Lions celebrate successful fundraiser as crowds flock to Amanzimtoti’s Highland Gathering

Amanzimtoti’s Highland Gathering
Amanzimtoti’s Highland Gathering

Amanzimtoti’s local tourism, businesses, and the hard-working Lions Club were given a major boost on Saturday, 27 April with the successful Highland Gathering held at Hutchison Park. Crowds flocked to enjoy the day’s festivities, which included several new features and prize giveaways, with the proceeds going towards community initiatives by The Lions Club of Amanzimtoti.


“We are so grateful to all our sponsors, Sapphire Coast Tourism and Durban Tourism, the stall holders, our fellow Lions clubs who assisted, the children from Kingsway, Kuswag, and Toti High schools, and everyone who came out to support the 2024 Highland Gathering,” commented Lion Madelyn Stander, marketing convener of The Lions Club of Amanzimtoti.


“We opened the cricket field to accommodate more stalls and had more than 250 stall bookings across three fields, with feedback from stall holders overwhelming positive. SANBS [the South African National Blood Service] also recorded 45 units of blood donated, so thank you to all those caring individuals. Funds raised will make a real impact on the lives of those who benefit from our community initiatives, and we’re already looking forward to our 2025 edition!”


Some of the key highlights included the craft markets, beer tents and food stalls; live entertainment by talented performers as well as kids’ entertainment; animal shows by Crocworld Conservation Centre and a Dog Agility Show; the Mr and Miss Highland Gathering; and the epic Mass Bands Performance featuring all the piping bands and drum lines.


Responses on the The Lions Club of Amanzimtoti’s social media pages were also incredibly welcome, with Sharon McCann saying: “We absolutely enjoyed every moment of today! Thank you so, so kindly, honestly. We arrived early and left after the magnificent finest final gathering. Goosebump stuff… it was truly phenomenal!”. While Shayne Lottering stated: “Thank you to all who were involved in organising this event. It was an absolutely amazing experience. All your hard work and dedication is very much appreciated.”


Great prizes and fun giveaways

Romy Wenzel of Sapphire Coast Tourism said that, in partnership with Durban Tourism, they were proud to provide the fun activities at this year’s Highland Gathering which were enjoyed by visitors from all walks of life. Among the highlights were games such as bean bag toss and archery; branded giveaways such as towels, caps, umbrellas and cooler boxes; the sounds of marimba bands and phenomenal dance performances by the Zulu dancers, rides by the famous Durban Rickshaw pullers; as well as the popular Durban Ricksha Bus which did sightseeing round trips.


“It was great to see so many happy faces on the day,” said Wenzel. “A special thanks goes out to the The Lions Club of Amanzimtoti for going the extra mile this year and putting together a very well-organised event. We also applaud everyone who took advantage of our contest to take fun selfies at the Winkle Beach Selfie Wall, earning themselves free entry to the event. The Highland Gathering is a big boost for local businesses and tourism, and such a great springboard for visitors to experience the many great adventures on the Sapphire Coast. We look forward to welcoming them back to discover more of the region’s gems.”


Wenzel also extended thanks to the sponsors of this year’s Sapphire Coast Tourism grand prize for 2. This included:


  • 2 nights’ accommodation and breakfast at Protea by Marriott Hotel Karridene Beach
  • 2 beach horse rides with Gary’s Horses
  • 2 Shark cage snorkel experiences with Aliwal Dive Centre
  • 2 spa treatments at The Baligrand Lodge & Spa


This year’s winner was Kingsburgh’s Belinda Strydom who thanked Sapphire Coast Tourism and the The Lions Club of Amanzimtoti for the vibrant atmosphere and array of prizes.


“The day began with a serendipitous encounter at the Sapphire Coast Tourism stand where we were invited to participate in a competition. We then spent the day exploring the stalls while being serenaded by the enchanting bagpipes. As the clock struck 2pm, we returned to the stand for the highly anticipated prize draw where my name was called. I was overcome with joy!”


She said she would enjoy most of the prizes with her husband, Marius, although her sons, Gary and Stefan, will get the chance to enjoy snorkelling with sharks while she stays ‘safely on shore’!


“As a resident of Kingsburg, I recognise the importance of community events like the Highland Gathering, which not only entertain but also bring people together for unforgettable experiences!” said Belinda.

Don’t worry if you missed the Highland Gathering, you can experience it on the YouTube video here put together by Ordinary South African.


For more information about the Sapphire Coast, visit or the Sapphire Coast Tourism Facebook page.