New USCT CEO discovers the South Coast as a tourist



Ugu South Coast Tourism’s new CEO, Phelisa Mangcu, recently discovered some of the KZN South Coast’s tourism highlights on a two-day trip around the destination.

Phelisa, who was born in the Eastern Cape and hails from Johannesburg, where she headed up Joburg Tourism as acting CEO, was thrilled to discover the various established tourism products as well as the potential for tourism development.

The two-day trip was the first one planned to introduce her to the destination from a visitor’s perspective.

On Day 1, the tour started with a great coffee and tour at Beaver Creek Coffee Farm, then took in the Red Desert, The Pont, Umtamvuna River Lodge, Dinangwe African Cuisine and coastal strip in Port Edward.

Closeby in Munster, Phelisa was treated to a guided tour at the Munster Motor Museum and lunch at MacBanana lifestyle centre. From there the Mpenjati Nature Reserve and Marina Beach were viewed. Then it was on to Southbroom’s Outlook Trading Post, Riverbend Crocodile Farm and S’khumba Crafts.

Thereafter, the tour went past some of Ramsgate’s treasures including Pistols Saloon and Bellevue Park, the Whale Deck and Waffle House. The guided tour went all the way through Margate and along the Margate coastline through Shelly Beach to the Port Shepstone coastline, ending the first day’s jam-packed tour.

On Day 2, the CEO explored Oribi Gorge and its many great tourism products, starting at Lake Eland Game Reserve with a walk over the famous suspension bridge and a site visit of its accommodation options. This was followed by a guided tour through The Gorge Private Game Reserve and Spa, a refreshment and shop stop at the Mac Valley Farm Stall with a guided tour at the Vulture Hide.

Lunch was enjoyed at the Oribi Gorge Hotel, followed by a visit to the adventures offered at Wild5Adventures, ending with a visit to the Oribi Gorge Nature Reserve and the picnic spots Ugu South Coast Tourism recently upgraded, before taking yet another scenic route through the Oribi Gorge back to Port Shepstone.

Asked her impressions of the KZN South Coast as a destination following her first-hand experience, Phelisa said that she liked the diversity of the products.

She acknowledged the attraction of the beaches, but was encouraged by seeing the other side of the South Coast experience, which she said needs to be highlighted to visitors.

“Coming from outside the region, I never even knew about the Oribi Gorge, so there is a need to promote the tourist areas beyond the beaches.”

She continued that as an urban professional, she enjoyed being out in the country and being exposed to rural areas, which introduced her to developmental needs and opportunities that may be able to empower communities.

Some of the highlights that stood out for Phelisa personally include Oribi Gorge’s many and diverse activities, such as Lake Eland Game Reserve, The Pont and Umtamvuna River Lodge for their forest and water experiences and general holiday atmosphere in Port Edward and Marina Beach for its Blue Flag family environment. With so much to discover, she encouraged all visitors to extend their experience of the KZN South Coast and explore beyond the beaches.

Having been on this introductory tour that took in highlights especially of the Umtamvuna River Gorge and the Oribi Gorge areas, the CEO said she now has plans to keep exploring the great treasures of the KZN South Coast with her family and throughout the upcoming year and looks forward to doing a similar trip to the Umdoni area, which includes Scottburgh, and the Great Drives Out to the hinterland.

She wished all the summer holidaymakers a great festive season, safe travelling and happy exploring all over the KZN South Coast.

For more information:

Kay Robertson, GM: Marketing & Events, Ugu South Coast Tourism,


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