Few world politicians have been as respected or revered as Nelson Mandela, peaceful dismantler of apartheid and creator of the Rainbow Nation. This unique journey follows in his footsteps, from rural tribal upbringing in the Transkei to the vibrant townships where the ANC fought the regime. Then onwards to 27 years of incarceration and a colorful celebration of the future. It's a trip through a legend's lifetime, yet also a kaleidoscopic journey into modern South Africa.
Johannesburg – The Apartheid Museum
Johannesburg is a juxtaposition of ideas, a sprawling city that epitomizes the diversity of the Rainbow Nation. Anything is possible here, and the suburbs always counter the city's often negative media portrayal. You'll be greeted at the airport and transferred to a luxury hotel in Sandton, the city's business district and a central hub for exploration. Relax and recuperate before heading out to the nearby Apartheid Museum, an ideal place to garner an overview of the country's history. This is not a museum that seeks to anger; it's one that preaches respect and reconciliation, the messages that Mandela incorporated into a nation.
The precinct of Maboneng then provides a wonderful example of the country's modern, youthful feel. Mural-dominated food shacks send wafts of the gourmet through the streets; locals skillfully beat drums in converted warehouses, inviting strangers to listen and play; pop-up boutiques and cafes reflect the city's creative edge. It's a place for immersing yourself in the colorful tones of South Africa's present, complete with craft beer, funky restaurants, and the remembrance of tradition. To complete a busy day, you can use the spa at the hotel, a chance to settle in silence and reflect on so many first impressions.
Johannesburg – Alexandra and Lilisleaf Farm
Johannesburg – Mandela's Soweto Township
Coffee Bay – Mandela's Birthplace
Day 5 - 6
Coffee Bay – Xhosa Heritage
Cape Town – Impressions of the City
Cape Town – Tour Robben Island
Cape Town – The First Steps of Freedom
Cape Town – The Rainbow Nation
Cape Town – Departure
- Visit rural Mandela's birthplace and explore his early years as rolihlahla, the trouble maker
- Immerse yourself in the heritage and charm of Transkei, the most traditional of South Africa's regions and a place that continues to practice Mandela's rich Xhosa customs
- Safely discover the vibrancy of Soweto and Alexandra, the townships that made Mandela and always welcome tourists with wonderful displays of color
- Explore South Africa's most important museums, like Hector Pieterson, and the Apartheid Museum
- Hear the stories from an expert Mandela guide, and experience the traditional practices that made the man
- Take a guided tour around Robben Island by an ex-inmate who was incarcerated alongside Nelson Mandela, and listen to tales that only increase your admiration
- Recreate Mandela's first steps of freedom outside Drakenstein Correctional Facility and visit the scenes of his great speeches
- Tour through the colors and cultures of modern Cape Town, a chance to appreciate the future of the Rainbow Nation
- Discover Cape Town's famous experiences, like Table Mountain, Bo Kaap, and the wineries around Stellenbosch
Even after his death, Mandela's presence is unmistakable in South Africa. The modern nation's father is talked about in taxis, celebrated in tribal villages, and honored by all those who call the Rainbow Nation home. Few world politicians have been so revered. And few have been so virtuous or unprejudiced. The icon's story is told in The Long Walk to Freedom and remnants of his days are integral to dozens of places across South Africa. This unique South Africa vacation connects the dots of history and immerses you in the life and times of Nelson Mandela. It's a journey from tribal villages to island prisons, from vivid Xhosa-speaking townships to streets that epitomize the inspiration of the Rainbow Nation. By following through Mandela's footsteps, you not only trace a trail through history but you also explore the diversity of the present and this icon's great creation: modern South Africa.
Nelson Mandela's story is about far more than incarceration on Robben Island. What about his years in the township slums of Alexandra and Soweto, places drenched in murals and streets of peace? Every visitor is welcomed warmly here, a custom of openness and respect spreading across communities that are poor economically but rich in culture. Some of South Africa's most important museums are also located here, and you'll walk down the only street to be home to two Nobel Peace Prize recipients. An expert Mandela guide takes you around, and your accommodation reveals the elegant green suburbs of modern Johannesburg.
Mandela wasn't always a man preaching peace. He was known by the nickname rolihlahla, meaning trouble maker in the local Xhosa language. At his birthplace in Qunu, an enthusiastic museum recalls his childhood. The surrounding Transkei region was semi-independent during apartheid and remains South Africa's most traditional area. Circular huts dot the green hills; witch doctors perform ceremonies on white beaches, and villages welcome you with the passion that's reserved for every stranger. Three nights in idyllic Coffee Bay provide an easy immersion in this Xhosa heritage, along with a sublime Indian Ocean view and dozens of walking trails down a spectacular coastline.
Fly to Cape Town for your final five nights. Discover Robben Island with an ex-inmate as your guide, relive Mandela's release from Drakenstein Correctional Facility and celebrate the colors and cultures of the city. While you commemorate the past, you also indulge in the present, and the famous attractions of the Mother City, like Table Mountain, sublime beaches, and elegant wine estates doused in history. Like the rest of the tour, the focus is not merely on how a great man developed, and fought apartheid. It's a celebration of everything he created, told through the stories of locals and the enthusiastic smiles of all those you meet. This is Nelson Mandela's Rainbow Nation, a place that is far more complex than black and white.
$5,715 per person (excluding international flights)
Your Zicasso trip is fully customizable, and this sample itinerary is a starting place for your travel plans. Actual costs are dynamic, and your selection of accommodations and activities, your season of travel, and other such variables will bring this budget guideline up or down. Throughout your planning experience with your Zicasso specialist, your itinerary is designed around your budget. You can book your trip when you are satisfied with every detail. Planning your trip with a Zicasso travel specialist is a free service.
- In-country transportation
- Some or all activities and tours
- Expert trip planning
- 24x7 support during your trip
Your final trip cost will vary based on your selected accommodations, activities, meals, and other trip elements that you opt to include.
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