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Behind the Scenes in Mandela’s Life

Johannesburg, Shambala Game Reserve, Cape Town

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This example itinerary

from £5,500 $7,500 pp

9 days

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  • In 2020, mark the 30th anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s release from prison with a unique insight into his life
  • Join his former prison guard and friend Christo Brand for dinner, learning personal stories
  • See South Africa in a different light, learning about its history and culture
  • Stay in Nelson Mandela’s room on safari, and enjoy game drives to see the Big Five
  • Visit the prison Robben Island with an exclusive tour with Christo Brand

This example itinerary

from £5,500 $7,500 pp

9 days

Speak to Christabelle

+44 (0)203 137 1247

+1 (0)800 635 8124

What’s Included

  • 3 nights fully inclusive on safari
  • 5 nights Bed & Breakfast
  • Dinner with Christo Brand
  • Day trip to Robben Island and private guiding with Christo Brand
  • All private guiding throughout
  • Game drives, walking safari, bush picnic, sundowner cruise on safari
  • International Economy class flights
  • All private domestic transfers

Example Itinerary

Day 1-3


  • Stay in the home that Mandela took refuge in when he was released from prison
  • Listen as Johannesburg comes to life as you tour the city with a legendary storyteller

Joburg is where Mandela found his feet as an anti-apartheid activist, and houses many important sites from his fight for equality.

Arrive into Johannesburg, where you will be staying at the Saxon Hotel. Before its conversion into a boutique hotel, this was the former home of billionaire businessman Douw Steyn, and is where Mandela stayed when he was released from prison. It is speculated that Mandela wrote much of Long Walk to Freedom whilst staying here with his friend Steyn. During your stay, you will spend a day with a legendary storytelling guide Robin Binckes, discovering: Mandela’s first home in Alexandra; the farm in Lilliesleaf where he plotted to overthrow the government; and the home in which he spent his final days in Soweto.

Day 3-6


lion savannah
  • Experience the tranquillity of the reserve that Mandela used to escape to when he needed to work
  • Stay in Madiba’s own suite where he used to entertain foreign ministers, built especially for him

Shambala became a bush haven where Mandela could work on his anti-apartheid work in complete peace.

You will be driven up to the Limpopo Province, where you will have the chance to stay in Mandela’s bedroom in the Nelson Mandela Centre for Reconciliation. His close friend Steyn built this retreat to allow Mandela to work towards reconciliation without interruption. This malaria-free reserve offers the best of Big Five safari and spectacular landscapes. Enjoy wildlife-watching out on a bush picnic to the soundtrack of bird calls, or see the wildlife on a game drive to spot all of the Big Five. Mandela adored Shambala, and in his older age used to spend a lot of his time here entertaining visitors.

Day 6-9

CAPE TOWN, South Africa

  • Discover Robben Island privately from the perspective of Mandela’s prison guard
  • Wake up to uninterrupted views out to Robben Island and the South Atlantic Ocean

Mandela left a lasting legacy on Cape Town, with plenty of anti-apartheid history to explore.

Transfer back to Johannesburg to catch a flight down to Cape Town and stay at Ellerman House. Undoubtedly Cape Town’s most indulgent hotel perched above Bantry Bay, enjoy clear views out to Robben Island from your terrace. Once here, you will enjoy a full day of private guiding around the Mother City, focusing on important sites associated with the history of apartheid, such as Pollsmoor Prison. Meet with Christo Brand – Mandela’s white Afrikaans prison guard who formed an unlikely friendship with the black, Xhosa speaking prisoner – for a private dinner for a unique insight into his life. Head across to Robben Island the next day with Christo for a personal tour of the prison centred around his experience with the island’s most famous prisoner.

Missy & Harry

Absolutely amazing holiday. Garonga is heaven! We did everything possible and our guide was brilliant and hilarious. I can definitely recommend True Travel for their excellent advice and professionalism – they clearly are very knowledgeable about where they send their clients and made sure we had a worry-free holiday that perfectly suited us. We were particular grateful for the collection off our flight and help onto our transfer in Johannesburg, which included a very nifty queue jump due to their reputation!

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