SA Tourism and the Nelson Mandela Foundation have put together a map that encourages tourists to walk in former president Nelson Mandela’s footsteps by highlighting Madiba-inspired attractions.
Speaking at the launch, Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk said the passing of Mandela sparked a global outpouring of grief, adding that places associated with Mandela’s life teemed with visitors.
“To make it as easy as possible for people to personally experience Mandela’s story, we have developed the ‘Madiba-inspired tourist attractions’ map, which encapsulates the key points on his life’s journey,” said Van Schalkwyk.
The map highlights tourist sites as well as general places of interest in the four main provinces that defined Mandela’s life. The provinces are the Eastern Cape, where he was born, grew up and attended Fort Hare University; Gauteng, where he worked as a human-rights lawyer and became instrumental in South Africa’s political struggle; KwaZulu-Natal, where he was captured; and the Western Cape, where he was imprisoned and ultimately freed.
Attractions highlighted on the map include the UNESCO World Heritage Site Robben Island, where Mandela was imprisoned and Mandela’s house on Vilakazi Street in Soweto, which is famed for having two Nobel peace prize winners as residents - Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu. Lesser-known attractions include the Kliptown open-air museum in Soweto, which marks the spot where the Freedom Charter was adopted as well as the Nelson Mandela youth and heritage centre in Mandela’s childhood home, Qunu, where he was also buried.
“Mandela’s integrity and spirit of hope, reconciliation and love have touched the lives of millions of people. This year, we celebrate 20 years of democracy and freedom, and we look forward to welcoming many tourists from around the world to share the South African story and Mandela’s legacy with us,” said Van Schalkwyk.