When I mention rural Eastern Cape cultural tours,such as this 11 Night In the Footsteps of Nelson Mandela,people immediately think that its a budget,dirty,difficult conditions,sleep on the floor, no en suite bathroom experience.
As you can see in our Eastern Cape Lodging that we use on this 11 Night In the Footsteps of Nelson Mandela are quaint, local,full of local flavor and local architecture design.
About this Cultural tour:
Its the heartfelt warmth of genuine hospitality that makes these tours memorable all adding to this special memorable 11N In the Footsteps of Nelson Mandela Tour
The Eastern Cape lodging gives you a real experience of the area,a personal contact with local people,a memorable heart to heart connection,different from the big hotels…people to people,experiencing scenery that many visitors to South Africa do not get to experience..
Location: South Africa Tour
Best time to visit: Anytime
Approximate trip cost: Depends on what level/services you want
Trip summary: South Africa Tour with a focus on history/culture, following the footsteps of Nelson Mandela
Trip activities: Nature, People, Culture, Scenery
Can this trip be modified:Yes
10 x nights’ accommodation at Hotel/ Bed & Breakfast of your choice ie Moderate, First Class, Luxury in Johannesburg and Cape Town.
All transfers in air conditioned vehicles
Qualified guide on all day tours
Johannesburg City Orientation Tour
Tour of Soweto (including visits to the home of Nelson Mandela, the Hector Pieterson Museum, the Apartheid Museum and lunch)
Tour of the Union Buildings
Cape Town City Tour
Aerial cableway to the summit of Table Mountain
Township Tour with traditional African lunch
Ferry to Robben Island for a tour of the island
Winelands tour including cellar tour, wine tasting.
Dinner on a Wine Farm
Cape Peninsula Tour including visit to Cape Point and lunch
Traditional singing and dancing in the Eastern Cape.
Meet and greet at the airport
This lay out below is a guideline as we have more options that can be combined.
11 Night Nelson Mandela Tour details:
On arrival at Johannesburg International Airport you will be met by our representative and assisted with your luggage and transfer you to the hotel.
En route to the hotel we will take you on a City Orientation Tour,dependent on your jet lag and time of arrival,where you can witness the rebirth of a once vibrant city.
Known as the gateway to Africa,Johannesburg is a city literally built on gold.
Established in 1886 when gold was struck,the city has been rebuilt four times in the past century – it started as a tent town,worked up to a tin-shack settlement then a four-storey Edwardian settlement and finally graduated as a modern city of glass and concrete skyscrapers.
It’s one of the youngest major cities in the world,a melange of African cultures and is quite possibly the most cosmopolitan city on the continent.
Overnight lodging of your choice that can also include a BB or hotel in Soweto.
Experience township life in one of South Africa’s most famous townships as you take a Tour of Soweto.Included in your tour today will be visits to the home of Nelson Mandela,the Hector Pieterson Museum and the Apartheid Museum.
Hector Pieterson, 12, was one of the first casualties of the Soweto uprising of 16 June, 1976 – home of Nelson Mandela. Today he is a symbol of resistance and the triumph over oppression.
You will not see snapshots of Hector but what you will see is one of Sam Nzima’s six photographs showing the unconscious Hector being carried by fellow student Mbuyisa Makhubo, with Hector’s sister, Antoinette Sithole, running alongside. When you visit the museum you will get to see Antoinette herself, as she gives guided tours at the museum.
As you walk through the dusty streets of Soweto, you will have the opportunity to experience the vibrancy of modern day township life.
You will visit the home of former President Nelson Mandela in Orlando West, a four-room house in Soweto where he lived during the late 1950’s and early 1960’s and again immediately after his release from prison in 1990. We end off the morning with a typical lunch in the township.
After a few hours at the Apartheid Museum you will feel that you were in the townships in the 70s and 80s, dodging police bullets or teargas canisters, or marching and toy-toying with thousands of school children, or carrying the body of a comrade into a nearby house.
Just when you feel you can’t tolerate the bombardment of your senses any longer, you reach a quiet space, with a glass case which contains a book of the new Constitution of South Africa, and pebbles on the floor. You can express your solidarity with the victims of apartheid by placing your own pebble on a pile, and take a book.
You’ll then walk out into grassland with paths which take you to a small lake – you’ll need this reflective time.
Overnight at lodging of your choice that can also include a BB or hotel in Soweto.
After breakfast your guide will collect you at the hotel and transfer you to Pretoria,the administrative capital of South Africa.
In Pretoria we visit the Constitution Court, the Union Buildings and the Palace of Justice.
The ten hectare historical and heritage site is being developed into Constitution Hill, a symbol of the South Africa’s regeneration. The Constitution is at the centre of South Africa’s transition to democracy and is guarded by the Constitutional Court under Judge President Albei Sachs.
The Fort, the Native Gaol and the Women’s Gaol are now being incorporated into the landmark complex, including buildings to house constitutional commissions, museums, archives and libraries with cultural and economic significance.
The Native Gaol, better known as the notorious and dreaded No.4, previously housed such prominent people as Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and Chief Albert Luthuli – founder of the ANC. It closed its doors in 1983 and has remained largely derelict ever since. It will be kept intact as a vital heritage component of Constitution Hill.
It is the dark heart of the precinct and will provide visitors with a profoundly moving sense of what prison life must have been like
The Union Buildings were built to commemorate the unification of South Africa under British rule. More than 80 years later they were chosen as the place where South Africa’s first democratically-elected president, Nelson Mandela, was inaugurated in May 1994. Today the Union Buildings represent the spirit of unification in South Africa.
While the structure forms a part of South Africa’s current history as the seat of the administrative government, the Union Buildings also represent part of the architectural wealth of the country and stands today as a tribute to the country’s troubled past….
We will also visit the Palace of Justice, where Nelson Mandela famously declared he was prepared to die for a democratic country after he was found guilty of high treason in 1964 along with Walter Sisula, Ahmed Kathrada, Govan Mbeki and other Rivonia trialists.
Today the only visible reminders of their stay at the palace can be seen on the walls of a holding cell in the basement. The walls also bear the names of freedom fighters such as Tokyo Sexwale and Mosiuoa Lekota who scribbled anti apartheid slogans on the walls.
Overnight at lodging of your choice that can also include a BB or hotel in Soweto.
Enjoy a morning of leisure and shopping at Sandton City, a shopping mall known as the shopaholic’s heaven. From exquisite jewelry and high-fashion designer clothes to cutting-edge local style, your every wish can be fulfilled.
Experience authentic Africa by browsing through the array of flea markets and craft markets dotted around the city. Well-organized and bursting with goods from around Africa, there is something for everyone.
A visit to Lillieslief which was the secret meeting place of the ANC in the 1960’s, and where may ANC leaders where arrested before the Rivoni Trials.
or Alexandra township..where Nelson Mandela lived as a young man.
In the afternoon you will visit Lesedi Village – A Cultural Village and Gauteng’s most exciting showcase of African culture.
As the sun sets over the bush, guests are escorted by Lesedi cultural hosts for an experience of a lifetime during which they are introduced to the art, dancing, history, tribal legend and cuisine of five Southern African tribes.
The cultural programme begins with a multi-visual presentation on the history and origins of the rainbow nation, followed by a tour of four ethnic homesteads – Xhosa, Zulu, Pedi and Sotho.
Guests are then escorted to the boma for traditional singing and dancing and the people of Lesedi tell stories that date back to the days of their ancestors.
A traditional African-style feast is served in the restaurant, with a full bar close at hand.
At the end of the evening, guests can gather around the open fire and talk late into the night. Guests are welcomed in true African style by the families of Lesedi.
Next on the itinerary is a multi-media presentation in the theatre, setting out the origins and history of the African people up to the present day.
After singing, dancing and refreshments, it’s time to browse in the living craft market, where vibrant Ndebele murals decorate the walls and courtyards.
Overnight at lodging of your choice that can also include a BB or hotel in Soweto. B/D
Fly to the Eastern Cape.
Pick up at Umtata Airport and visit the Nelson Mandela museum.
This is a very popular museum that gives you information about the struggle for freedom and Mandela’s life,this is also where most of the gifts Mandela got from all over the world are displayed.
From here we proceed to Qunu the village where Nelson Mandela’s home is and drive through the rural Transkei villages experiencing rural life.
At this point you have a choice of a village immersion stay for 2N..click on this link
doing a wild Coast hike guided,your luggage is shuttled, and we can create this for any length of time,walking on deserted beach’s,and the rolling hills,click here
We walk on deserted beach’s like this one
or to continue the drive south. We can stop at a local Xhosa Institute where a retired professor will spend time showing and discussing with you Xhosa Culture.
If time we will eat lunch here and then continue our drive South via Kei-mouth where we will cross the river Kei on a river pontoon and be ferried to the other side and proceed to King Williamstown.
We will depend on time here ,things we cannot do this afternoon can be done the following day before leaving for Alice.
Anyway here we will visit the Bisho massacre memorial where 28 ANC marchers were gunned down while on a peacefull march in protest against the Ex-Ciskei homeland government.KWT/Bisho is also capital to the Eastern Cape Province.
We will overnight at Mnqgesha great place in the village.This is a big complex where the King of the Xhosa’s in the area lives.
Accommodation is rondavels(roundish traditional Xhosa houses) each depicting and representing each tribe of 40 that serve under this King, each having its own chief.
Day 6 :
Have breakfast and visit Steve Biko’s home and grave at Ginsberg township in Kingwilliamstown.
Steve Biko died in the hands of the South African Police while in thstruggle for freedom in this country.We may be able to meet Mrs Biko maybe at their home or grave yard it will just depend on her busy schedule.
Depending also on time, we can visit the Amathole museum popular with the history of the British settlers meeting with the Xhosa’s in the 1800’s with also a section about the Xhosa culture.
We will visit the local shopping areas where the locals shop as they don’t like to go to the big city of East London.
We then proceed to Alice about 45 minutes away.
Alice is an educational center for the Eastern Cape.This is where you get the historic Fort Hare University which educated many
African leaders like Mandela,Bishop Tutu,Robert Mugabe and many more.It was the first black University in South Africa.
We will visit here the popular De Beers centenary art gallery where you will see art work done by Africans depicting township and village life and also interesting paintings about the days of the struggle.
We will have a taste on Xhosa traditional food for dinner and we will also be joined by historians from this historic little town surrounded by Xhosa villages.
A visit to a local village is a option as well.
We will check into our local guest house where will stay on a Dinner/Bed/ Breakfast basis.
After breakfast continue with activities in Alice e.g visiting the villages,meeting with people and in the afternoon leave for East London which is about two and a half hour drive from here.
Depending on time left we can drive through Mdantsane township the second biggest township in Southern hemisphere.
During this time we will visit some of the below:
- A Day Care Center with about 300 kids,the kids will welcome them with traditional dance.
- Sister Aidan Centre, they run a soup kitchen feeding the community of Duncan village, teaching young people music and entrepreneurship. They also help elders on their health issues and teaching them sewing.
- Active Communities. They have a Field Band, Rugby, Cricket and Creche. They work with different schools in Mdantsane and elder people. They focus more on Sport and education.
If we are out and about during lunch, there is a nice pub owned by a man on a wheelchair.We can listen to his story.
Proceed to East London airport,drop off guest,for the flight to Cape Town.
Overnight at lodging of your choice that can also include a BB or hotel. B/D
Discover the multicultural side of Cape Town and interact with the locals.
Cape Town, South Africa’s ‘Mother City’, dominated by the soaring Table Mountain and surrounded by the wild Atlantic Ocean.
The city itself is diverse, with grand colonial buildings and beautiful public gardens standing cheek to cheek with tin shacks and unfinished highways.
Atmospheric suburbs frame the lower slopes of the mountain,while the Cape Flats lie further out, their sprawling townships a lasting testimony to the apartheid era.
On the Cape Town City Tour we visit the Company Gardens which was once the vegetable garden feeding the inhabitants of the city.
The garden supplied fresh produce to revive the scurvy-ridden crews of Dutch trading fleets on their long haul between Europe and the Indies.
That humble patch of ground still flourishes today,though over the centuries it has changed beyond recognition: it is now one of southern Africa’s most attractive and botanically most interesting city parks.
We then proceed to the picturesque Malay Quarters in Bo Kaap. It is a multicultural area, tucked safely into the fold of Signal Hill.Bo Kaap Homes Cape Town.
Use the cobble stoned streets as your guide and you will be lead into a lively suburb filled with brightly colored houses from the nineteenth and seventeenth century,Muslim saints’ shrines and many beautiful Mosques including the first established Muslim Mosque in South Africa.
The tour will proceed to the top of the majestic Table Mountain for an overview of the city nestled below (weather permitting).
The views in all directions are magnificent and the feeling of being on top of the world is what makes this such a popular destination.
From District Six where forced removals changed the lives of many people to informal settlements where traditional healers and shebeens add to the rich culture of township life. Today we visit Cape Town’s townships.
We call this tour the Rainbow Curtain Tour because our tour is a cross cultural voyage of discovery into the many facets of South African society.
This tour is completely interactive and encompasses the history of the lives and development of the disadvantaged communities in Cape Town, starting in 1652.
District Six was once the home of thousands of Capetonians of all hues and cultures. In the 1960’s all these people were forcibly removed from their homes due to the separate development policy of the apartheid government.
These people were then scattered all over the Cape Peninsula (as far from the city center as possible) to areas known as the Cape Flats.
On our tour we visit the original site of District Six (now a barren wasteland) as well as the District Museum.
Langa – The oldest formal township in Cape Town. In Langa you learn about the hostel system that was initiated by the former government to house migrant workers (men) who came to the city to work but were not allowed to live in the city.
You also get a sense of what township life is like. Visit the Chris Hani Community School in Langa and interact with the students and teachers.
On our tour you learn the history of Langa and see the living conditions of thousands of Capetonians who were previously disenfranchised. You also get the sense of the spirit of the ‘New South Africa” that exists here.
Khayelitsha – It is here that we spend the bulk of our time. This is the largest informal settlement in Cape Town.
We take you see the informal housing (shacks) as well as to see the underground economy that operates here. We visit residents in their homes as well as a township tavern/shebeen.Lunch in a township restaurant.
We can visit a community garden, spend time at the business of a local township businessman/entrepreneur.
Robben Island is a tour never to be forgotten. The Robben Island tour includes a visit to the lime quarry, which was used by the prisoners to mine lime.The harsh white light and heat in the quarry in summer and the long, wet winters made it an extremely uncomfortable space to work in.
A visit to the maximum-security prison, home to Nelson Mandela for many years, is one of the important highlights. This section includes the single cells in which Nelson Mandela and other prisoners spent their prison time in.
In the village tour you get to see the leper cemetery, Sobukhwe house, WW II gun batteries as well as the houses used by the warders.
Overnight at lodging of your choice that can also include a BB or hotel in Soweto. B/L
Enjoy a winelands tour
We then visit the fascinating winelands area including wine tasting along the way. We will visit various monuments such as the Huguenot Monument which is symbolic of religious freedom.
The Taal Monument which represents language freedom.
This follows the Pniel area.This is the area that slaves were banished to from Cape Town in the 1800’s.This is a symbol of freedom of slavery.
From here we take the long road to freedom to the Mandela House at Victor Verster Prison. This is the house that Nelson Mandela occupied at the prison.
Here you will be fascinated by anecdotes such as important meetings and decisions taken in the house and also tales of espionage and deceit. Here we listen to first hand accounts of the life of Nelson Mandela from wardens who looked after him during his stay. This represents political freedom.
End the day with dinner on a wine farm.
Overnight at lodging of your choice that can also include a BB or hotel. B/L/D
Cape Peninsula Tour – View the golden beaches of Camps Bay and Clifton. We stop at the quaint fishing village of Hout Bay where local fisherman still go out everyday in little fishing boats to feed their families hoping for a big catch.
From there we go via Chapman’s Peak sandwiched between the ravaging ocean and looming mountain cliffs via the scenic artist village called Noordhoek en route to the Cape of Goodhope Nature Reserve – home to the famous fynbos plant species and you might also catch a glimpse of buck and ostrich.
We spend some time at Cape Point – There is some debate as to whether or not this is where the two oceans meet.
Some people believe the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet at the southern most point of Africa, Cape Agulhas, about 200km East of Cape Town, while others think it is here at Cape Point on the Cape Peninsula.
We then proceed via enchanting False Bay Coast line paying a visit to a land based Penguin Colony and then onto historical Simonstown and Kalk Bay.
Walk about in this multicultural fishing village interacting with the fisherman and learning more about the lives of the fishermen and their families, their history and culture. We end the tour with a traditional meal in Kalk Bay.
Overnight at lodging of your choice that can also include a BB or hotel. B/D
The day is free with your guide at your disposal.In the evening you will be collected at the hotel and transferred to a local Africa style restaurant for your farewell dinner.
Overnight at a Superior Quality hotel B/D
Check out of your hotel and be transferred to Cape Town International Airport for your flight home. B
Add in a South Africa Safari
Price and availability are subject to confirmation at time of booking.
All meals and drinks unless stipulated, flights, airport taxes, sight-seeing (unless stipulated) and items of a personal nature are excluded.
Prices are per person arriving on the same flight and sharing a room.