Enjoy a transformative and inspiring journey on your 8-day handcrafted South Africa tour celebrating the events shaping the storied life of Nelson Mandela. Discover the remarkable heritage of Cape Town and the distinctive ambiance of Johannesburg with first-hand accounts of the former president's life. From childhood to a respected world leader, you will travel from the streets of Soweto township to the charming expanse of Shambala Private Game Reserve.
Johannesburg - Welcome to South Africa
Upon arrival at Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport, you will be met by a representative and transferred to the Saxon Hotel. A well-kept secret among the traveling cognoscenti, this boutique hotel is the epitome of elegance and sophistication. Set in the quiet suburb of Sandhurst, it is only a few minutes away from the bustling financial hub of Sandton. Apart from its impeccable service, fantastic cuisine and tranquil setting in lush tropical gardens, the Saxon is famous for being the place that Nelson Mandela chose to live while writing his autobiographical memoir, ‘Long Walk to Freedom’.
Johannesburg - Historical Highlights
Cape Town - Welcome to Cape Town
Cape Town - Visit Robben Island
Cape Town - Walk the streets of Bo-Kaap and Visit the District Six Museum
Day 6 - 7
Shambala Private Game Reserve - Wonders of the Waterberg
Shambala Private Game Reserve - Homeward Bound
- Visit iconic sites integral to Mandela's and South Africa’s recent history
- Stay at 5-star accommodations, each with unique Mandela history and ties, including the hotel where Mandela wrote his autobiography
- Meet a member of the Mandela family for meaningful first-hand accounts and discussions (depending on availability)
- Re-live history through the vivid storytelling of an award-winning guide and raconteur
- Experience the vibrant Soweto community where Mandela once lived
- Visit the Apartheid Museum
- Visit Liliesleaf Farm, headquarters of the ANC and scene of Mandela’s infamous 1963 arrest
- Tour the Cradle Of Humankind, a World Heritage Site containing some of the worlds oldest hominid fossils
- Meet former inmates of the notorious Robben Island prison, and take a tour of the penitentiary, visiting the cell where Mandela spent 18 years
- In contrast, visit the Presidential Residence where he lived only four years after being released
- Take the cableway to the top of the iconic Table Mountain
- Take a walk through the colorful historic Bo-Kaap community
- Learn the turbulent history of political upheaval and forced removals at the District Six Museum
- Enjoy the wildlife sanctuary of Shambala Private Game Reserve in the Waterberg, home to the African Big Five – lion, leopard, rhino, elephant, and buffalo.
There are few individuals whose life inspires global change for a better world. In memory of Nelson Mandela, we're introducing a journey that follows in his footsteps and reflects on his legacy. The year 2014 will mark the 50th anniversary of Mandela's sentence to life imprisonment and the 20th anniversary of Mandela becoming the first black South African president.
“Nelson Mandela’s life is a story of the triumph of the human spirit,” said Brian Tan, CEO of Zicasso. “To be sentenced to life imprisonment and then emerge 30 years later to become the president, after 27 years in prison, is one of the greatest inspirational stories. Our goal of this unique tour is to give travelers an immersion into his story of sheer will, clarity of purpose, and compassion while getting to know the beauty of South Africa.”
The journey begins in Johannesburg, a vibrant and busy city that is the economic powerhouse of South Africa, and also the scene of some of the country’s darkest political moments. You will stay at the refined and exclusive Saxon Hotel in the leafy suburb of Sandhurst, famous for being where Nelson Mandela chose to live while writing his remarkable autobiography, ‘Long Walk to Freedom’.
A master storyteller who won a “Tour Guide of the Year” award, our private guide will take you on tours of the city. Begin by visiting Mandela’s home in the ‘Struggle’ years in Soweto, as well as the haunting and evocative Apartheid Museum. After Soweto, you visit Liliesleaf Farm, where Umkhonto we Sizwe (meaning “Spear of the Nation”) the military wing of the ANC, and the Congress Alliance were headquartered prior to the infamous government raid where Mandela was arrested in 1963. Along with the interactive displays and engaging tales from your guide, you will gain fascinating insights into the early days of the liberation movement, and the key players within it. Follow up with a visit to the Constitutional Court, seat of the nation’s democratic heritage, and a witness to more than a century of turbulent history, from the British and Boer conflicts to the birth of a new and modern democracy.
Note: During your time in Johannesburg, a meeting might possibly be arranged with a member of the Mandela family for meaningful first-hand accounts and discussion, depending on schedule and availability.
Your guide will also bring you to the outskirts of the city, to the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site. This is where some of the most remarkable paleo anthropological fossils have been discovered in recent years, giving you a window into the deepest reaches of our human past.
Next, you jet off to Cape Town, South Africa’s oldest and most beautiful city. The Table Bay Hotel is situated in the bustling port of the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, with the iconic bulk of Table Mountain looming over it as a backdrop.
From here you take a ferry to the infamous Robben Island, the penitentiary where Nelson Mandela spent 18 years of his imprisonment. Now preserved as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it serves as a poignant reminder of the price South Africa paid for its freedom. The curators are former inmates of the prison, and you tour the site with them, learning at first hand how life was during the years of the Apartheid regime. Spend a moment of quiet reflection in Mandela’s cell, and imagine the mind of a man who could forgive his oppressors after almost two decades within those walls.
Returning to the city, you then visit the Presidential Residence at Groote Schuur- a magnificent historical building that stands in vivid contrast to Mandela’s prison cell, and where he resided after being elected President of South Africa in 1994.
Round off your day by taking the cableway to the top of Table Mountain, 3000ft above sea level, with tremendous views of the city, mountains and ocean at your feet.
The following day, take a walking tour through the ancient Bo-Kaap district, a colorful, cobblestoned warren of quirky homes and mosques that was previously known as the Malay Quarter. Next, visit the District Six Museum in the city, where the history of the Malay Quarter and District Six are interactively presented to give you an insight into the turbulent past of the communities who resided in these vibrant multicultural areas before being forcibly evicted in the 1960s by the Apartheid regime.
After a day of history, reminiscences and anecdotes, your guide will select one of Cape Town’s wonderful restaurants to enjoy your last evening soaking up the vibrant atmosphere of the city and indulging in the finest wines and cuisine.
Return northwards to the Waterberg, where the African wildlife paradise of Shambala Private Game Reserve is located. This picturesque reserve nestles in a mountain range that is home to the famous Big Five: elephant, rhino, buffalo, lion and leopard. It is fitting that Nelson Mandela chose this location to inaugurate the Centre for Reconciliation, surrounded by the peace and tranquility of the African wilderness.
$3,995 per person (excluding international flights)
- In-country transportation
- Some or all guided tours and activities (dependent on season)
- Expert trip planning
- 24x7 support during your trip
The starting price is based on travel during the low season for a minimum of two travelers staying in shared accommodations. Please inquire for a custom trip quote based on your travel preferences and travel dates.
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