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Footsteps of Mandela Self Drive


DAY  1
Depart from Dublin, Cork or Shannon and fly to London where you will board your overnight
flight to Johannesburg.

On arrival in Johannesburg, you will be met and transferred to your hotel, the Hilton Sandton.
Time to unpack and freshen up, before you are met by your guide at 14h00 for an afternoon
orientation tour of Johannesburg, South Africa’s largest and most energetic city, and heart of
the urban political struggle. The tour takes you through Houghton for a view over the Northern
and more affluent suburbs, before continuing to Hillbrow and then downtown Johannesburg,
where you will be able to see the mining houses and the historical heart of the city, as well as
one of the many urban regeneration schemes that are taking place. You will learn about the
Supreme Court and Ghandi Square before continuing to the Market Theatre and Museum
Afrika. Return to the Hilton Sandton for overnight (or similar)

Your specialist guide will collect you this morning for a full day private tour. He will start by
giving you a short overview of Mandela’s life and his role in the struggle, before   leaving for the largest township in South Africa — Soweto. Here, your tour will take in Nelson Mandela’s
original house, now a Museum, and where Winnie and Nelson Mandela came to live after their wedding, as well as Hector Pietersen Square where the Soweto Uprisings took place, and the Phefeni Secondary School where the uprisings were initiated.  Also in the same historical area is Bishop Desmond Tutu’s original house. Lunch is in a traditional township shebeen (pub). 
This afternoon, continue to the Apartheid Museum, an exhibition which not only charts the apartheid years but also the struggle against apartheid and the first democratic elections. It is a superbly presented and designed walk through South African contemporary history.
Return to Sandton Hilton for overnight. (or similar)

Your car will be delivered this morning at 08h30 and you will leave Johannesburg, heading south towards the province of KwaZulu-Natal, home to the Zulu tribe. Cross the escarpment over the impressive Drakensberg Mountains, with a stop at the border town of Van Reenen for the incredible views. Continue towards the town of Howick in the English- like Natal Midlands,
where you will leave the highway and take a by- road,stopping at the very spot where Nelson Mandela was arrested by apartheid security forces. Here a simple plaque marks the spot. Nearby is the town of Howick, with one of the largest waterfalls in the country. Time to view the site, before checking in at nearby Lythwood Lodge. (420 kms) (or similar)

Drive through the city of Pietermaritzburg, where you will see some of the best examples of
Victorian architecture in South Africa (the Tatham Art Gallery next to the Publicity Association
 is also worth a visit). Drive through the rolling hills of Ixopo, the area that inspired Alan Paton’s
“Cry the Beloved  Country”,  where  you  will  stop  at the inspiring Marienthal German Mission
dating back over 100 years, before continuing into the region known as the Transkei, home to the
Xhosa tribe, where many of today’s leaders in South Africa were raised or educated. Wonderfully
traditional huts dot the landscape all the way to the main city, Umtata. This is the heart of Nelson
Mandela country as he was born and raised here.  Check into the HIGC Umtata for overnight
(320 kms) (or similar)

DAY 6 - UMTATA                                      (B)
This is the area that Nelson Mandela grew up in and today you will retrace his steps as a youth
and the history surrounding him and this region. Start at the Nelson Mandela Museum (where we suggest you request a guide to accompany you for the entire morning — to be settled direct) which tells not only of the incredible life of one of the world’s greatest statesmen, but also exhibits many of the gifts that he has received from both South Africans of all ages as well as from Heads of State the world over. From here, drive the short distance to a neighbouring town called Qunu, where Mandela grew up, and where he has since retired and lives. If you have a guide, they will be able to take you on a short walking tour of the town. Continue from here to the city of East London, on the shores of the Indian Ocean and the banks of the magnificent Buffalo River. Overnight at Hemingways. (260 kms) (or similar)

DAY 7 - KENTON ON SEA                  (BID)
Drive this morning from East London, through the town of King William’s Town (where Steve
Biko hails from), and on to the University of Fort Hare, near Alice. A university that provided rare tertiary education for blacks in the 1940’s, it has the proud tradition of educating many political leaders and royal princes from many countries in Africa. It was here that Nelson Mandela studied, and here that he met future partner, comrade and lifelong friend, Oliver Tambo, who together with Mandela and others formed the ANC Youth League not long after Mandela’s departure from the University. (Note: Tours of the University need to pre booked, there is no charge for this, but you may want to leave a donation to the University). Leave Fort
Hare and travel through the historical town of Grahams­ town, known as Cathedral City because of its vast number of churches and onward to Kariega Game Reserve, where you will
check in and enjoy an afternoon activity (one of the following - game drives, river cruise, guided walk or canoeing), before dinner and overnight. (250 kms) (or similar)

DAY 8 - KENTON ON SEA                     (B)
The day is yours to enjoy the beauty of this natural reserve, where your activities are included
(you may choose from game drives, river cruises, guided walks or canoeing). Lunch and dinner
at the lodge. Overnight at Kariega Game  Reserve. (or similar)

Awake early this morning and enjoy your morning game activity, before breakfast back at the
lodge. Depart late this morning. Continue along the main motor­ way past Port Elizabeth, to
the seaside resort of Cape St  Francis, with  stretches  of wide  open beaches, and one of the
top surfing destinations in the world. The day is yours to relax in this resort town, where all
houses have to be built by law in the same style —   whitewashed walls and thatched roofs.
The canals and indigenous milkwood forests will enchant you. Overnight at Sandals.
 (200 kms) (or similar)

DAY 10 - KNYSNA                                  (B)
Depart Cape St Francis this morning for the famous Garden Route - drive through the age old
Tsitsikamma Forest, stopping at the National Park, where the Storms River meets the Indian Ocean between towering cliffs, before continuing to the seaside resort of Plettenberg Bay, withits sweeping beaches and breathtaking scenery. Finally arrive at the village of Knysna, a vibrant community on the banks of the Knysna Lagoon. Time this afternoon to walk the town on foot.
Overnight at the Knysna Log Inn. (120 kms) (or similar)

DAY 11 - KNYSNA                                 (B)
Today is dedicated to exploring the Garden Route and Knysna area. This morning you may choose to catch a ferry across the Knysna Lagoon to the Featherbed Nature Reserve, where a tractor and trailer await you to take you to the top of the cliffs that look out over the Indian Ocean and over the town of Knysna — an unforgettable sight. You are based near the Knysna Quays Waterfront, a property perfectly positioned to enjoy the lagoon, as well as numerous pubs, shops and restaurants.
Overnight at the Knysna Log Inn. (or similar)

DAY 12 - STELLENBOSCH                   (B)
Leave Knysna after breakfast and follow the N2 towards Cape Town. Leave the motorway and
enter the town of Stellenbosch — heart of the Winelands and also the second oldest town in
South Africa. With its distinctive Cape Dutch architecture and beautiful oak lined streets, it is a
charming place. Check into your hotel, the Spier Estate, with time this afternoon to visit one of the
well-known wine estates nearby. Overnight at Spier.  (400 kms) (or similar)

You may choose to visit the nearby town of Paarl, with its extensive wine farms, or to nearby
Vergelegen Estate, considered by many to be the finest looking estate in the Winelands, before setting off for Cape Town. On arrival in Cape Town, check  into your hotel, the Commodore on the Waterfront, a hub of activity  in what  is a working harbour, with  pubs, restaurants, shops and a magnificent view of Table Mountain. This afternoon, in keeping with the theme of the tour, we strongly recommend joining the afternoon catamaran ferry to Robben Island. Here a local guide, normally someone who was incarcerated on the island, will guide you through the prison where Nelson Mandela spent such a large part of his life. You will see his cell, as well as the limestone quarry where he used to work. Return to Cape Town for overnight at the Southern Sun Waterfront hotel   (100kms) (or similar)

DAYS 14 & 15 - CAPE TOWN                 (B)
The days are yours in Cape Town, with plenty to see and do. This includes touring the Peninsula
and Cape of Good Hope, ascending Table Mountain, visiting Kirstenbosch Gardens, exploring the
city centre including Greenmarket Square, the Castle and the Houses of Parliament. Also well
worth a visit is District Six Museum where the local community of District Six was uprooted in
Apartheid days to make way for a white settlement.
Overnights at the Southern Sun Waterfront (or similar).

DAY 16 - CAPE TOWN                          (B)
You will have time this morning for some last minute shopping before dropping off your hire car
at Cape Town International Airport and checking in for your flight to London via Johannesburg
International Airport and onwards to Ireland.


Prices vary depending on date of travel.
Contact Travel Focus for a quotation for your preferred departure date.
Accommodation & flight details may vary depending on availability at time of booking