TOURISM KWAZULU-NATAL CELEBRATES SEPTEMBER TOURISM MONTH IN THE NORTHERN DRAKENSBERG

What better way to shrug off months of lockdown blues than to stretch the muscles and relax the mind during a cultural tourism experience in rural KwaZulu-Natal.

With September being Tourism Month, Tourism KZN is promoting everything from cosy huts to rustic hotels and farm to fork while encouraging the discovery of rural roots in keeping with the theme “Rural Tourism and Development”.

KZN MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Nomusa Dube-Ncube engaged with members of the media on a tour at Emazizini in an effort to draw tourism to the area and thereby transform the local economy through job creation and community upliftment.

The tour led by Ms Dube-Ncube coincided with the reopening of the country’s international borders on 1 October 2020 for business, leisure and other travel, under alert level 1 of lockdown. The tourism sector is looking forward to a bumper summer season and many accommodation venues have seen a rush in bookings.

Visitors are urged to experience the culture and language of the Zulu people throughout several destinations by interacting with villagers and learning more about their way of life and their practices, rituals and ceremonies.

“KwaZulu-Natal is all aligned with the strict health and hygiene protocols of Covid-19. We welcome visitors to the great escarpments of the Northern Drakensberg,” said Ms Dube-Ncube.

“We view job creation as critical for economic growth in the province and have put in place plans to have a speedy recovery of the tourism and hospitality industry.

“We should take advantage of visiting scenic destinations that are offering discounted packages amidst an abundance of diverse heritage and culture.”

“We are intensifying the roll out of the Local Government Tourism Capacity Building Programme for Tourism Practitioners and Communities. Our aim is to ensure that KZN is amongst the top tourist destinations. To achieve this vision, we have focused on enhancing our destination by improving infrastructure at various tourism magnets across local municipalities,” she said.

Media were treated to various thrilling tourism experiences with a visit to WOWZULU, a responsible tourism initiative that offers authentic community experiences in Emazizini. These ranged from a tractor-trailer ride up the mountain, to a guided inspiring village walk and craft lessons on basket weaving with master craftswomen.

There are magnificent sunrise and sunset scenic views at the Drakensberg world heritage site and fascinating views of the uThukela River with plunging waterfalls.

Go back home with captivating experiences of becoming part of the eMazizini village life for a day by taking part in different activities such as preparing fields; planting or harvesting; milking cows or herding cattle; or taking part in traditional ceremonies.

“Workshops are currently being conducted at all WOWZULU destinations to capacitate community businesses on Covid-19 hygiene measures. Each tourist attraction site ensures the health and safety measures are in place – masks are mandatory, and guests are screened on arrival,” said Bongiwe Mlangeni, Operations Manager at Africa Ignite.

Exploring Cathedral Peak Wine Estate in Winterton was one of the highlights of the media tour. A total of 29 hectares of vineyard leads into a game farm.

Tantalise your palette with the following varieties that are growing – Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinotage, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Sauvignon Blanc.

Royal Natal National Park has some of the best mountain scenery in Africa and the visitors were blown away by the world-famous Amphitheatre, a rock wall approximately 5km in length and 500m high.

Hiking is the most popular activity in the park. Trout fishing can be done at the dam and in the Mahai and Thukela rivers. Swimming in the fresh mountain streams is a popular summertime activity.

Bongiwe Zuma, a journalist from Isolezwe, said she woke up with a smile on her face after long months of pandemic depression.

“Waking up to the scenery of  beautiful mountains this morning reminded me of how magnificent our province is and brought back childhood memories. I love long walks in nature and this media tour was most enjoyable. I thank Tourism KZN for the incredible opportunity.”

Lucky Cain, a journalist at Ilanga, said: “Waking up to the sounds of birds and ducks and a stunning view of the Drakensberg mountains took my breath away. Nothing beats this refreshing nature experience and I am grateful to Tourism KZN for a wonderful opportunity to enjoy parts of KZN.”

For further information on tour and cultural experiences please visit the website https://www.wowzulu.co.za/wowzulu-destinations-in-kwazulu-natal/emazizini-village-world-heritage-drakensberg-kwazulu-natal

The travelling public is urged to frequently visit the TKZN digital platforms for great specials on offer.

To remind you of the tourism sights, sounds and experiences on offer, visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cU8rGVbBgCc


Fitch & Leedes celebrates SA heritage with Ltd Edition Indian Tonic

Fitch & Leedes, the premium range of South African mixers, is flying the flag on Heritage Day with a special Limited Edition Indian Tonic. 

Proudly adorned with the bright colours of the national flag in celebration of the country’s rich cultural heritage, the Limited Edition Fitch & Leedes Indian Tonic cans are available in leading stores during the entire month of September, while stocks last.

Taking the celebrations even further, Fitch & Leedes has teamed up with National Braai Day to unite all cultures around the fire on Heritage Day, 24 September. To get the party started, look out for the Braaiday Celebration Box full of #Braaiday memorabilia and Fitch & Leedes Heritage cans at selected stores. 

“Jan Braai has become synonymous with South African braai culture and as a locally produced brand, Fitch & Leedes is the perfect partner to celebrate our proud heritage. We will also take the opportunity to link up with local spirit brands by encouraging followers of our digital platforms to #SupportLocal by showcasing South African craft distilleries as a run-up to Heritage Day,” says James Shaw, Fitch & Leedes brand manager.

Creating a niche for itself in the competitive drinks market as the range of preferred mixers by most master distillers, mixologists and discerning consumers, Fitch & Leedes continues to push the boundaries in terms of product innovation, quality and taste.

Look out for the Limited Edition Indian Tonic heritage can at leading stores or purchase online at https://www.fitchleedes.co.za/order-online at around R54 per 6-pack of 200ml cans.  Get in the mix with @FitchLeedes on Instagram and Facebook.


KwaZulu-Natal Film Commission launches online screenings of local films with GeeGo Africa

The KwaZulu-Natal Film Commission officially launches the ‘KZN Movie Nights’ online project. The project, which aims to distribute and broadcast local films online, was born as a result of trying to ensure that the KZN Film secures strategic investment through facilitation and promotion of film projects into the film industry in KwaZulu-Natal.

The KwaZulu-Natal Film Commission’s mission is to be a catalyst for transformation in the local film industry, and over the year has funded over 200 projects, many of which have seen great success at international and local film festivals as well as breaking local box office records. What has emerged from the many successes is that although these films have been successful internationally, many of the local communities have not been able to access and enjoy stories created by local producers. Our goal is two pronged; to ensure the sustainability of the local film industry but also to grow local audiences by creating opportunities in which local audiences can consume this content. As such the Film Commission has a fund dedicated to growing local audiences, and this is achieved through activities such as the funding of local film festivals as well as community screenings.

The sudden outbreak of the Coronavirus forced the KZN Film Commission to think outside the box, and adapt to the covid social distancing restrictions. And the concept for online streaming of local content was envisioned. The organisation has partnered with Geego Africa, a local online events streaming mobile app. Using the GeeGo app, the KZN Film Commission will stream the KZN funded projects and reach thousands of active users. The organisation will create a monthly online screening event in which we stream one film per month and keep it on the platform for 1 week.

“We’re excited about this new project. The KwaZulu-Natal Film Commission’s main objective is to transform and create a sustainable film industry. Initiatives such as these are a reflection of the organisation’s core values which are to collaborate and become industry thought leaders through innovation. Further to that we are thrilled to announce that the first film that will be streamed is the KwaZulu-Natal Film funded, award-winning film Uncovered,” Carol Coetzee.

The first of these online film screenings is scheduled to take place this Heritage Day, 24 September with the streaming of the film Uncovered. The film recently scooped 4 awards (Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director and Best Film) at this year’s Simon ‘Mabhunu’ Sabela KZN Film & Television Awards that took place on Saturday, 12 September.


Score celebrates SA heritage with new Ltd Edition Energy Drink

Score, the energy drink with attitude and a proud supporter of youth development, has released a Limited Edition can in a striking African print-inspired design in celebration of South African Heritage Day. The Limited Edition Score Sparkling Cranberry is available in selected outlets for the entire month of September in recognition of the nation’s diverse cultural heritage. “As a brand, Score has always been associated with youth development and community upliftment through numerous grassroots projects. Our Heritage can is our way of saying thank you to our consumers from all walks of life who support us daily,” says Limise Mxatule, Score Brand Manager.

In the spirit of paying it forward, Score is offering loyal fans a month of consumer rewards and a chance of getting their share of R250 000 in cash when purchasing these Heritage cans. In addition to the on-pack instant rewards, further prizes are up for grabs for the most striking name for Score’s Limited Edition Sparkling Cranberry flavour.

To enter follow #ScoreYouDecide on Score’s social media platforms or visit www.scoreheritage.co.za. Double your power and stay ahead of the game with Score’s famous double shot of Guarana and a generous dose of B vitamins. The Limited Edition Score Heritage cans are available at participating stores at around R10 a can. Be sure to get your hands on these Heritage cans and catch all the Score action at www.facebook.com/DrinkScore or @drinkscore on Twitter and Instagram.


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