A Madiba Exploration

Duration: 7 days

Highlights: Soweto, Constitution Hill, Shambala Private Game Reserve, Robben Island

Celebrate the centenary of Nelson Mandela, who would have turned 100 this year with our special itinerary and experiences to commemorate his legacy. 

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Day 1 - Johannesburg

On arrival at OR Tambo International Airport, please clear customs and immigration and collect your luggage. Proceed through into the Arrivals Hall, where a representative will meet and transfer you to the hotel. The transfer time is approximately 45 minutes.

Saxon Hotel & Spa is well known for having been the place where former president Nelson Mandela stayed to work on his best selling autobiography Long Walk to Freedom.

The stately Nelson Mandela Suite features an entrance, guest bathroom, guest suite, separate lounge, dining room and business area with business desk and iPod docking station. The master bedroom has a king size four-poster bed, separate bathroom with Jacuzzi bath, walk-in shower and steam room. There is a fully equipped butler’s kitchen and 24-hour butler service. The suite offers views of the gardens and pool terrace.

The day is at leisure to enjoy a tour of Nelson Mandela's House in Soweto and indulge in lunch or retail therapy at the Nelson Mandela Square in Sandton.

The Mandela House at 8115 Orlando West, on the corner of Vilakazi and Ngakane Streets, Soweto, was built in 1945, part of a Johannesburg City tender for new houses in Orlando. Nelson Mandela returned here for a brief 11 days after his release from Robben Island in 1990, before finally moving to his present house in Houghton. Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, herself  imprisoned several times, lived in the house with her daughters while Nelson Mandela was in jail, until her own exile to Brandfort in 1977, where she remained under house arrest until 1986. The family continued to occupy the house until 1996, when the Mandelas divorced. The house was subsequently turned into a public heritage site, with Nelson Mandela as the Founder Trustee.

The Nelson Mandela Square made headlines when, commemorating South Africa’s first decade of democracy, a specially donated six metre (19 feet) bronze statue of Nelson Mandela had been unveiled and the square was aptly renamed Nelson Mandela Square. The statue, sculpted by Kobus Hattingh and Jacob Maponyane, weighs over 2.5 tons measuring 2.3 metres (7.5 feet from elbow to elbow. The shoulders of the statue are 1.7 metres (5.5 feet) in width and the shoes are one metre (3.2 feet) in length. The intention of this statue is not only to honour the former president’s vision of a free and just South Africa, but also to create a focal point where local and foreign tourists can reflect over the events that led to the creation of the Rainbow Nation. Here, you will always see tourists desperately trying to get a photo of themselves standing next to this tall statue.

Your evening is at leisure.

Overnight: The Saxon Hotel - Nelson Mandela Suite

Meal Plan:

Day 2 - Johannesburg

Meet the representative in the reception area of the hotel and depart on a half day tour of Johannesburg.

Highlights of the tour include a visit to Constitution Hill, the new home of the Constitutional Court of South Africa which is built on the site of the 'Old Fort' that later became a notorious prison, as well as a drive across the Nelson Mandela Bridge. 

Constitution Hill and Lillies Leaf
As the decades went by, the prisons at Constitution Hill became established sites of incarceration, along with the attendant issues of overcrowding, poor sanitation and disease. These problems were exacerbated with the advent of apartheid under the Nationalist government in 1948, and the burgeoning number of people arrested for both petty and severe apartheid laws. A total of 156 people, including Nelson Mandela and Oliver Tambo, were arrested and held at the prison complex before the historic Treason Trial in 1956 and two years later, 2 000 women, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and Albertina Sisulu among them, were detained after protesting the pass laws. The Anti-Pass Campaign of 1960 saw additional prisoners  incarcerated, and many school goers below the age of 18 were arrested after the student uprisings of 1976. Liliesleaf is an award-winning heritage site which played a vital role in the struggle against apartheid. At this excellent museum, visitors can learn about the formation of the armed struggle against apartheid and about the famous Rivonia Trial, which led Nelson Mandela and his comrades to be sentenced to life in prison on Robben Island.

Nelson Mandela Bridge
The bridge, which spans the railway tracks which separate the Newtown and Braamfontein neighbourhoods in the Johannesburg city center took 18 months to build and was completed in 2003. It is the largest cable-stayed bridge in southern Africa. The bridge is named in honour of South Africa’s first democratically elected president; and the structure itself is symbolic of Nelson Mandela’s role in bridging the apartheid divide and uniting South African society. In 2010 ahead of the World Cup the lighting on the bridge was upgraded and now every night the bridge is lit up in the colours of the rainbow.

Your evening is at leisure.

Overnight: The Saxon Hotel - Nelson Mandela Suite

Meal Plan: B

Day 3 - Shambala Private Game Reserve

Meet your representative in the reception area of the hotel for your road transfer to Shambala Private Game Reserve. The transfer time is approximately three hours.

Inspired by this legacy and by his deep friendship with the former President, Douw Steyn commissioned the building of the Nelson Mandela Centre for Reconciliation on Shambala Private Game Reserve.

This special retreat gave Mr Mandela the opportunity to work uninterrupted in peace and solitude and would provide him with the space and tranquility to strengthen his considerable efforts towards global and local reconciliation.

This home is truly a piece of paradise, humbly displaying an understated luxury and reflecting the rich roots of tribal design. The interior is cool, with neutral tones and fabrics, always true to the tradition that was its inspiration. Enter through the masterfully carved front door, and walk through the quietly elegant, spacious living rooms to the comfortable bedrooms, always aware of the African influence.

The Nelson Mandela Villa offers five luxury bedrooms with en suite bathrooms and one Presidential Suite. The Presidential Suite has an en suite double bathroom and his and hers dressing room, as well as a private dining area with kitchenette and a private living room with a television. The Villa can be booked for a maximum of 12 people.

Overnight: Nelson Mandela Villa at Shambala Private Game Reserve

Meal Plan: L,D

Day 4 - Shambala Private Game Reserve

The day is at leisure to enjoy the activities on offer.

Shambala Private Game Reserve is home to a variety of remarkable flora and fauna including The Big Five. During your stay you are able to enjoy game drives, bush picnics, guided bush walks, sun-downer cruises, stargazing, fishing and quad biking.

Overnight: Shambala Private Game Reserve

Meal Plan: B,L,D

Day 5 - Cape Town

Meet the representative in the reception area of the hotel for your transfer to O.R. Tambo International Airport. The transfer time is approximately four hours.

Depart Johannesburg on a scheduled flight to Cape Town. On arrival at the Cape Town International Airport, a representative will meet and transfer you to the hotel. The transfer time is approximately 45 minutes.

Enjoy a three night stay at the hotel which was opened in May 1997 by the former South African president, Nelson Mandela. Inspired by the boundless creative energy of the city that it calls home, The Table Bay offers unrivalled Victoria and Alfred Waterfront accommodation which celebrates Cape Town’s colourful cultural heritage, evocative romance and irresistible spirit of adventure. Straddling the working V&A harbour and vibrant city bowl beneath the majestic Table Mountain.

The five star 329 room luxury hotel offers a variety of room categories including Luxury Twin or King Room, Luxury Mountain Rooms, Superior Luxury Room, Superior Luxury Family Room, Junior Suite, Executive Suite, Signal Hill Suite, Lions Head Suite and Table Mountain Suite.

Your evening is at leisure.

Overnight: The Table Bay Hotel

Meal Plan: B

Day 6 - Cape Town

Meet a representative in the reception area of your hotel for your Robben Island Tour.

Your guide will accompany you to the Robben Island ferry within the V&A Waterfront. The Robben Island Tour is a must do for all those that want to delve into the story of the modern South Africa and its deliverance from the Apartheid years. Robben island was a place of banishment, exile, isolation and imprisonment, where rulers sent political prisoners, social outcasts and the unwanted of society. It was here that Nelson Mandela, was incarcerated for 18 of the 27 years that he spent as a political prisoner of the regime.

Your evening is at leisure.

Overnight: The Table Bay Hotel

Meal Plan: B

Day 7 - Cape Town

Your day is at leisure to enjoy the activities on offer. We are also able to arrange a variety of excursion and touring while staying in Cape Town. 

After a fun packed day in the Mother City, enjoy an evening with Christo Brand.

Christo Brand, previously the prison warden during Nelson Mandela's incarceration and was one of several responsible for guarding Nelson Mandela. Christo will join you at your hotel or at a restaurant of your choice for an interactive talk about Robben Island, the important aspects of South Africa’s history that the Island represents as well as a deeper insight into his time spent there with Nelson Mandela. For nearly 400 years, Robben Island, just 12 kilometres from Cape Town, was a place of banishment, exile, isolation and imprisonment. It was here that rulers sent those they regarded as political troublemakers and social outcasts. You will also receive a signed copy of Christo Brand’s autobiography as a gift from us.

Overnight: The Table Bay Hotel

Meal Plan: B

Day 8 - Depart

Meet the representative in the reception area of the hotel for your private transfer to Cape Town International Airport. The transfer time is approximately 45 minutes.

Depart for your onward journey.


Meal Plan: B

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