Becoming a Lion: Inspection Visit to South Africa

Mark GardnerBlog, Inspection Trip, South Africa, Supporters Tours

The MSG Team and their partners with the SKRUM Charity in Eswatini

Becoming a Lion

MSG Tours Ltd’s Inspection Visit to South Africa inspires and educates the Events Team ahead of the 2021 Lions tour vs the Springboks.

Cape Town Waterfront on the team's inspection visit to South Africa
The view the MSG team had of the Waterfront in Cape Town with Table Mountain in the background.

The Inspection Visit to South Africa

Firsts, bucket list items and life-long dreams were all ticked off during MSG’s action-packed, comprehensive Inspection Visit to South Africa that explored no less than 32 hotels, 20 towns & cities amongst truly unique landscapes. Big 5 sightings on safari, South Africa’s answer to the Orient Express and views that take your breath away were all experienced in an action packed 8 days.  A few glasses of Stellenbosch’s reds and whites were consumed along the way for pure educational purposes 🙂 

Our objective: to pressure Test itineraries, transportation, hotel partners and excursions to ensure nothing but the very best for all our customers. For the purpose of #DeliveringTheUnexpected in 2021, you will have to wait on some little (and big) gems that were discovered.

@msgtours##zulu Lions war chant created right here in ##Soweto 🇿🇦✈️🦁♬ original sound – msgtours

What did the team think about the inspection visit to South Africa?


Managing Director, Mark Gardner led the tour and explained his rationale for the trip.  “Our feedback from RWC2019 Japan suggested that all key staff should be part of the Lions tour development process, allowing them to communicate and advise succinctly with our loyal rugby fraternity. 

“In whistle stop fashion we explored this enchanting land – including Eswatini – to fully educate the team on all areas of our Lions travel packages.” 


Joseph Ledger enjoyed his travel experience immensely.  “The highlight for me was undoubtedly the Mother City, Cape Town. This was the one I had had my eye on and I wasn’t disappointed, not one bit. This is one of those places where no time here is long enough, and no words can adequately describe it for you, it is simply a must see.

“Music, food, arts, nature and sport collide in a kaleidoscope of colours and cultures, all with arguably the best backdrop on the planet. A sea of red jerseys down at the V&A Waterfront will undoubtedly be the cherry on top.” 

Laura and Niamh with Little Rose Centre on the inspection visit to South Africa
Laura and Niamh with the team and children at the Little Rose Centre in Soweto.


The journey was equally as beneficial to Laura Dennehy.  “As someone who has a lot of face time/ phone time with our customers it was essential for me to see and experience all of the locations and elements of the tour first hand. This enables me to have confident, honest conversations with our clients about what we’re offering on the tour, as well as have my input when it comes to delivering what our clients want in a Lions tour.

“As for South Africa and Eswatini itself, both countries totally exceeded my expectations with their varied terrains. From the luscious mountains of Eswatini to the golden beaches of Western Cape, the bustling cities of Johannesburg and Cape Town to the quaint yet exciting game reserves. This tour may even top New Zealand in 2017!” 


Our Graduate Management Trainee, Niamh Houlihan, thoroughly enjoyed the experience.  “For me, the inspection visit to South Africa really opened my eyes to the travel industry.

“Not only did I appreciate the beauty of it from a personal aspect but also with regards to the planning of the tour; it has facilitated the planning process a lot by having seen and experienced things first hand to create an amazing itinerary.” 

Click here to register your interest in Lions 2021!