South Africa - Mandela Landscapes

Mandela Landscapes has been selected by the editors of National Geographic Traveler as one of the world's top 50 'Tours of a Lifetime'. The seven day itinerary introduces the landscapes and culture that influenced Madiba. Travel through the Transkei homeland and explore Mandela's birthplace, enjoying a traditional Xhosa meal at the village of Qunu where he grew up. A local guide will introduce you to the Mandela Museum which recounts his life and you will meet a sangoma healer to learn about Xhosa traditions, medicines and beliefs. Delve deeper into the region's history, exploring the Eastern Cape battlefields where the original struggle for freedom began. Your journey will conclude at the Samara Private Game Reserve to appreciate the region's stunning natural beauty and wildlife, as well as experiencing conservation in action. Those interested may continue their journey on an optional four night extension to Cape Town, Robben Island and the Winelands.


Day 1 - The Wild Coast

On arrival in East London, South Africa, visit the world famous East London Museum (if weekday) for a perspective of the region. Afterwards transfer to the Wild Coast, to Prana Lodge. Set in a prime location overlooking the spectacular Chintsa Bay on a 17 acre private beach estate, this property offers friendly and attentive service, total privacy, mouth-watering cuisine and a world class wine cellar. The accommodation consists of seven luxurious suites, each with a stylish interior, oversized bathroom and private patio featuring an individual plunge pool. Take a sunset horse ride on the beach.

Overnight: Prana Lodge 

Day 2 - The Mandela Story
Today you will travel through the Transkei (the region where Mandela was born) to the small village of Qunu (where he grew up). Spend the rest of the day with your local guide visiting the Mandela Museum, the famous sliding rocks that he played on as a boy, the village where he was born, the church he was baptised in, and his family graveyard. Enjoy a traditional Xhosa meal at Qunu before returning to Prana Lodge for sundowners.

Overnight: Prana Lodge

Day 3 - The culture of Mandela's youth
Today you will depart early for Morgan Bay on the Wild Coast, located at the mouth of the River Kei. Crossing the river, travel along the Transkei absorbing the surrounding landscape, where not much has changed over the years. Next, set off up the Kologha river with your Xhosa guide before walking through the forest, where you will have a chance to learn about Xhosa traditions and medicines, all of which would have been common knowledge to Mandela. After a delicious sea food lunch at Trennery's Hotel, spend time with a traditional Sangoma healer and learn about Xhosa beliefs, which would have influenced Mandela during his life. Return to Morgan Bay Hotel for sundowners on the cliffs.

Overnight: Morgan Bay Hotel

Day 4 - The Crucible - Where the struggle for freedom began
This morning you will be depart for the Eastern Cape battlefields via Sutterheim, a Germanic colonial village, surrounded by mountains and indigenous forest. You will stop for breakfast at Eagles Ridge Hotel. Visit St Matthews Mission (learn about the role of the missionaries in Mandela's life and in the history of the Xhosa people. You will be driven down the valley in your 4 x 4 vehicle before enjoying a delightful picnic at Hogsback, which is 2,000 metres high. The afternoon will be spent on a guided tour of the Thumie Valley battlefields before continuing to Fort Beaufort (Fort Hare was Mandela's alma mater). In the evening you will be driven to Cavers Country guest house, a colonial farm renowned for its spectacular gardens and delicious food.

Overnight: Cavers Country Guest House

Day 5 - The collective memory; the Africa of our dreams
This morning you will be driven to Samara Game Reserve via Bedford, where you will learn about the life works of Sir Andries Stockenstrom, an influential military and political figure at the time. You will also stop for tea at Somerset House in Somerset East before continuing to Samara.

Few private game reserves boast the same extensive list of wildlife as Samara does whilst advocating an equally outstanding conservation scheme. The owners, Mark and Sarah Tompkins are passionate about maintaining this awesome expanse of land as well as the endangered species that live here, such as the Cape Mountain Zebra and South Africa's national bird, the Blue Crane. Karoo Lodge has spectacular views over the Karoo enjoyed from vast verandas. Rooms are elegantly appointed and are perfectly suited for those seeking privacy, romance and authentic charm.

Overnight: Samara Private Game Reserve

Day 6 - Samara Private Game Reserve
Today you will spend time exploring Samara, renowned for its breath-taking landscapes and spectacular scenery. Enjoy two daily game drives with the opportunity to walk & stalk with Cheetah.

Overnight: Samara Private Game Reserve

Day 7 - Depart Samara Private Game Reserve
Early morning game drive from Samara Private Game Reserve, return for brunch. Transfer to Port Elizabeth Airport, where you will depart on your flight to Johannesburg or other destination.





From £2,588 / $4,335 per person based on two people sharing a room on a group departure (8 guests). Single room supplement: £588 / $985 per person. 

From £2,907 / $4,870 per person based on two sharing on independent tour arrangements. Single room supplement: £588 / $985 per person.

The above example prices are subject to availability and exclude international flights.

Please contact our Africa specialist, Chris Evans, for further details on South Africa vacations on +44 (0)1242 787806

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