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Let’s look Forward To UMthayi Marula Festival 2019

iSimangaliso Wetland Park(Kosi Bay) Manguzi– Preparations for the 9th edition of the UMthayi Marula Festival also known as Umkhosi Wamaganu, gained further momentum when festival organizers released the final programme to media and key stakeholders at the iSimangaliso Wetland Park in Kosi Bay.

The event was attended by dignitaries from the royal family led by iNkosi Israel Mabhudu Tembe, local government led by His Worship the Mayor of UMkhanyakude District Municipality Cllr Solomon Mkhombo and Cllr Nkululeko Mthethwa the Mayor of uMhlabuyalingana.

This year, the programme will include activations across the UMkhanyakude District, a rural economy seminar and various ancestral activities at the Emfihlweni palace. Amongst these is the annual ukuvuselelwa kothango (fixing of the hedge ceremony) which takes place during the week in the build up to the main event where villagers present the buganu harvest to iNkosi Israel Mabhudu Tembe.

‘We are pleased to be hosting this launch with our sponsors iSimangaliso Wetland Park and to be releasing this programme together with the KwaZulu-Natal government (Department of Economic Development Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Department of Arts and Culture) as well as UMkhanyakude District and uMhlabuyalingana municipalities.  Said iNkosi Israel Mabhudu Tembe

This year’s programme will leave a long lasting legacy in Kwangwanase and greater UMkhanyakude district and further cement relations with our neighbours Mozambique and eSwatini. The inaugural rural economy seminar is closest to my heart as it is one such programme which I believe this will be a catalyst for real local economic development and inclusion for our people. This seminar will bring to Kwangwanase an economic development and awareness revolution which the youth, particularly unemployed youth and communities at large are in need of. ‘He continued to jubilant ululating from the crowd.

The programme received a nod from iSimangaliso Wetland Park Chief Executive, Sibusiso Bukhosini and other stakeholders who have played an integral part in staging a formidable 9th UMthayi Marula Festival.

‘We are thrilled to partner with the Tembe Royal Council, local structures and agencies in jointly promoting the area of Kwangwanase through major tourist attraction events such as UMthayi Marula Festival and are excited to welcome visitors looking to explore the multitude of attractions which our spectacular destination has to offer during and beyond the festival.’ said Sibusiso Bukhosini CEO of iSimangaliso Wetland Park World Heritage Site which extends from the Mozambique border at Kosi Bay to south of Maphelane, incorporating over 200km of pristine coastal forest and eight interlinking ecosystems.

The main event will be held at the Emfihlweni Palace in Kwangwanase on 23 February later this month. The event is expected to be attended by government leaders, business as well as famous celebrities.

The Best Vacations For Adrenaline Junkies

What kind of traveller do you think you are? Maybe you like the slow paced life of staying in a resort, and using a tour guide for everything? Maybe you like the idea of going out on your own and discovering everything about a city on your own time and terms? Or maybe you’re someone who likes to get your heart racing, and you love knowing you’re reaching highs and lows very few others have gone to?

If so, you’re probably an adrenaline junkie, and you’re looking for a good travel plan! Your flight’s all booked, and you’ve got plenty of sunscreen and snacks in your carry on at your feet – but where are you headed? Well, if you’re someone who likes to feel the blood pumping, then you’re off somewhere with an extreme climate, to make sure you’re getting the most out of your next vacation! So here’s a couple of ideas of where you should go next.

No lounging around for you – it’s time to spring into action! (Source)

Head Up a Mountain

There’s all kinds of mountain ranges and inactive volcanoes around the world, and when you realise that about 90% are ones you can try climbing, your heart probably started fluttering at the very prospect. After all, if you can reach an altitude similar to that of a plane with your just your legs and a secure rope, you’ve gone further than most of humanity!

So make sure you’re putting a mountain trek or climb down on your bucket list. And when there’s sites like out there to help make your dreams a reality, you could be up Everest within the next month or so.

Somewhere You Can Mountain Bike

Mountain biking is a bit of an extreme sport, and if two wheels are still too much for you, there’s always a bit of mountain unicycling you can try out instead! All in all, if you’ve got a mountain bike, and the need to go out on it more, it’s time to hit the hills and the forests near you.

There’s always going to be a good bit of land or park near you that you can bike your way down – just watch out for any bears that might be lingering in the trees! Or if that’s not enough for you, and you want to go further afield, make sure you check out a link like

Go on a Trek Through a Rainforest

There’s a lot of rainforests in this world, and it’s not just the Amazon you have to trek through. No, instead you could head out to more accessible areas such as Australia and Thailand, and meet all kinds of bugs, animals, and even people you’ve never seen before. Doesn’t that sounds like the most exciting prospect you’ve ever heard?!

If you’re an adrenaline junkie, make sure your vacations match your expectations. Relaxing is all well and good, but there’s adventure to be had out there.

Tourists on a Budget: Saving Money in the US

Being a tourist isn’t always easy and especially not when you’re travelling in the states. They’re known for having an extraordinary amount of fun stuff to offer, a melting pot of cultures just waiting to be discovered and, of course, various ways to spend all of your money at once.

While you may have returned home with far less money than you originally planned on during your previous vacations, this time it can be different. You just have to put your mind into it, that’s all and find ways to prioritise what you’d like to do and what you could do without.

Here is a handful of ways to save money while travelling in general and particularly when touring the US. That way, you might even be able to afford another vacation a bit sooner than you anticipated – and you won’t necessarily miss out on anything either.

First: Booking in advance

If you’ve been a budget tourist before, you know very well that there is a lot of money to save on plane tickets. You don’t really have to book them half a year upfront, though, although some sites seem to recommend that you book these tickets a year in advance if you’re able to. Try to give yourself at least two months, on the other hand, and you might be able to save quite a bit.

Keep in mind that some budget sites can be rather sneaky, though, as they keep an eye on the trips you’ve been looking at and turn the price up to create a sense of emergency. If the tickets increased in price over just one night, who knows what they will cost in a week?

Instead of falling for their sly tricks, you can check out the same ticket on another device and see if you’re able to get it for the price you originally saw. It’s not a guaranteed way of ensuring the cheapest ticket but, by booking two months in advance and checking the prices via different devices, you may be able to save quite a bit.

Next: Find the free stuff online

The Internet is a great place to be when you’re looking to save money. Use it while planning your holiday in the states as well as while you’re there, by the way, to look up all the free events and discounted offers in the area you’re in.

Finding the best deals is actually quite simple; just plot in free events in downtown Nashville, for example, ask around on one of the various forums online and keep in mind that a lot of museums and art events will offer free entrance.

The more you’re able to take advantage of the free or heavily discounted offers, the easier it’s going to be to stay within your budget – or to just splurge on the stuff you enjoy a bit more. Have a look around the web for some free apps you can download and use while you’re there as well, by the way, such as this happy hour app that helps you to discover discounted drinks in your area.  

Travel in the ‘shoulder periods’

Or, in other words, travel right before the high season in order to get low fares, cheap accommodation, and affordable meals out. The high season tends to be around the summertime and Christmas as people want to travel and explore the world during these months.

You might have wanted to do the same, though, but by booking your flight for April rather than in June, you’ll be able to not only avoid all of the tourists but also get prices that are adjusted for local travellers.

This is the kind of stuff that requires some planning, however, so try to keep it in mind for the next time you’d like to travel – or just book that ticket for April right away since you still got some time left.

Other ways to save money is to rent an apartment rather than checking in at a costly hotel. This is a better solution if you’re travelling with a group, though, or your family as you’ll be able to chip in on covering the costs and you should definitely make use of Airbnb while you’re there.

Now all you have to do is to pack as little as possible to avoid any extra charges on your luggage, make sure that you have that travel insurance taken care of and, finally, lean back and look forward to your trip.

How To See More Of the World While You Can

If there’s one thing that the bulk of people wish they could do more of, it’s travel. It’s a big old world out there, and we only have a certain amount of time in which to see it. Unless we’re rich and have all the time in the world, then that means that we need to find inventive ways to explore all the corners of the globe while we have the energy to do so. It sounds difficult, but it’s not; if you have the right attitude, anything as possible. So make travelling a priority. Below, we take a look at some actions that’ll have you travelling and seeing the world more. You can thank us later!

What’s Within an Hour’s Drive?

When we think of travelling, we usually have ideas of boarding a plane, landing in a far-flung country, and then trying to figure out how to get around and interact with the locals. In fact, that’s just one version of travelling. They are many other options out there! And in fact, the easiest version is in your backyard. There are many people out there who have a better understanding of other corners of the world than they do their own country! So take a look: what’s within an hour’s drive? You might just find that there’s a historical monument, scene of natural beauty, or fun adventure to be had…and all you need to experience it is take a leisurely drive.

Visiting Friends and Family

There are good points and bad points to globalisation, but one big plus is that many of us now have close friends and family members living in different corners of the globe. So the next time you’re planning on going away, why not take a trip to visit them? It’s nice to see your loved ones, of course, but the other plus point is that you’ll be able to see the destination through the eyes of a local. How many times have we landed somewhere new, and headed straight to the tourist hotspot because we didn’t know where else to turn? With the family as your guide, you’ll be able to see the “real” version of the place.

Job Relocation

But who says that you need to just visit friends and family members who have headed for pastures new? The increasingly smaller world means there are job opportunities all over the place. Might you be able to land a job for yourself? It can be a big thing to move to another country and set up a new life, but it’s a decision that rarely disappoints. If the pressure of moving gets too much for you, always keep in mind that it doesn’t have to be forever: your home will still be there, even if you leave for five years!

Work/Travel Adventures

Alternatively, if you’re young and just want to explore the world, but also make money, you can look at taking part in a work/travel adventure. There are a lot of countries that offer temporary visas to young people. You could go to the United States, UK, Australia, Canada, and more. You’ll be able to spend between four months and a year living and working. And since you’re only there for a set period of time, you’ll find that you throw yourself into the life as much as possible.

Setting Up a Base

That option tends to dry up once you read your mid-twenties, due to restrictions. But that doesn’t mean that your only option is to move elsewhere permanently or limit yourself to just taking short trips. There is another option, which is to set up a base overseas. In doing so, you’ll be able to explore that area again and again, as well as explore the surrounding region. Find apartments for rent in Singapore, for example, and you’ll be able to explore that country and also all the neighbouring countries, which are just one short, inexpensive flight away. You’ll also be more inclined to travel if you know you have a place that feels like home waiting for you once you land.

Long Weekends

If time is an issue, then you’ll want to make the most of any long weekends you have. If you’re off work on either Friday or Monday – or even better, both – then you have enough time to take a short flight or drive. It doesn’t sound like much time, but give it a try, you’ll be surprised how much you can fit into 72 hours.

Going ‘Anywhere’

If money is an issue, then you might have to adjust your expectations of what’s possible. You’ll find it difficult to travel to New York, for example, if you’re watching the bank account like a hawk. But that doesn’t mean that you have to forever stay at home. Go somewhere else! A good way to find affordable destinations is to use Skyscanner’s ‘Anywhere’ feature. You simply put in your nearest airport, select a date, and then put ‘anywhere’ as the destination. It’ll show you all the flights that are available. The cheapest option might be a place you’ve never even considered before, but why not go?

Small Savings, Big Changes

Though of course, while that’ll get rid of your travel itch, it won’t help you tick destinations off your bucket list. For that to happen, you’ll need to have two things: patience, and self-control. It’s always possible to save money, but you might have to cut some things out of your life. Prepare your own lunch rather than buying it, for example, and you could save enough money to travel when you multiply the daily rate by a year.

Final Thoughts

If travelling is your dream, then don’t wait for the perfect circumstances to present themselves. You’ll be waiting forever! Instead, make things happen. We live in an age where it’s easier than ever before to get out of our comfort zone and explore. If one of the above options doesn’t work for you, then another will!

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