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The Great Madiba Magic Africa Tour (30 days) Print E-mail
COVER_Nelson_Mandela_c_Ronald_Kennedy Travel and experience Nelson Mandela’s Africa. Visit Qunu in the Eastern Cape where “Madiba” grew up, learn about his Xhosa culture, stand in his cell on Robben Island and visit the prison where he was released inmag 1990. This 30-day selfdrive tour also shows you the best of wildlife, culture and history including several natural and cultural World Heritage Sites.



Day 1: Jo'burg/Soweto
Day 2-3: Waterberg
Day 4: Soutpansberg
Day 5-6: Mapungubwe
Day 7: Magoebaskloof
Day 8-9: Kruger NP
Day 10-12: Swaziland
Day 13: Zululand
Day 14: iSimangaliso
Day 15: Durban
Day 16: Drakensberg
Day 17: Lesotho 
Day 18: Mandela Museum
Day 19 Coffee Bay
Day 20: Qunu
Day 21: Port Elizabeth
Day 22: Baviaanskloof
Day 23: Tsitsikamma
Day 24/25: Oudtshoorn
Day 26: Nuy Valley
Day 27: Paarl
Day 28 - 30: Cape Town


Day 1: Johannesburg/Soweto

On arrival at Johannesburg International Airport, you will meet our representative, who will assist you with you documents and the formalities. Collect your car and drive to your hotel near the airport. You can choose to participate on a Soweto township tour, that includes the former house of Nelson Mandela. Overnight in Johannesburg (B&B).

Day 2: Cradle of Humankind
Today you will drive to a bushveld retreat in the malaria free Waterberg biosphere. On your way you can visit the Sterkfontein Caves which are one of the richest and most productive paleo-anthropological sites in the world and form part of the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site. Amongst the most remarkable finds is “Mrs. Ples”, the first complete Australopithecus skull to be discovered and more recently, “Little Foot”, a 4.17 million-year-old almost complete ape-man skeleton. Spend the night in the tranquility of the game reserve (B&B).  

Day 3: Waterberg Biosphere
Today you can enjoy a game drive or do one of the other activities available to from horse riding to hiking. You can also visit the nearby Waterberg Welfare society that supports people living with hiv/aids.

Day 4: Soutpansberg
Today you will travel north towards the scenic Soutpansberg area. Tonight’s accommodation is situated on top of the mountain with sweeping views over southern Africa’s most diverse natural environments. Visit the local villages, hike through the are or take a guided walk to some interesting San (bushman) painting. Overnight in a bush camp.

Day 5: Mapungubwe World Heritage Site

After breakfast you can make your way to Mapungubwe National Park and World Heritage Site. Situated at the meeting place of the Limpopo and Shashe rivers, the national park is rich in biodiversity, great scenic beauty and above all it is of great cultural importance due to the archaeological treasures of Mapungubwe. End the day with a real South African “braai” (barbecue) in your self catering cottage.

Day 6: Mapungubwe National Park
Take a game drive, guided heritage site tour or just relax at the rock pool. Experience the wildlife and mystic scenery: sandstone formations and baobab trees form the astounding scenic backdrop for a rich variety of animal life. Elephant, giraffe, white rhino, eland, gemsbok and numerous other antelope species occur naturally in the area. Birders can tick off 400 species. Overnight bush camp.

Day 7: Magoebaskloof / Tzaneen
Leave early and make your way to the majestic Magoebaskloof, at the slopes of the northern of the uKhahlamba (wall of spears) beter known as Drakensberg mountains. Magoebaskloof is hiking country with dramatic sceneries of forests and panoramic views.
Overnight in Magoebaskloof hotel (B&B).

Day 8: Kruger National Park (South)
Take the aptly named Panorama route, rich in waterfalls and highlights such as Blyde River Canyon, Bourke’s Luck Potholes and God’s Window. Time permitting you can visit historical gold mining city Pilgrim’s Rest. Continue to the Numbi gate of Kruger National Park. Say hello to some of its wildlife on your way your eco-friendly tented lodge where you will spend the next two nights. The lodge earnings directly benefit the Mhaule Rural Community. Overnight tented lodge (B&B).

Day 9: Kruger National Park
Experience the world-renowned Kruger National Park with 2 million hectares of unrivalled diversity of flora and fauna! Can you spot the Big 5? Spend the night listening to the rumble of the African wilderness.

Day 10: Swaziland (Shewula)
After breakfast you will drive to the beautiful kingdom of Swaziland. After customs, you continue to your mountain camp in Shewula that straddles the 500 metre high Lubombo mountains with a seemingly endless view of Swaziland. Your camp is eco-friendly and entirely run by the community. Overnight Shewula.

Day 11: Shewula (Swaziland)
Follow one of the many hiking trails, visit the neighboring village or take a tour to the Sangoma (traditional healers). There is a wide choice of projects to visit in the vicinity. Buy locally manufactured arts and crafts. Overnight Shewula.

Day 12: Mlilwane (Swaziland)
Visit Swaziland’s capital Mbabane, a Swazi market and a local school where you can meet the children and teachers. Overnight in the Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary, depending on your tour choice in traditional grass-dome shaped beehives or a unique hilltop lodge. Optional excursions include guided game-drive, mountain bike and horse rides.

Day 13: Zululand
Cross the border to South Africa, travel through the sugarcane fields to Zululand - an area  once ruled by the Zulu king Shaka. Visit the iSimangaliso (formerly St Lucia) World Heritage Site, the largest estuary on the African continent. It is declared a Wetland of International Importance under the Ramsar Convention. This means that its value as a conservation area extends beyond the borders of the country.
Overnight: St Lucia (B&B)

Day 14: St Lucia
Today you can discover the magnificent Hluhluwe-Umfolozi National park and the iSimangaliso Wetland Park. Optional excursions: guided boat tour, canoe trail, surfing, snorkeling, guided open vehicle game drive and walking trails. Overnight: St Lucia (B&B)

Day 15: Durban
After a short stopover at the Vukani Museum in Eshowe with the world’s largest collection of traditional Zulu arts and crafts, you continue towards vibrant Durban, the largest city in the KwaZulu-Natal province. Overnight: hotel in Durban (B&B).

Day 16: Southern Drakensberg
You will make your way to the Southern part of uKhahlamba (Drakensberg) to a small town called Himeville, known as South Africa’s hot spot for fly-fishing. The local museum is also worth a visit and has a vast collection of San/Bushman artifacts. Overnight: Himeville (B&B).

Day 17: Lesotho/Southern Drakensberg

After breakfast you will have the opportunity to go on a guided drive over the breath-taking and sometimes hair raising Sani Pass, the gateway into the "Mountain Kingdom of Lesotho" at an altitude of 2874 meters (weather permitting, it can snow here in winter). Learn about the history of the pass, geology of the mountains, flora & fauna, and a unique experience with the Basotho people. The highest pub in Africa is also situated here. An experience not to be missed! Overnight: Himeville (B&B).

Day 18: Nelson Mandela Museum

Get up early for a long drive to the Eastern Cape, the home province of “Madiba” (the clan and nick name for Nelson Mandela). Visit the Nelson Mandela museum in Mthatha and hear Madiba’s story in his own words. After a very informative tour you will make your way to your hotel in Coffee Bay (B&B).

Day 19: Coffee Bay
Coffee Bay is one of the most beautiful spots in the heart of South Africa’s Wild Coast. One of the must see places is the “hole in the wall”, a geological marvel. You can go on one of the various hiking trails or just enjoy a day in the sun. Overnight in Coffee Bay (hotel, B&B)

Day 20: Qunu to East London

Make your way to Qunu, where Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela grew up. The local museum offers a fascinating village tour that shows Madiba’s home, primary school, the church where he was christened, and his favorite sliding stone. You will have plenty of stories to exchange at your lodge in the Inkwenkwezi Reserve (B&B).

Day 21: Port Elizabeth
Make your way to Port Elizabeth, the Friendly City. Take a tour to New Brighton and Red Location, the two oldest townships in Port Elizabeth and centre of the ANC  liberation struggle. Mandela never lived here but visited the area often to meet with the likes of Govan Mbeki and Raymond Mhlaba. When Mandela was released from prison, after his Cape Town appearance, he insisted to visit Port Elizabeth first, due to the strong support during the struggle. Overnight hotel in Port Elizabeth (B&B).

Day 22: Baviaanskloof/Addo
Today you can do an optional day excursion to Baviaanskloof valley. The 180 000 hectare tract of raw wilderness is the third largest natural area in South Africa. You can also do an optional tour to Addo Elephant National Park, a finely tuned ecosystem that is home to over 450 elephants and many other species including Cape buffalo, black rhino, antelopes as well as the unique flightless dung beetle, found almost exclusively in Addo. Overnight hotel in Port Elizabeth (B&B).

Day 23: Tsitsikamma / Storms River
After breakfast you will make your way towards Storms River in the Garden Route. Here you can make on of the highest bungee jumps in the world (216 meters) or go treetop canopying. The less adventurous will rather drive to the Tsitskiamma National Park where the forest meets the ocean. Overnight in Storms river.

Day 24: Oudtshoorn
You are entering the Western Cape Province today, through the impressive mountain pass that leads to Oudtshoorn, also known as “Ostrich City”. The quaint town is also home to the impressive natural wonder of the Cango Caves and a wildlife ranch. Overnight in the scenic hamlet of De Rust (B&B).

Day 25: Oudtshoorn

Explore Oudtshoorn or experience an optional full day tour of the Swartberg Pass, considered one of the most spectacular mountain passes in the world. An untarred road winds to the summit at 1583 meters above sea level in steep zig-zags and sudden switchbacks, with breath-taking views at every turn. End your day with a traditional dinner at Kobus se Gat, an experience not to be missed.

Day 26: Nuy Valley

Pass the vineyards of Robertson and the Breede River on the scenic Route 62. A recommended stopover is at the unique Fairtrade mazes of Soekershof. The walkabout portrays the spiritual diversity of South Africa in mazes, a cactus labyrinth and a philosopher's garden. Tonight you will stay in an original Cape Dutch homestead in the Nuy Valley (B&B).

Day 27: Paarl to Cape Town
Drive to the Winelands town of Paarl to visit the Drakenstein Prison (formerly Victor Verster Prison). Mandela spent the last three years of his life behind bars here until he walked the final part of his long walk to freedom after his release in 1990. You continue to your hotel in the heart of Cape Town (B&B).

Day 28: Cape Town
Today you can take the ferry to Robben Island Museum, a World Heritage Site. The tour takes you past the quarry where Mandela and fellow prisoners were forced to hard labour and the cell of Madiba. The boat leaves from the V&A Waterfront, a highlight on itself. Spend the afternoon exploring the “Mother City”, take the cableway to the top of Table Mountain or unwind on one its great beaches.

Day 29: Cape Town
Explore Cape Town on a Peninsula tour, visit the Winelands or explore Cape Town at leisure. There is an endless list of interesting things to do. Please let us advise you on activities that fit your interests and hobbies.  

Day 30: Cape Town

Depart to Cape Town International Airport with a suitcase full of great memories, unforgettable experiences and tons of photos.

Including: Meet and Greet at arrival, extended route descriptions,  accommodation: 15 nights Bed and Breakfast (B&B), 14 nights Room Only (RO). Accommodation in selected accommodation. 4 nights in the national parks, 4 nights in community owned accommodation.

Excluding: Car hire (please let us know what type of car you are looking for you and we book it for you at competitive prices), Entry fees for World Heritage Sites and National Parks and Panorama routes/ toll ways;  luggage service/portage, insurance, visa, optional excursions and extra meals.


Please ask us for availability and rate checks if you are interested in this , or a similar tour.

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Photo of "Madiba" on Robben Island
Photo:Zipping Zebra/ Robben Island Museum

"Hole in the Wall" near Coffee Bay
Photo: South Africa Tourism

Elephants in Kruger
Photo: South Africa Tourism

"The Wall of Spears"
Photo: South Africa Tourism

Photo: ZippingZebra

Paarl Wine Estate
Photo: South Africa Tourism



We really enjoyed the trip. The lodge was very pleasant and the children loved the animals right in front of our chalet! Thank you for organising it for us, we will definitely pay another to the lodge.

Pierre Snyman

Zipping Zebra

PO Box 26533
Hout Bay
Cape Town
South Africa

T: +27-(0)21-7907148
F: +27-(0)21-7907147