Lilizela Tourism Awards winners – see who got the gold

The South African tourism industry celebrated its top business owners and service providers at the Lilizela Tourism Awards on 16 October 2016 which saw 53 winners voted the best of the best in categories ranging from service excellence and entrepreneurship to sustainable development.

South Africa’s Minister of Tourism, Derek Hanekom, also announced the 2016 Minister’s Award at the star-studded gala event held at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg. This prestigious award, which recognises tourism innovators and pioneers, went to renowned Mpumalanga artist, Esther Mahlangu. A previous Lilizela category winner in the Roots and Culture category, Mahlangu’s colourful Ndebele designs have been exhibited around the world and have graced global brands such as BMW, British Airways, Fiat and Belvedere luxury vodka, placing South African traditional art and design on the international map.

“The Lilizela Tourism Awards give us the opportunity to celebrate trailblazers such as Mam’ Esther, as well as service excellence in the South African tourism industry in general. Tonight is an opportunity to pause and thank these individuals and businesses for their contribution to putting South Africa firmly on the global stage by ensuring their product and service offerings are of the highest standard,” said Minister Hanekom.

The awards

The 2016 Lilizela Tourism Awards, an initiative of the National Department of Tourism and spearheaded by South African Tourism, was a star-studded celebratory affair hosted by media personalities Bonang Matheba and Jason Greer. The electrifying entertainment for the night was provided by Mi Casa, the Mzansi Youth Choir and the Johannesburg Youth Orchestra. The occasion gave players and stakeholders in the country’s tourism industry the opportunity to come together to toast to excellence and be inspired by the example of others.

Members of the public were then invited to have their say on the Lilizela Tourism Awards website by voting. These votes together with those from various platforms such as TripAdvisor and TGCSA’s Tourism Analytics Programme, formed 80% of the score for each entry. A panel of high-level judges for each category, drawn from the industry and academia, contributed the remaining 20% of each establishment’s score.

From these calculations, 589 finalists were selected nationwide, and each province held its own awards ceremony in the run-up to the national finals. During these provincial award ceremonies, 262 provincial winners were celebrated. This provincial shortlist was further narrowed down to 53 national winners, who were honoured with trophies on Sunday night.

The winners are:

Accommodation Awards

Backpacking and Hosteling:

Amapondo Backpackers, Eastern Cape
Tube ‘n Axe Backpackers Lodge, Eastern Cape
Curiocity Backpackers, Gauteng
Saltycrax Backpackers, Western Cape

Bed & Breakfast:

Visit Vakasha Guest Lodge, Mpumalanga
Brown’s Manor, Northern Cape
Lemon Tree Lane Bed and Breakfast, Eastern Cape

Caravan and Camping:

Plettenberg A Forever Resort, Western Cape
ATKV Bufflespoort Holiday Resort Caravan & Camping, North West

Country House:

Mashutti Country Lodge, Limpopo
De Doornkraal Historic Country House, Western Cape
Falcons View Manor, Western Cape

Game Lodge:

Umlani Bushcamp, Limpopo
Leopard Mountain, KwaZulu-Natal
Jock Safari Lodge, Mpumalanga

Guest House:

Flamingo’s Nest Guest House and Conference Centre, Gauteng
The Three, Western Cape
Loerie’s Call Guest House, Mpumalanga


Road Lodge Potchefstroom, North West
Town Lodge Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape
Garden Court Blackrock, KwaZulu-Natal
Thaba Eco Hotel, Gauteng
Taj Cape Town, Western Cape


iNsingizi Lodge, KwaZulu-Natal
Three Trees at Spioenkop, KwaZulu-Natal
Tintswalo Atlantic Lodge, Western Cape

Meetings Exhibitions and Special Events (MESE):

Ingwenyama Conference & Sports Resort, Mpumalanga
NH The Lord Charles Hotel, Western Cape
The Forum The Campus, Gauteng

Self-catering Exclusive:

Beverley Country Cottages, KwaZulu- Natal
171 Marula drive – Zimbali Coastal Resort & Estate, KwaZulu-Natal
Zebula Golf Estate & Spa, Limpopo

Self-catering Shared Vacation:

Gariep A Forever Resort Chalets, Free State
Thunzi Bush Lodge, Eastern Cape
Beach Break in the Eastern Cape

Visitor Experience Awards

Action and Adventure: Bloukrans Bungy – Face Adrenalin, Eastern Cape
Beach Experience: Chokka Trail, Eastern Cape
Culture and Lifestyle: Magic Moments in Oudtshoorn, Western Cape
Lap of Luxury: The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa, Western Cape
Marine Adventure: Raggy Charters, Eastern Cape
Roots and Culture: Lebo’s Soweto, Gauteng
Scenic Beauty: Cape Point, Table Mountain National Park, Western Cape
Wildlife Encounters: Inyati Game Lodge, Mpumalanga

Tour Operators

Springbok Atlas Tours & Safaris, Western Cape

Nature Guides

Sidney Fhumulani Mikosi, Limpopo

Tourist Guides

James Fernie, Western Cape

ETEYA – Culture Villages

Besty Travel, Limpopo

Universal Accessibility

Accommodation: Mobility – Soli deo Gloria, Western Cape
Experience: General – Epic Enabled and Epic Guest House, Western Cape
Experience: Mobility – Flamingo Tours & Disabled Ventures, Western Cape


Exempted Micro Enterprise (EME) under R5m – Thaba Tshwene Game Lodge, North West
Large Enterprise over R45m – Cape Town International Convention Centre Company, Western Cape
Qualifying Small Enterprise (QSE) R5m – R45m – Stormsriver Adventures (Tsitsikamma Canopy Tour), Eastern Cape

Entry to the Lilizela Tourism Awards is free and tourism businesses of all sizes are encouraged to enter in a bid to help develop, grow and transform the industry. For more information, visit Lilizela Tourism Awards. Entries for the 2017 Lilizela Awards open on 1 December 2016.

Source: bizcommunity