Durban - Hundreds of people welcomed swimmers Chad le Clos and Myles Brown on Saturday evening at Durban's King Shaka International airport.
There was a festive atmosphere as the two swimmers and their coach Graham Hill arrived, as scores of people waited for them in the international arrivals hall.
Some carried placards bearing slogans such as, "Myles New Kid on the Block" and "Chad Flies to New Record".
The three had arrived from Beijing where they had competed in the final leg of the FINA Swimming World Cup.
Le Clos, who won the FINA World Cup, said he was surprised at the welcome, comparing it with that he received after returning home from the 2012 London Olympics.
Brown won five gold medals, eight silver and five bronze medals throughout the entire tournament.
Le Clos, meanwhile, won 24 gold medals, eight silver and three bronze medals throughout the tournament.
The FINA World Cup was a series of eight two-day swimming meetings held in eight different cities between August and November this year.
Asked about the possibility of Michael Phelps returning to competitive swimming, Le Clos simply said: "Bring it on."
Earlier this week, Phelps rejoined the United States' drug-testing programme, a strong signal that he could be planning a comeback for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016.
Phelps is the most decorated athlete in Olympic history, having won 18 gold medals and 22 medals overall at the last three successive Olympic Games.
The American retired at age 27, after winning six medals at last summer's London Olympics.
On a more serious note, Le Clos said he believed that if Phelps returned to swimming it would be good for the sport.
Scores of children queued up to get autographs and get their pictures taken with the two swimmers.