yourself without the worry of driving.  There are a number of pick-up and drop-off points between Mbabane and Manzini running regularly across the festival weekend. To view the Park & Ride schedule and for further information about the services offered by the MVA check out the MTN BUSHFIRE website:

Designated Driver - Keep the fire burning and arrive alive by assigning a designated driver to ensure a safe journey. If you plan to drive to the festival this year, make sure your and your friends consider who’s not drinking alcohol, who’s alert and who is aware of their speed. 

Don’t Drink and Drive - There is plenty to enjoy at the festival so don’t become a statistic and risk your life by driving under the influence .

* Watch Your Speed - Be safe at MTN BUSHFIRE and don’t race on the road. Swaziland police will be on the roads ensuring safe driving within the speed limit.

Alive and Alert - Tiredness can significantly reduce your reaction rate and responses, so make sure you save some energy for your onward journey.



From Johannesburg

Turn off the N4 for Carolina
Turn to Amsterdam after Carolina Railway
Enter Swaziland  through Oshoek borderpost and stay on the highway past Mbabane and down the Malagwane hill taking the first off-ramp to Ezulwini and the MR103.
Drive through Ezulwini for +-15km and  turn right at Mahlanya Market.
1 km further on you will find MTN BUSHFIRE parking.

Please note* - If you are coming from JHB please input your desired border post as a waypoint – otherwise you may end up taking the long way round and find a closed border post.


From Durban
Take the N2 to Golela/Lavumisa borderpost and follow signs to Manzini.
Go straight through Manzini onto the highway towards Mbabane.
At Matsapha, take the off-ramp (after the airport off-ramp) to the roundabout and take the second  turning  to Malkerns on the MR103.
Travel for +-9km and turn left at Mahlanya Market.
1 km further on you will find MTN BUSHFIRE parking.


Driving into Swaziland is relatively easy, provided you drive sensibly and avoid the numerous pot holes, ramshackle settlements, pedestrians and wandering livestock found on many of the roads leading into the country. Upon entry a fee is required of R50.00 for a car and for a truck / company car a fee of R80.00 applies. There is no Bureau to change currency however; the gate does accept South African rand. When driving ensure that relevant documentation is carried such as driver license and proof of insurance.  If you are using the Oshoek  or Goba border post it is highly recommended to plan to leave Thursday or early Friday as the border post has seen extremely long queues Friday afternoon and evening in previous years although MTN BUSHFIRE has been working with the Swazi authrorities in this regard. Please see below details of Border Opening times:

Bulembu/ Josefdal : 08.00 - 16.00

Gege/ 8othashoop : 08.00 - 16.00

lavumiso/ Golela : 00700 - 22.00

lomahasha/Namaacha : 07.00 - 20.00

lundzi/Waverley : 07.00 - 16.00

Mahamba : 07.00 - 22.00

Mananga : 08.00 - 18.00

Matsama/Jeppe's Reef : 08.00 - 20.00

Mhlumeni/Goba : 24 hours

Ngwenya/Oshoek : 07.00 - 00.00 (24 hours pending)

Nsalitshe /Onverwacht : 08.00 - 18.00

Sandlane/ Nerston : 08.00 - 18.00

Sicunusa/Houdkop : 08.00 - 18.00



A full passport valid for at least three months is required for entry into Swaziland. For tourist visits, visas are NOT required by citizens of most Commonwealth countries, the USA, Japan, most European Union countries and certain other countries. Tourist or business travellers are allowed to visit Swaziland for up to 30 days. C Please check with your Embassy or the Swaziland Tourism Authority website for visa requirements:



It is recommended to declare all photographic and electronic equipment at the border. 


For more information: , @BushfireFest



Backlit by fiery mountain sunsets across acres of pristine farmland in the Malkerns Valley, MTN BUSHFIRE is Swaziland’s internationally acclaimed three day world music and arts festival that celebrates creative expression whilst promoting social responsibility, stimulating the economy, and drawing talent and tourists from across Africa and around the world. Founded in 2007, MTN BUSHFIRE has a well-deserved reputation for its’ visionary approach, integrity and “Call to Action” mandate which defines its commitment to nurturing the Swazi arts and cultural scene, whilst raising awareness and funds to tackle the nation’s most pressing social needs. Donating 100% of its profits to orphans through the Swazi NGO Young Heroes (, and 100% of merchandise proceeds to the non-profit rural community development project Gone Rural boMake (, MTN BUSHFIRE serves, in the words of one journalist, “as a living, breathing, creative ecosystem.” 


MTN BUSHFIRE calls on the community to “Bring their Fire” to the Festival and into their daily lives, igniting a collective response for positive change. ‘Bring your Fire’ celebrates the human spirit, the light in all of us, to become more conscious and active participants in creating a better world. It is this distinctive fusion of inspired multi-dimensional creativity, demographically diverse audience, socially-accountable philosophy, and magical setting that creates and sustains MTN BUSHFIRE’s harmonious energy and sets it apart from all other festivals.