Getting behind domestic tourism in a big way, Dream Hotels & Resorts will be hosting several esteemed delegates at three of its holiday properties in KwaZulu-Natal on the sidelines of the 2020 Umthayi Marula Festival.
The annual Umthayi Marula Festival will be held this Saturday, 22 February 2020, at the eMfihlweni Royal Residence, within the KwaTembe community near the town of Manguzi. Now in its 10th year, the much-anticipated event is set to draw in well over 20 000 people from across the country and its borders.
Says Sharmila Ragunanan, Marketing Manager of Dream Hotels & Resorts (DHR): “The purpose of the day is to celebrate the harvesting of marula fruit from the indigenous marula tree, but it also honours and unites the diverse traditions and cultures of Mozambique, eSwatini and South Africa.”
Managed under DHR, the properties of Nibela Lake Lodge in St. Lucia in Hluhluwe, Jozini Tiger Lodge & Spa near Lake Jozini and Royal Thonga Safari Lodge in Tembe Elephant Park were carefully selected to host a number of South African royals, government officials and corporate dignitaries from across South Africa, Mozambique, and eSwatini for the duration of the weekend.
Royal Thonga Safari Lodge Manager, Wendy Tembe, also confirmed that Royal Thonga Safari Lodge was selected by the Department of Trade and Investment, the Department of Tourism and S.E Advisory (a well-recognised business development consulting firm) as the official venue of the gala dinner leading up to the main event.
“We are honoured that our properties have been selected to accommodate the attendees for the 10th annual Umthayi Festival attendees. Our property teams are gearing up to make sure that everyone experiences that warm and welcoming hospitality for which KwaZulu-Natal is well renowned,” adds Ragunanan.
While the festival does draw in senior officials and VIP, Ragunanan highlights that it is free and open to all members of the public who would like to learn more about the local cultures of Southern Africa.
“During the event, visitors can witness the preparation of the special traditional marula beer called ubuganu which is then presented to the inkosi (king). This is then followed by song, dance and a hearty feast for all to enjoy,” she concludes.