Makhosi Msimango, Founder & Managing Director of Ndzenga Tours & Safaris opened up her business in the hopes of providing unique experiences in a niche market. Now offering majestic tours to seasoned travellers or first-time visitors to the Zulu Kingdom, Makhosi is opening eyes and making dreams come true on a daily basis.
Q&A with Makhosi Msimango
How did the idea for your business come about?
I was attending my first Reed Dance in Nongoma; Zululand and I noticed a few tourists being turned away. When I enquired, they were not aware that women weren’t allowed in the Royal Palace wearing pants – or that men weren’t allowed to take pictures of the maidens.
When I did my research, I identified a niche market and decided to offer these visitors specialised tour operator services and registered my business.
How did you come up with the name for your company?
It’s the name of my first daughter who was named after the Angolan Queen, Ndzenga. The name means strength.
Who is your ideal customer and why?
International visitors, although through the lessons we endured during the COVID-19 Pandemic we have recognised the importance of the domestic market.
Why do you offer the very best experience/product for your customers?
We pride ourselves on being the only company globally to have exclusive rights to take people into the Royal Palaces. We offer an authentic experience of what the Zulu Kingdom has to offer. After all, we call ourselves the pride of KZN.
What is your greatest hope for your business?
To speed up the recovery process so we can offer job security to both previous and new staff as we grow and expand.
What has been the most satisfying achievement in your business?
Winning numerous awards for service excellence. Our biggest win yet was for the Lilizela MEC’s Award for Service Excellence. We pride ourselves on the exceptional service we offer to all our clients.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs who want to get into tourism?
1. Do the work, and research the sub-sector you are entering into.
2. Build a strong team as they are the backbone to the success of the business.
3. Be patient.
4. Be consistent.
5. Love what you do.
If you could have a do-over, what would you do differently?
I would have been easier on myself and the progress of the business. I would have worked hard on attaining investors as cash flow has been a great hindrance in the growth of the business.