This incredible 11-day cultural tour takes you on a journey of discovery as you follow in the historic footsteps of Nelson Mandela. Your adventure begins in Johannesburg for a guided tour by renowned raconteur, Robin Binckes, who will take you through the various destinations of this vibrant, bustling city that holds historical significance in Madiba’s journey to becoming South Africa’s first democratically elected president, after the apartheid era.
Enjoy tours of both the Alexandra and Soweto Townships, Liliesleaf Farm and the Johannesburg CBD that will offer fascinating insight into the life of this honourable man. The next leg of your journey takes you to the pristine landscape of Shambala Private Game Reserve for a stay at the luxurious Nelson Mandela Centre for Reconciliation, which pays homage to Madiba through its thought-provoking artworks and design. Afterwards, you will make your way to the world-famous Sabi Sand Game Reserve, for a stay at Londolozi’s exceptional Varty Camp.
Nelson Mandela visited Londolozi in 1992 and was inspired by the vision that was being lived by the employees and management in collaboration with nature. Here, you can embark on various wildlife adventures such as a cultural village tour, yoga classes, twice-daily Big Five game drives and nature walks. Your tour culminates in Cape Town with an exploration of Robben Island as well as privately guided tours of Nobel Square, the Cape Town City Hall and The Grand Parade, Mandela Rhodes Place and Pollsmoor Prison.
11 Days / 10 Nights
This tour has been carefully designed to give you a taste of the exciting, endless possibilities and can be tailored to suit your exact preferences.
DAY 1: JOHANNESBURG
On arrival at O.R. Tambo International Airport, you will be warmly welcomed by a member of the &Beyond team, who will drive you to The Saxon Hotel Villas and Spa.
Master storyteller and South African historian, Robin Binckes, will be your private guide for your two day stay in Johannesburg. Having lived through and participated in the Apartheid era, Robin Binckes is a true South African patriot. Robin has extensive experience in conducting historical tours and is deeply involved in various initiatives within the rural communities of Gauteng.
After a bawdy start as a tent and shanty town, today Johannesburg is the second largest city in Africa. Had it not been for the discovery of gold by prospector George Harrison though, the city probably wouldn’t even be in existence. Harrison, who pegged the first claim on the reef, sold it for just ₤10 and disappeared without a trace! Known as the greatest gold-mining area on earth, this vibrant city is not just an industrial giant; it is the heart of the country’s economy. From traditional ‘muti’ (medicine) shops to exclusive boutiques in upmarket malls, theatres, museums, cultural villages, restaurants, beautiful walks in indigenous gardens and more, Johannesburg is a diverse cultural melting pot, deserving of its name of ‘iGoli’ — or ‘City of Gold’.
Cushioned in lush, landscaped gardens, the exclusive Saxon Boutique Hotel, Villas and Spa lies within the tree-lined suburb of Sandhurst. The magnificent suites feature four-poster beds and large bay windows, as well as views that look out over the gardens or the pool area. Each room has an ensuite bathroom, satellite television and surround-sound music system. World-class chefs serve up delectable fare such as African game and mouth-watering seafood delicacies in the hotel’s elegant restaurant, while the wine cellar and dining library offer novel locations for intimate dinners. Guests can relax at the Pool Terrace before retreating to the Olive Bar, while the more actively-inclined will be thrilled with the outdoor heated infinity pool (with underwater music) and a well-equipped gym. Those in need of pampering can unwind with a treatment in the award-winning spa.
Spend two nights at The Saxon Hotel Villas & Spa in a Luxury Suite. Your stay includes breakfast, complimentary mini bar and snacks, complimentary Wi-Fi, use of the spa hydro facilities and complimentary sparkling wine on arrival.
DAY 2: JOHANNESBURG
Today, you will follow in the Footsteps of Nelson Mandela. World-renowned South African historian and storyteller, Robin Bincks, will collect you from your hotel for an interpretive journey through Johannesburg, which starts with an insightful talk about South Africa, its people and their languages, followed by visits to:
The Union Buildings in Pretoria. This is where Nelson Mandela was inaugurated as the first democratically elected president of South Africa. The buildings were designed by Sir Herbert Baker and completed in 1913.
Liliesleaf Farm, once the heart of the liberation movement and a place of refuge for Nelson Mandela.
Alexandra Township, where you will have the opportunity to view Madiba’s first home in Johannesburg.
Houghton, this exclusive suburb is home to Mandela’s last residence and where he spent his final days.
The Nelson Mandela Foundation, which was established in 1999, contains an archive of the life and times, works and writings of Nelson Mandela.
t also focuses in convening dialogue around critical human rights issues.
Johannesburg CBD, where you will drive downtown, across the Nelson Mandela Bridge, to the building that once housed his law firm.
Soweto Township, to view Madiba’s residence on Vilakazi Street and enjoy a tour of the family museum.
Your tour will conclude with a traditional lunch on Vilakazi Street, before heading back to your hotel.
Tonight, you will get to sample the talents of globally-renowned Cape Town chef, Luke Dale Roberts (one of Madiba’s favourites), at the Test Kitchen Pop-Up Restaurant at the Saxon Hotel. Epicureans can expect the same ground-breaking menus associated with The Test Kitchen’s signature style of cuisine. Currently at the number 28 spot of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, The Test Kitchen has also been presented with the Best Restaurant in Africa award for two consecutive years.
Enjoy your dinner in the company of Rory Steyn, the former team leader of Nelson Mandela’s bodyguards.
DAY 3: SHAMBALA PRIVATE GAME RESERVE
After a scrumptious breakfast, you will be driven to Inanda Polo Club for your helicopter flight to the Nelson Mandela Centre for Reconciliation.
The Nelson Mandela Centre for Reconciliation, once Madiba’s private retreat, is situated within the scenic Shambala Game Reserve. Built as a tribute to the late South African president, by his longstanding friend Douw Steyn, the lodge offers a blend of traditional and contemporary architecture. This beautiful homestead is where Nelson Mandela (then 83 years old) spent his final years, alongside his wife Graça Machel, and where mediations with various dignitaries were held. Various local artworks, some personally chosen by Madiba and his wife, adorn the retreat as well as an array of authentic design features that commemorate the life of this incredible man. The lodge boasts just five luxury rooms with lovely ensuite bathrooms. Delicious menus are served in the elegant dining room. Additional guest areas include an al fresco deck and an impressive indoor heated swimming pool that overlooks a private waterhole. Adventures include game drives, walking safaris elephant-back safaris and river cruises.
Spend two nights at Nelson Mandela Centre for Reconciliation. Your stay includes all meals, all soft drinks and South African wines, local spirits, complimentary Wi-Fi, complimentary French champagne on arrival, two game drives per day in a private game vehicle, one boat cruise on Douw Steyn Dam, personal butler and chef.
DAY 4: SHAMBALA PRIVATE GAME RESERVE
Today, take advantage of your private safari vehicle and set the pace for your own adventure. Pick and choose from the following activities:
Embark on a game drive in search of the reserve’s abundant wildlife.
Enjoy a tranquil boat cruise on the Douw Steyn Dam.
Get closer to nature on an interpretive bush walk.
Experience an elephant back safari in the reserve.
Tonight you will be hosted for dinner by Zelda Le Grange, Nelson Mandela’s personal assistant who will share her memories and experiences about their relationship. From 1994 until 1996, Zelda served as a typist for Mary Mxadana, private secretary to Nelson Mandela, the newly elected post-apartheid
DAY 5: SABI SAND PRIVATE GAME RESERVE
After a wholesome breakfast, you will be collected for your private charter flight to Londolozi in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve. On arrival at the airstrip you will be met by a ranger who will drive you to Londolozi Varty Camp.
The Sabi Sand Game Reserve consists of more than 65 000 hectares (160 620 acres) that borders the Kruger National Park. With no fences between the farms (or, for that matter, between them and the Kruger Park), animals wander across vast stretches of grazing land as they did years and years ago. With one of the richest game populations in the country, the chances of seeing the Big Five (lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant and rhino) are excellent.
Described as the symbolic heart and soul of Londolozi, Varty Camp’s suites boast private pools and elevated timber decks. The ensuite bathrooms are specifically designed to offer guests magnificent views of the lush riverside vegetation while they luxuriate in large window-side tubs. The camp’s superb meals can be savoured in the dining area, around the boma campfire or under a starlit sky. The menus are a combination of Varty family recipes and Pan-African fare. The main deck and cocktail bar offer awe-inspiring views of the Sand River. Guests can experience game drives, guided bush walks, stargazing, birdwatching and Shangaan cultural visits or the less energetic can simply curl up with a book from the Camp’s library. The emphasis on family heritage means that kids are particularly welcome at Varty Camp.
Spend three nights at Londolozi Varty Camp in chalet. Your stay includes all meals, teas and coffees, soft drinks, house wines, local brands spirits and beers, two game drives daily in an open land rovers, nature walks accompanied by experienced armed trackers, children cubs den programme, transfers to/from the Londolozi airstrip and the lodge, emergency medical evacuation insurance, one group yoga class per day at Varty Camp, fitness room at Varty Camp and laundry.
DAY 6 & 7: SABI SAND PRIVATE GAME RESERVE
For the next two days you will have the opportunity to partake in the various adventures at the lodge:
Enjoy a village walk in the footsteps of Nelson Mandela; Madiba had the opportunity to visit Londolozi in 1992. Nelson Mandela said, “During my long walk to freedom, I had the rare privilege to visit Londolozi. There I saw people of all races living in harmony amidst the beauty that Mother Nature offers”. The village walk experience pays homage to Nelson Mandela’s stay. Your journey begins at Varty Camp and passes through the Londolozi staff village. Here, you will have the opportunity to interact with many of the Londolozi staff members and their families, some of which have lived and worked at Londolozi for over 30 years.
Discover the wonders of the Sabi Sand Game Reserve on game drives.
Immerse yourself in the pristine wilderness on a nature walk accompanied by an experienced armed tracker.
Partake in a soul-soothing yoga class at the camp.
DAY 8: CAPE TOWN
After breakfast, you will be collected for your flight to Skukuza Airport. Upon landing, you will board a connecting flight to Cape Town International Airport, where you will be met by a representative from &Beyond and chauffeured to The Taj Cape Town.
With Table Mountain – one of the most spiritual places on earth – at its heart and two oceans at its feet, the city of Cape Town, strategically situated at the south-western tip of Africa, has been famed for centuries as the Tavern of the Seas. Vibrant, cosmopolitan and an eclectic mix of old and new, this laid-back city is as much at home with its 17th century castle – whose cannons have never been fired in anger – as it is with its sleek skyscrapers and trendy malls. Home to South Africa’s first mosque, oldest wine farm, a 350-year-old garden and timelessly beautiful beaches, it’s no surprise the legendary Flying Dutchman and his spectral ship have spent eternity sailing the city’s shores.
The elegant Taj Cape Town lies at the centre of historic Cape Town. The hotel marries old-world splendour with modern-day luxuries, accompanied by warm Indian hospitality. Truly exceptional rooms and suites offer a tranquil cocoon from the lively bustle of the city. The historic structure of the Taj Cape Town is home to exquisite Heritage Rooms and Suites, Tower Rooms and Suites, The Presidential Suite and the Taj Club. All rooms boast beautiful ensuite bathrooms, air conditioning, underfloor heating, personal bars, satellite television and multimedia workstations. The culinary experiences range from sublime Indian food at the Bombay Brasserie to delectable seafood at Twankeys and informal all-day dining at Mint. The hotel also boasts a cocktail bar and cigar lounge.
Spend three nights in an ensuite, luxury mountain-facing room at Taj Cape Town. Your stay includes breakfast at the Mint Restaurant, bottled water, flowers, fruits, complimentary welcome drinks on arrival, complimentary basic Wi-Fi, access to the fully-equipped fitness centre and Jiva Spa with steam rooms, saunas, relaxation room, indoor heated swimming pool and Jacuzzi facilities.
DAY 9 & 10: CAPE TOWN
Over the course of the next two days you will have the opportunity to experience two phenomenal historical tours:
Day 1 tour:
Kick-start your adventure with a private yacht cruise to iconic Robben Island. Your journey begins with a mouth-watering breakfast on board the luxury yacht before it makes its way to the island, where Nelson Mandela spent 18 of his 27 prison years. Your host for the duration of your cruise will be Thulani Mabaso, a former political prisoner who served his sentence on Robben Island. Mr Mabaso received an 18 year sentence for sabotage, after being caught for blowing up apartheid government installations. He spent three years in a Johannesburg prison before being sent to Robben Island in 1986.
Upon arrival at the island, you will embark on an interpretive tour with another ex-Robben Island political prisoner. Your journey through this UNESCO World Heritage Site will take you to the island’s various places of interest such as the graveyard for those with leprosy, the lime Quarry, Robert Sobukwe’s house, the Bluestone quarry, the army and navy bunkers and the maximum security prison where Madiba was incarcerated. During the many years Nelson Mandela spent on the island, his charisma and his natural leadership abilities saw him gain the respect and admiration of not only his fellow prisoners but also the prison officials who guarded over him. Here, he became the master of his own prison, where he emerged to lead the new democratic South Africa. Afterwards, enjoy a scenic 20 minute helicopter flight over the island for a final glimpse from above of this iconic destination.
Tonight, enjoy a gourmet dinner at the Potluck Club, one of Madiba’s choice eateries. The Potluck Club has been dubbed as one of Cape Town’s trendiest eateries, offering innovative menus in a vibrant setting. Chef Luke Dale-Roberts is one of the country’s finest. His various eateries have received global recognition, so prepare your taste buds as they are in for a treat!
Day 2 tour:
Today, you will be collected by an &Beyond guide for a private tour. Your adventure begins at Nobel Square at the V & A Waterfront to view the life-sized sculptures of South Africa’s four Nobel Peace Prize Laureates: Nelson Mandela, FW de Klerk, Desmond Tutu and Albert Luthuli. This will be followed by a tour of the Cape Town City Hall and The Grand Parade, where you can stand on the very spot that Nelson Mandela addressed crowds after his release from prison in 1990. Afterwards, you will be driven to Mandela Rhodes Place, which is the command centre of the Nelson Mandela Foundation. The final leg of your journey will be to Pollsmoor Prison, where Nelson Mandela spent the last eight years of his prison term.
DAY 11: DEPARTURE
Today, we wave a fond farewell as you are collected for your onward flight home.
- Meet and Greet services at O R Tambo International Airport and Cape Town International Airport
- Accommodation inclusions as per the itinerary above
- Meals and drinks as specified above including dinner and lunch for both Cape Town and Johannesburg
- All private road transfers:
- OR Tambo International Airport / Saxon Boutique Hotel Villas & Spa
- Saxon Boutique Hotel Villas & Spa / Inanda Polo Club
- Shambala Private Game Reserve / Welgevonden Airstrip
- Cape Town International Airport / Taj Cape Town
- Taj Cape Town / Cape Town International Airport
- All private charters:
- o Welgevonden Airstrip / Londolozi Airstrip
- Helicopter transfer:
- Inanda Polo Club, Sandton / Shambala Private Game Reserve
- All scheduled flights:
- Londolozi Airstrip / Skukuza Airport
- Skukuza Airport / Cape Town International Airport
- Emergency medical evacuation insurance
- Administration fee