Tourism operators in the SMME sector in KwaZulu-Natal had the opportunity to network with their African brethren to identify prospects on the continent.

At an Africa’s Travel Indaba networking session, small tourism enterprises had the chance to broker deals with delegates from African countries such as Botswana, Namibia, Mozambique, Ghana and Zimbabwe.

This session allowed the SMMEs to socialise with key African markets and showcase their tourism offerings which will be sure to bring in new business opportunities.

The top 10 African markets travelling to South Africa are Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Mozambique, eSwatini, Botswana, Namibia, Malawi, Zambia, Angola and Tanzania.

In 2021, there were 312 477 tourists from Lesotho, 363 796 tourists from Zimbabwe, 157 124 tourists from eSwatini and 89 376 tourists from Botswana all travelled to South Africa for business and leisure.

In 2021, 299 118 eSwatini tourists, the biggest market for that year, travelled to KZN with 42 762 tourists from Botswana and 35 990 tourists from Lesotho also travelling to the Zulu Kingdom.

Portia Mkhize, owner of Samport Travel, said she did a presentation on her tourism offerings that wowed the African delegates.

“I am so excited to start doing business with delegates from Kenya, Botswana, Ghana Zambia, Mozambique, and Namibia.

“The African countries are enthusiastic to explore KZN and take exceptional experiences back home,” she said.

Philisiwe Gumede, owner of Cynthia Hive Estate, said she was thrilled to have met many different people from Africa and to build relationships with delegates from Ethiopia, Ghana and Angola.

“The delegates from Africa provided such insightful information about their different cultures, religious backgrounds and what they would like to experience in KZN,” she said.

Nkosikhona Ndlovu, owner of Amangonyama Tours said he received great feedback from delegates from Botswana, Zambia, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

“I am currently drafting an itinerary for some of the African delegates to travel to KZN in July and have a Zulu traditional cultural experience,” he said.