Lebo’s backpackers eye national Lilizela award

Based in Orlando West-Soweto, the establishment is popular with international tourists for its authenticity and gives you the opportunity to experience Soweto, its people, the different neighborhoods and its history up close and personal.

Happy duo, Lungile Mbangula and Thami Khumalo from Lebo’s Backpackers, won the Backpacking & Hostelling category at the Gauteng Provincial Lilizela Awards held last night at the Constitutional Hill, Braam. All images SLM.

Represented by the happy duo Lungile Mbangula and Thami Khumalo, who admitted this years’ nomination was a bit difficult due to increased numbers of entrants from all corners of the province and stringent qualification criteria.

Started in 2004 by founder and owner Lebo Malepa- Lebo’s Backpackers also provides Tuk-tuk, bicycle tours, walking and customised tours, whose cheeky marketing tag ‘Stay in a dorm, tree house, or pitch a tent’ continues to be a hit with tourists.

Celebrating its sixth edition, the Gauteng Lilizela Awards also honoured other 24 finalists in 25 sub-categories.

The awards included categories in service excellence, accommodation, visitor experience of the year, tourist guides, tour operators and MESE (Meetings, Exhibitions and Special Events).

The sustainable development category featured universal accessibility accommodation and universal accessibility experiences.  The special MECs Award is made by the determination and discretion of the MEC for the Department of Economic Development, Lebogang Maile, who did not attend the ceremony, held at the historical Constitutional Hill-Braamfontein.

Yoland Ruiters, acting CE Gauteng Tourism congratulated the winners but also warned that they must do their best to represent the province well at the finals.

Some of the winners at the awards ceremony.

Sultry Kelly Khumalo and astounding Kitchen-Mess provided entertainment.

All businesses in the tourism industry are eligible for the Lilizela Awards, but all accommodations and MESE establishments need to be graded by the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa.

Lilizela an Nguni word for ululation- is an initiative of the National Department of Tourism (NDT) and spearheaded by South African Tourism (SAT). It was started in 2012.

All nine provinces host their provincial awards that culminate in national awards to be held November 17 2018 at Sandton Convention Center- Jozi.

Sultry Kelly Khumalo and astounding Kitchen-Mess provided entertainment.

To view winners who made it to the finals go to:

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