On the 5 December 2013 the world said goodbye to Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, the leader who freed a nation through sacrifice.  At the age of 95 years, the icon embraced years of turmoil in a South African prison to secure political freedom and equality for all South Africans. Take the long walk to freedom in honour of the legend that made it possible. You may have missed the opportunity to join dignitaries such as Kofi Annan, Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey and Ban Ki-moon at the memorial service that had the world in mourning; today we urge you on to take the plunge and head to the places where it all started, one location at a time. Get out your Madiba shirt – this trip is a special occasion. Whether you have had the opportunity to revisit Madiba’s legacy by watching Mandela: The Long Walk to Freedom or you have read his autobiography; it is about time you take the steps to visit the locations the history pages will never forget and some of the places that embraced his name.

From the country to the city

Tata, as we affectionately know him, grew up in the rural village of Qunu in the Eastern Cape. His place of birth, Mvezo in Mthatha, Transkei is a beautiful valley marked by rondavels and lush green hillsides. It is a place steeped in tradition. Our starting point on the Madiba route takes the beaten track and invites you to the country side for a taste of history that the city fails to provide.

 Places you should visit to engage in the memory

  1. Mandela House – Vilakazi Street in Orlando West, Soweto honours the memory of a great man in four walls. The Mandela House, established in 1992 is a national museum; it was the home of Madiba between 1946 and 1962. The home still contains original furnishings and memorabilia and photographs. In Tata’s words, “For me no. 8115 was the centre point of my world, the place marked an X in my mental geography”. Allow it to draw you into the world of the father of a nation.
  2. Robben Island Museum – In 1962 the Rivonia trial imprisoned a man for what would later become an eternity of sacrifice. The prison has been altered into a museum that most directly relate to the struggle for freedom. This South African monument and the site itself serves as an enduring part of South African history.
  3. Tuynhys, Company Gardens – Tuynhys was the Cape Town presidential office Madiba during his reign as president. During this period he resided in Westbrook, Newlands, situated next to Groote Schuur (Rhodes House).
  4. Union BuildingsMadiba was inaugurated at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, South Africa in 1994. A statue that shows Madiba with arms wide open is a tangible indicator of his ability to embrace all.
  5. Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory The Nelson Mandela Centre for Memory was established as part of the Nelson Mandela Foundation contribution to society. It is open to the public by appointment only. The centre aims to create dialogues regarding critical social issues and has annual lectures in which debates are driven by prominent people.
  6. The Nelson Mandela MuseumThis natural heritage site was established on the 10th anniversary of Mandela’s release. The time capsule celebrates the life of the icon; it houses exhibitions that showcase gifts Madiba received throughout his life, as well as a collection of artefacts, illustrations and images from people, governments and institutions worldwide. It is located in the Bunga building in Mthatha, along the N2 highway – the gateway to the Wildcoast. A satellite museum campus exists in Qunu, called the Nelson Mandela Youth Heritage Centre.
  7. “Release” Nelson Mandela Monument – South African artist Marco Ciafenelli erected a monument at the location where Mandela was captured in 1962. The art piece consists of 50 columns that represent 27 years of imprisonment. It is erected in Howick in the Natal Midlands.

Take2Tours offers you the opportunity to visit these historic sites and cultural places without the stress usually related to travel. From finding the best accommodation to sticking to your itinerary and getting to each and every must see location; we have it covered.