Nelson Mandela, the first South African president elected in democratic election, is probably the most famous South African in the world. World known as an anti-apartheid activist he spend 27 years in prison for sabotage and other charges. Released in 1990 he led his party in the negotiations that led to multi-racial democracy in 1994.
As president, he frequently gave priority to reconciliation, while introducing policies aimed at combating poverty and inequality in South Africa. Mandela, or Madiba, has received more than 250 awards over four decades, including the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize. Travelers have a number of opportunities to learn more about Mandela’s life and struggles. Visit the top destinations connected with the famous ex-prisoner.
A trip to Robben Island and the Robben Island Museum will shed some light on Nelson Mandela's years in prison. Spend some time in his tiny cell and imbibe the atmosphere of this significant World Heritage Site.
The Mandela Museum, Mthatha
Located in the Bhunga building in Mthatha in the Eastern Cape, this part of the 3-location Mandela Museum traces Nelson Mandela's journey as told in his autobiography 'A Long Walk To Freedom'. NB: The Bhunga building will be closed from August for more than two years for renovations. The exhibition will be moved to the Nelson Mandela Youth and Heritage Centre in nearby Qunu, where Nelson Mandela grew up.
The Voting Line statue, Port Elizabeth
The Voting Line metal statue at the Donkin Reserve in Port Elizabeth recalls South Africa's first democratic poll – with a triumphant figure of Nelson Mandela at its head.
The Nelson Mandela Youth and Heritage Centre, Qunu
Visit the Nelson Mandela Youth and Heritage Centre at Qunu and learn more about his youth and the missionary-run school that he attended.
Mandela House Museum, Soweto
Situated at 8115 Vilakazi Street, the Mandela House Museum is where Nelson Mandela lived with his wife Winnie and their 2 children from the late 1940s onward.
Liliesleaf Heritage Site, Johannesburg
Once known as Liliesleaf Farm, this heritage site in Sandton, Johannesburg is closely linked to the Rivonia Treason Trial that led to Nelson Mandela’s incarceration.
Constitution Hill, Johannesburg
The once notorious 'Old Fort' prison housed many political prisoners – including Nelson Mandela, who was detained here during the 1956 Treason Trial.
The Nelson Mandela Bridge, Johannesburg
This iconic Johannesburg bridge was completed in 2003 and is something of an architectural masterpiece that links the areas of Braamfontein and Newtown.
Nelson Mandela Square, Johannesburg
The Nelson Mandela statue on Nelson Mandela Square in Sandton is a favorite place for tourists to have photographs taken with a gigantic Madiba. There's another well-known Nelson Mandela statue in Cape Town at the entrance to the Groot Drakenstein prison.
Alexandra Yard Precinct, Johannesburg
Not many people are aware that Nelson Mandela first stayed in the township of Alexandra when he first came to Johannesburg from the Eastern Cape. Visit the one-room house on Stanley Road where Madiba lived.