This year marks the Nelson Mandela Centenary and what better way to celebrate the former president and Nobel Peace Prize winner’s life than a visit to these iconic South African landmarks?
Whether you are a tourist or a local, Robben Island in Cape Town is one of those places that pays homage to the struggle hero. Robben Island is located in Table Bay, some 6km west of Bloubergstrand, and stands around 30m above sea level. For nearly 400 years, it was known as a place where people were exiled, isolated and banished to. It was also where Mandela was imprisoned. Each year, thousands of tourists take a boat to visit the island to see Madiba’s jail cell. The boat leaves for Robben Island at the V&A Waterfront.
Vilakazi Street was once home to Nobel Prize winners Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. One of the most iconic places to see is the Mandela House Museum, a place Mandela and his family called home from 1946 to the 1990s. The Soweto home has since been converted into a museum. There, you will find various memorabilia, artworks, awards and honorary doctorates of Madiba’s family. Tourists and locals are often seen taking selfies at the entrance of the house
Located in Johannesburg north, this farm is one of the country’s most historically significant landmarks. Nelson Mandela, operating under the assumed name of David Motsamayi, as well as many other leaders within the ANC used this farm as a safe house of sorts in the early 1960’s. To avoid being found out, Mandela posed as a gardener and caretaker. Today, visitors can enjoy self, guided and educational tours, the premises’ auditorium, its display of artefacts, as well as the restaurant, which is appropriately named Cedric’s, the codename that the ANC used for the farm.
Pearls Mall Wax Sculpture Exhibition
Pearls Mall is hosting a wax sculpture exhibition until July 22. The sculptures of Mandela were created by Durban artist and sculptor, Lungelo Gumede, whose artworks are featured in the homes of world famous celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey, John Legend and Floyd Mayweather. The wax sculptures will be exhibited within the mall, on the Food Lovers level, where patrons can view and take pictures of the sculptures. There will also be a display of the car Mandela drove when he was arrested. It was the same car featured in Anant Singh’s Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom film.
Nelson Mandela Capture Site
Nelson Mandela Capture Site commemorates the August 5, 1962 incident where Nelson Mandela was arrested by police at the site. It was originally a small bricked area with a plaque. However, to mark the 50th anniversary, in 2012 a steel structure depicting Mandela was resurrected, along with a visitor’s centre. The 35-metre sculpture was designed by artist Marco Cianfanelli. It’s the perfect location to get those Instagram-worthy travel shots.
Nelson Mandela Museum
Nelson Mandela Museum in Mthatha was established by the government as part of a legacy project that sought to transform the heritage landscape of the country.
The iconic spot is home to Nelson Mandela memorabilia, interviews and awards that the former South African president received during his political days. Travellers will be given a brief outline of the museum and can explore the place as they desire. Make sure you watch his television interviews.