The Footsteps of Nelson Mandela Tour

Johannesburg · KwaZulu-Natal · Cape Town · Cape Winelands · History and Politics

“During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities.”
Nelson Mandela


The following tour will provide travellers with a unique opportunity to journey in the footsteps of a global icon, the late former president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela.

In addition to following in the footsteps of Tata Madiba, the tour will also shed light into the lives of key political luminaries such as Gandhi, Chief Albert Luthuli, John Dube, Steve Biko and countless other activities and freedom fighters who took strides in the long and arduous journey toward a democratic South Africa.

The Footsteps of Nelson Mandela Tour takes travellers across South Africa, beginning in Johannesburg and ending in Cape Town. During this 13 day tour, travellers will visit prominent points of interest that each tell a part of the story of Mandela’s long walk to freedom for South Africa’s liberation.

You Will Love

  • Gaining a thorough understanding of the story of South Africa’s struggle for freedom under the oppressive apartheid rule.
  • Visiting a plethora of prominent museums, monuments and points of interest that each add immense value in understanding South Africa’s past.
  • Travelling across the beautiful country of South Africa and exploring a number of the most highly acclaimed attractions.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Fairlawns Boutique Hotel, Johannesburg

After arrival at O.R. Tambo International Airport, transfer to Fairlawns Boutique Hotel to check in. Enjoy a relaxing evening at leisure.

Day 2: Fairlawns Boutique Hotel, Johannesburg

After breakfast, proceed to Liliesleaf Farm. The headquarters of the military wing of the African National Congress (ANC), Liliesleaf Farm was used in secret by Nelson Mandela and ANC activists during the struggle. In July 1963, a police raid led to the arrest of a number of ANC figures, and to the subsequent Rivonia Treason Trial.
After Liliesleaf Farm, continue to Soweto. Famed as the site of the Soweto Uprising where, in 1976, police opened fire on some 10 000 students who marched in protest of the apartheid government’s policy to enforce Afrikaans and replace native languages in the education system. In Soweto, visit Nelson Mandela House on Vilakazi Street, where the former President lived with his family, pay tribute to the Soweto Uprising victims at the Hector Pieterson Memorial, created to commemorate the life of a teenager shot and killed during the riots, and finally, visit the Regina Mundi Church.

Day 3: The Oyster Box, KwaZulu-Natal

After breakfast, check out of Fairlawns Boutique Hotel and travel to the Apartheid Museum to embark on a guided tour of the highly acclaimed space that illustrates the rise and fall of apartheid. Here, a number of exhibitions tell the dramatic story of the brutal state-sanctioned system based on racial discrimination, and the struggle of the majority to overthrow this tyranny.

In the afternoon travel to O.R. Tambo International Airport for a flight to KwaZulu-Natal. Upon arrival, transfer to Luthuli Museum and begin a tour of this fascinating space. As president of the African National Congress until his death in 1967, Chief Albert Luthuli received the 1960 Nobel Prize for Peace.

Next, travel to the Phoenix Settlement where Mahatma Gandhi conceptualised his philosophy of passive resistance against injustice. Then, continue to Ohlange Institute founded by an extraordinary man, John Dube, who became the first president of the African National Congress in 1912. After a busy day, head to the Oyster Box to overnight.

Day 4: The Old Hatchery, KwaZulu-Natal

Following breakfast, depart The Oyster Box and travel to Pietermaritzburg. After driving through the main street, stop at the railway station where Gandhi was forcibly removed from the first class carriage in 1893. This marked the start of his politicisation and his Passive Resistance campaign. After a brief visit at the Tatham Art Gallery, enjoy the sights of the beautiful Howick falls from a viewing platform.

Continuing the tour, travel to the Nelson Mandela Capture Site. In 1952, after 17 months of being hunted by authorities and living incognito, it was here that Nelson Mandela was arrested for his activism against the Apartheid government. After a tour of the Capture Site, enjoy a drive through the beautiful countryside of Underberg.

Day 5: The Old Hatchery, KwaZulu-Natal

After a lovely breakfast, venture to the little town of Underberg situated at the foot of the Drakensberg escarpment. Here, change vehicles to a dirt road 4×4 and begin the ascent on the highest road pass in Africa, the Sani Pass. Enjoy the absolutely breathtaking scenery and plenty of incredible photo opportunities along the way.

Travel through the Kingdom in the Sky, Lesotho, and enjoy a lunch at the Highest Pub in Africa.

Day 6: Mthatha Holiday Inn, KwaZulu-Natal

With an early start, enjoy the scenic drive to Mthatha. After arrival, check-in and enjoy a light lunch at the hotel, travel to Qunu, Nelson Mandela’s hometown where he returned after 27 years of imprisonment. As well as visiting the Nelson Mandela Museum and the youth and heritage centre, travellers spend the day exploring the area where Nelson Mandela grew up.

Day 7: Addo Elephant National Park, Port Elizabeth

After breakfast, depart Mthatha for King William’s Town to visit the Steve Biko Memorial and the Garden of Remembrance. Founder of the Black Consciousness Movement, which would empower and mobilise much of the urban black population, Steve Biko’s life and work as a martyr of the anti-apartheid movement are remembered and honoured here.

Continue to Port Elizabeth to the third largest National Park in South Africa, the Addo Elephant National Park. Home to a plethora of wildlife species enjoy a wonderful afternoon game drive in this wildlife sanctuary.

Day 8: Commodore Hotel, Cape Town

After an early morning game drive through the park and breakfast, travel to Port Elizabeth Airport to connect with a flight to Cape Town. Upon arrival in the Mother City, transfer to the Commodore Hotel and spend the afternoon at leisure.

Day 9: Commodore Hotel, Cape Town

Following breakfast, travel to the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront and embark on a boat ride to Robben Island. Famed for its detention of prisoners, including scores of political leaders and anti-apartheid activists during the struggle years, Robben Island prison is one of two sites of Mandela’s detainment during his 27 years of imprisonment.

On the island, embark on a guided tour of the prison, including Mandela’s cell, the limestone quarry and the museum. After the tour, return to the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront for lunch.

Day 10: Commodore Hotel, Cape Town

A fascinating day in Cape Town kicks off with a trip to the top of Table Mountain. After breakfast, travel to the lower cableway station and take a cable car ride to the summit to enjoy the spectacular views of the city and surrounds. In the event of inclement weather, the tour will divert instead to Signal Hill.

Next, embark on a tour of Cape Town city, visiting prominent points of interest including the Bo-Kaap and District Six areas. Return to the hotel and spend the remainder of the day at leisure.

Day 11: Commodore Hotel, Cape Town

Travel to the Drakenstein Correctional Centre, formerly the Victor Verster Prison, for a tour of the correctional facility. Here, Nelson Mandela spent his last 18 months in incarceration before his release.

After the tour, travel to the beautiful Cape Winelands to enjoy a delicious lunch and wine tasting in one of the Cape’s popular winemaking regions, either Stellenbosch or Franschhoek.

Day 12: Commodore Hotel, Cape Town

Depart the hotel and travel along the Atlantic coastline, passing the popular beaches of Clifton, Camps Bay and Llandudno en route to the fishing village of Hout Bay. Here, embark on an optional boat ride to view a seal colony on Duiker Island.

Continue to the Table Mountain National Park, Cape of Good Hope section to explore this fascinating Cape Point heritage site. Take a stroll to the lighthouse and stop to admire the breathtaking views of the ocean and mountains.

Next, travel along the False Bay coastline to Boulders Beach in Simon’s Town to visit a colony of African penguins before visiting the final stop, either the esteemed Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens or the popular wine estate, Groot Constantia.

Day 13: Commodore Hotel, Cape Town

After breakfast, spend the morning at leisure before checking out of the hotel and transfer to Cape Town International Airport.

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