Zula Zula Bus’ Travails Mirrors Resilience Of Tourism SMEs

THE travails faced by Zula Zula Adventure Bus depict the lack of support faced by up-and-coming players in the hospitality sector to establish their industries.

It is also a reflection how these small and medium enterprises (SMEs) overcome such challenges, through resilience. Zula Zula derives its name from the Zulu word translating to, “Wander about everywhere.”

The company went literally anywhere in search of support, to no avail, which was compounded by its formation during the COVID-19 when the industry came to a halt.

Jerry Ngobese, Manager and Founder of Zula Zula, revealed how they
approached a bank, funding institutions such as Small Enterprise Finance
Agency (SEFA) and National Empowerment Fund (NEF), among others, without

He retold other challenges encountered by the company, which was registered as a motorhome rental in 2014. The concept of Zula Zula was initiated in late 2020.

“When the lockdown was relaxed a bit we (Ngobese and wife) started
making this concept a reality,” he said.

“I had penned all the operations and the branding and all the profile as well as the ideal transport. We started looking for 40+ seater buses online. We found a lot of former Tour bus Companies fleet being defleeted (job losses and closing of companies.”

He said challenges faced by the company were “like throwing in the wind.”

“We had to sell some assets and try raising the deposit for a New Shape
Quantum (shuttle),” Ngobe said.

He said by divine intervention, they managed to acquire the vehicle at
the beginning of 2022. The operations started in March.

The company ensured a presence online, sought affiliation with tourism
associations and registrations with state regulatory bodies.

“There’s plenty of red tape which makes it impossible for new entrants,”
Ngobese lamented.

He told Durban Today that the company’s key selling point is the ability
to fuse passenger transportation and the experience.

The tagline is “Yonk’nDawo” – Everywhere.”

“This supports our concept of going everywhere,” Ngobe explained.

Zula Zula aims to use 40+ seater buses as well as introducing wilderness
camping as part of the company’s expansion.

“The fact that we started without an operational budget tends to slow down our growth,” Ngobese said.

“However, the potential is there. We are still struggling on the marketing side of things. We budget for the market per confirmed trip.

This works against getting more trips as there is a big break in
between,” he concluded.

– CAJ News



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