Day 1: Johannesburg
On arrival at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg transfer to your hotel in Sandton and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure. Depending on your time of arrival you may have time for an additional afternoon tour.
In the evening visit Nelson Mandela Square, which is part of a large shopping centre, Sandton City, and has a wide choice in restaurant options for dinner. A large statue of Nelson Mandela towers over this vibrant European style piazza.
Day 2: Johannesburg
Today is the start of your journey around South Africa tracing the footsteps of Mr Nelson Mandela. You will visit Mandela Yard in Alexandra township, where Nelson Mandela rented a single room when he first came to Johannesburg in 1940. In his biography a “Long Walk to Freedom” he described the residence as “no more than a shack, with a dirt floor, no heat, no electricity, no running water. But it was a place of my own and I was happy to have it.” After lunch visit Constitution Hill, which functioned as a prison during the apartheid era. It was known for its harsh treatment of prisoners. Criminals and political activists like Mahatma Gandhi in 1906 were held at the prison. You will also visit Lilieslief Farm, which was secretly used by African National Congress activists in the 1960s. It provided a secure location where the underground leadership could meet. Nelson Mandela secretly lived and operated at the Farm under the name of David Motsamayi.
Day 3: Soweto
After a hearty breakfast embark on a full day tour of Joahnnesburg and Soweto. Drive past Nelson Mandela Current House in Houghton (point out), located in close proximity to Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, which delivers the core work of the Nelson Mandela Foundation. The foundation was established in 1999 to support its founder’s ongoing engagement in worthy causeson his retirement as President of South Africa.
Drive over Nelson Mandela Bridge in Braamfontein, the bridge was completed in 2003. Then visit Chancellor House, a building that once housed the law firm of Nelson Mandela and Oliver Tambo. Between 1952 and 1956, Mandela and Tambo had a thriving law practice, trying to help others who were accused of crimes against the state and disobeying the draconian laws of the time. Nowadays it is a national heritage site and is home to the Shadow Boxer Statue.
We then travel to Soweto, our first stop being the footbridge of the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, the largest on the continent, where one can get a panoramic view of Soweto. We also visit the Hector Pieterson Memorial Site in Orlando West, built in memory of the people who died on 16 June 1976.
In Vilakazi Street visit Mandela House Museum, the house where Nelson Mandela lived until he was forced underground in 1961. It is located on the corner of Vilakazi and Ngakane Street. Vilikazi Street is the only street in the world to have been home to two Nobel Peace Prize winners... Bishop Desmond Tutu also lived here. Enjoy lunch at a well-known restaurant on Vilikazi street.
Then visit the Apartheid Museum, which illustrates the rise and fall of South Africa’s era of segregation and oppression. Late afternoon spent at leisure – you may decide to spend the rest of the day and evening at the theme park and entertainment centre Gold Reef City. Alternatively do some shopping at Sandton City, have a spa treatment or rejenenate at your hotel’s poolside.
Day 4: Durban
After breakfast at the hotel depart for South Africa’s capital city, Pretoria. Like a castle on a hill, the Union Buildings tower over the Pretoria City Centre. These buildings are a national heritage site, house the office of the President of South Africa and act as the seat of the South African Government, this is where Nelson Mandela was inaugurated on 10 May 1994. The buildings were designed by British architect Sir Hebert Baker. An impressive 9m-high bronze statue of Nelson Mandela was unveiled here on 16 December 2013 by then President Jacob Zuma.
Other important sites to visit in Pretoria include the Old Synagogue, site of Mandela's Treason Trial which dragged on for 5 years from 1958-1961, Church Square was the location of the Rivonia Treason Trial, which took place in the Palace of Justice between 1963-1964, the Pretoria Local Prison (now Kgosi Mampuru II Correctional Centre) where Mandela began his prison sentence and the prison gallows, where he would have been sentenced to death were it not for international pressure. Freedom Park tells the heroic untold stories of the past and UNISA, the institution which gave Mandela the opportunity to achieve his qualification, have their headquarters on the Muckleneuk Ridge at the entrance to Pretoria.
In the early afternoon you will be transferred to OR Tambo Airport for your flight to Durban. On arrival in Durban you will be transferred to your hotel situated o nthe Durban beachfront and will enjoy the afternoon and evening at leisure.
Day 5: Durban
Today you will enjoy a full day Freedom Route and Inanda Heritage Route Tours, take in some of the important historical sites of Durban, starting with a visit to the Phoenix Settlement where Gandhi lived. Later depart for Ohlange Institute: On 27 April 1994, Nelson Mandela voted for the first time in his life, at Ohlange High School in Inanda, north of Durban. He had chosen to vote at the school founded by the first president of the ANC, John Langalibalele Dube. After his vote he visited Dube’s grave, where he said: "Mr President, I have come to report to you that South Africa is free today." Visit the Kwa Muhle Museum and uncover the past's harsh system of labour control (closed on Sundays). Discover the rich Indian history of Durban and experience the unique "Bunny Chow" cuisine.
Day 6: Midlands Meander
In the morning after breakfast depart for Project Gateway Museum, formally known as the Old Prison in Pietermaritzburg. There were many freedom fighters kept in The Old Prison during the struggles in South Africa. Your tour of the Old Prison links with and incorporates five main figureheads: Alan Paton, John Langalibalele Dube, Albert Luthuli, Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela. The Old Prison was closed in 1987 due to over-crowding, and Project Gateway was given the site to use for community development projects.
Then proceed for the Railway station, a pilgrimage for visitors. This is where Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, a young lawyer from India was unceremoniously evicted from the first class compartment of a train. Further down from the station in church street mall stands a statue of Mahatma Gandhi. The statue stands opposite the Colonial building, the seat of the British Government in Natal, where Gandhi regularly petitioned the Colonial secretary. The petitions were presented to the Natal Parliament, which now serves as the provincial legislature building and is opposite the Pietermaritzburg City hall.
Later depart for the Nelson Mandela Capture site. This site has enormous significance in the history of the freedom struggle, because it is where Nelson Mandela began his 27-year incarceration. On 5 August 1962, police flagged down a car driven by Nelson Mandela in a chauffeur’s uniform on the R103 road near Howick in KwaZulu-Natal. He had been on the run for 17 months and was returning from a secret meeting with African National Congress president Chief Albert Luthuli.
As a last stop for the day we proceed to Howick falls. This waterfall is approximately 95 m in height (310 feet) and lies on the Umgeni River. The Zulu people called the falls KwaNogqaza, which means "Place of the Tall One". After exploring the Howick Falls we check-in at our accommodation for the night - a hotel that hosted Nelson Mandela in 1996 when he was awarded The Freedom of Howich, the room he slept in is now called The Nelson Mandela Presidential Suite.
Day 7: Port Elizabeth
Today you will be met by your guide and transferred to your hotel for check-in before embarking on a walking tour of Route 67.
Route 67 consists of 67 Public Art Works symbolising Nelson Mandela’s 67 years of work dedicated to the Freedom of South Africa and includes 67 steps leading up the second largest flag in Africa. The artworks were designed by local artists from the Eastern Cape. One of the interesting features of this route is the Nelson Mandela Voting Line Sculpture, representing the thousands of South Africans who took part in the 1994 elections. The route is a proud celebration of the city’s heritage and history.
After the tour you will be taken back to your hotel, where you will spend the evening at leisure. Your hotel is conveniently situated on the beachfront, within easy and safe walking distance from many restaurants and the Boardwalk Casino and Entertainment Complex.
Day 8: Port Elizabeth
Nelson Mandela Bay carries the name of the Icon because of the city’s pivotal role in the anti-apartheid struggle. Today you will spend the day exploring the city, including its townships and will get a first-hand insight into how Port Elizabeth has changed in the last 25 years as democracy dawned. This highly informative tour covers both the history of Apartheid and resistance, as well as showing how significantly the city is transforming. It’s an informative glimpse into the social history of the city named after Mandela.
The tour also includes a lunch, in the home of a resident, who will share their own personal story with you. In the late afternoon you will return to your accommodation.
Evening at leisure.
Day 9: Stellenbosch
Today travel towards the Cape Winelands along Route 62, known as the World’s Longest Wine Route. The scenery along this route is superb, taking you over majestic mountain passes and winding rivers, past vineyards and orchards and through fascinating little towns. Arrive in Stellenbosch in the late afternoon, here you will find yourselves in the heart of the Winelands, surrounded by majestic mountains, beautiful vineyards and typical Cape Dutch style architecture.
For dinner this evening you dine with locals - there is no better way to get to know somebody than by breaking bread with them! Dining with locals provides a unique opportunity to experience the rich and cultural diversity of Stellenbosch community, Kayamandi. Enjoy traditional African cuisine paired with exceptional wines in the company of the locals. Your host will take you on a great storytelling journey, told with vivacity and humour, while touching on customs, traditions and township life. Experience true South African hospitality in their company and emerge richer for it, simply by sharing a meal.
Day 10: Missing Point
Start the day with a walking tour of Stellenbosch, including the Mandela Memorial Square in Stellenbosch - home to one of the lesser-known statues of Madiba. The design consists of iron silhouettes of Mandela’s face applied to two sides of a wall. The eastern side also comprises a map of the eastern part of South Africa showing the places of importance in Mandela‘s life. The same applies to the western side of the wall (facing the town hall). A quote from Nelson Mandela’s first opening of parliament speech connects the wall with a bench on the southern side. The Mandela image and the bench are illuminated at night.
The day continues with a visit to three different wine estates for wine tastings in Stellenbosch and Franschhoek, with a stop for lunch at one of the award winning restaurants in the area.
On the way to Cape Town stop at the Drakenstein Correctional Centre, formally known as the Victor Verster Prison, where Nelson Mandela spent the last 14 months of his 27 years of imprisonment in a house on the property. Madiba duplicated the design of this house for his post-release house in Qunu in the Eastern Cape. Nelson and Winnie Mandela walked triumphantly through the gates of this prison on 11 February 1990, his internationally aclaimed "walk to freedom". A bronze statue of him stands at the gates to the prison, depicting him on the day of his release.
On arrival in Cape Town you will check-in at your hotel - the iconic Mandela Rhodes Place hotel is located in the heart of Cape Town’s cultural quarter, making it the perfect place to stay while in Cape Town on this historical journey. The hotel also offers guests a timeline, displaying the life of Mandela in 14 sections, while a number of abstract portraits of Nelson Mandela are displayed in the corridors.
Adjacent to the hotel is the historical Sir Herbert Baker designed, Mandela Rhodes Building, home to the Mandela Rhodes Foundation, which provides scholarships to post graduate students from across Africa. Previously known as Rhodes House, the building was donated to the foundation by the De Beers Mining group. Across the road from the hotel is St George's Cathedral, which kept its doors open to all races during the aparheid era and held a memorial service for the late Madiba.
Day 11: Missing Point
Today you will be taken on a tour to learn all about Cape Town’s rich history and vibrant cultures. Some of the highlight stops will be the beautiful Company Gardens (where you will see the Parliament Buildings and Tuynhuys the official Cape Town office of the President of South Africa), and the City Hall and Grand Parade. On his release from prison on 11 February 1990, Nelson Mandela addressed the thousands of people gathered on the Grand Parade to listen to his address from the balcony of the City Hall.
You will also have stops in the colourful Bo Kaap area, situated on the slopes of Signal Hill this is the spiritual home of Cape Town’s Muslim community. You also visit the area of District Six, famous for its forced removals during the 1960s.
Then take a trip up Cape Town’s landmark and one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, Table Mountain. A 5-minute cableway ride takes you to the top of the mountain from where you will enjoy uninterrupted views over the city bowl and across the peninsula.
In the afternoon we will embark on a tour to Robben Island, place of incarceration for Nelson Mandela for 18 years of his 27 years of imprisonment. The remainder of the day will be spent at leisure at the vibrant V&A Waterfront, where you can do some shopping, have a meal and soak up the exciting atmosphere, take a trip on the observation wheel… your choices are endless! The Waterfront is also where Nobel Square is situated, here you will find four statues of the Nobel Peace Prize Laureates – Nelson Mandela, FW de Klerk, Desmond Tutu and Albert Luthuli.
Day 12: Missing Point
After breakfast head out for a full day tour of the scenic Cape Peninsula. Travel along the Atlantic Seaboard to Hout Bay, passing magnificent beaches and the coastal suburbs of Clifton, Camps Bay and Llandadno. From Hout Bay Harbour you have the option of a boat trip to Duiker Island, to see the thousands of Cape Fur Seals living on this rocky outcrop. Hout Bay Harbour is a busy fishing harbour sure to keep you entertained and your cameras snapping. Browse for souvenirs at the Hout Bay Craft Market or take a walk on the beach and paddle your feet in the sea.
The tour continues over Chapman’s Peak, known as one of the most spectacular scenic drives in the world, all the way along the Peninsula to the most southern tip at Cape Point. An invigorating walk takes you to the two lighthouses at the top and bottom of the headland, from where you will enjoy extraordinary views of the cliffs and the ocean below. Alternatively you could take a short funicular ride to the top. Take a photo down at the most south western point of the African continent at the Cape of Good Hope beach.
Lunch will be enjoyed at a seaside restaurant (for your own account) before making your way along the False Bay coastline to the Naval village of Simon’s Town. You will visit the delightful African Penguins of Boulders Beach and then the drive takes you back via Cape Town’s coastal and southern suburbs for a final stop at the beautiful Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens. En-route you will pass Pollsmoor Prison, where Mandela was sent to in 1982, after spending 18 years on Robben Island. He languished here for five and a half years before he was transferred to Victor Verster Prison in Paarl. We will also drive through the prestigious suburb of Bishopscourt where Mandela spent his first night of freedome, with his life time friend Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Madiba also later had a home here.
Day 13: End of Itinerary
Enjoy the day at leisure before your transfer to Cape Town International Airport for your departure.