Mandela Apartheid Route

South Africa’s Journey to Freedom

The Nelson Mandela – Road from struggle to freedom tour. Insight into South Africa’s racial segregation/Apartheid past.

Freedom struggle tour – Nelson Mandela to freedom.

Daily Private Tours, 7 days a week.

Tour covering Colonization to Apartheid to the first democratic election and inauguration of Nelson Mandela as South Africa first democratically elected President.

Journey to Freedom – Walk in the footsteps of Nelson Mandela through greater Johannesburg, Soweto and Pretoria.

1 day tour – 2 day tour – 3 day tour and extended 4 day option. Items listed are what are covered in the 4 day tour.

However if time is limited, we condensed some of the more important items into your time available.

Privately structured around your timing/requirements/interests.

To be able to structure a tour around your requirements and time available – we need to be supplied with clear timing and collection and drop off address – hotel name. If one of the points is the airport – I need full flight details. Once I have these it will be possible to quote/advise and structure a day or multi day package around your requirements/timing.

The Tour

Focusing in and around Johannesburg, with the effects to the whole of South Africa. An intriguing tour, covering South Africa’s journey through racial prejudice and segregation to freedom and the first democratic election with the inauguration of Nelson Mandela as South Africa first democratically elected President and the transition to a new democratic South Africa.

From the Cape colony development and colonization, early racial Segregation and Johannesburg’s labour hungry mines with the laws created to force laborers into working in Johannesburg’s mines.

Mass Action, started in South Africa by Mahatma Gandhi and used by the PAC, ANC, Nelson Mandela and other prominent anti Apartheid organizations.

Pursue the route through pre 1948 racially based legislation and post – 1948 Legislation after the Afrikaner Nationalist Party came to power and saw the commencement of legislated “grand” Apartheid.

Apartheid laws and policy of separate development.

Racial classification with its categorizing of people in different groups and segregation becoming more extreme and harmful to the “non-White” population. The reinforcing of political, economic and social supremacy of White South Africa. Tour covers the places, people and pain involved in the freedom struggle filled with tales of courage and despair. An insight into racial segregation experienced by “non white” South Africans.

Cheep labour, restrictive laws, domestic workers and Influx control. Share the journey of those struggle heroes and apartheid laws that affected every area of life in a racially divided South Africa. Follow in the footsteps on the path to democracy, in and around Johannesburg, of some of the important struggle heroes, including that of Nelson Mandela and Oliver Tambo. And the ultimate sacrifice by many South Africans during the struggle to bring Democracy to South Africa.

Nelson Mandela’s experiences in Johannesburg and other apartheid activists who played important roles.

Obtain an understanding of the system of apartheid in the area (Johannesburg to Pretoria). Segregated cities where Apartheid grew from and was administrated from. See areas that the people were forcibly removed under rigorous eviction policies, enforced through separate residential development.

Nelson Mandela wrote: “Apartheid……represented the codification in one oppressive system of all the laws and regulations that kept Africans in an inferior position to whites for centuries…The often haphazard segregation of the past three hundred years was to be consolidated into a monolithic system that was diabolical in its detail, inescapable in its reach and overwhelming in its power.” (D Mason, 2003).

Apartheid laws included Separate Amenities – Whites only doors/facilities – Whites only bus – Whites only drinking fountain – Whites only beach

Some of the prominent people covered on the tour

  • H. F. Verwoerd
  • B. J. Vorster
  • P. W. Botha
  • F. W. de Klerk
  • D. F. Malan
  • Helen Joseph
  • Ruth First
  • Winnie Madikizela Mandela
  • Helen Suzman
  • Nelson Mandela
  • Walter Sisulu
  • Oliver Tambo
  • Govan Mbeki
  • Ahmed Kathrada
  • Joe Slovo
  • Trevor Huddleston
  • Hector Pieterson
  • Eugène Terre’Blanche
  • Mangosuthu Buthelezi
  • Chris Hani
  • Steve Biko
  • Robert Sobukwe
  • Bram Fischer
  • Desmond Tutu
  • Chief Albert Luthuli
  • Raymond Mhlaba
  • Lionel Bernstein
  • Bob Hepple

Strikes, demonstrations and non-cooperation with the government to achieve a non-racial democracy.

Significant Apartheid related events covered on tour

Apartheid legislation/Acts: Prohibition of Mixed Marriages – Immorality Act – The Population Registration Act – Group Areas Act Native laws

Separate Amenities – Suppression of Communism – Native Lands Trust Act – Bantu Prohibition of Interdicts – Natives Urban Areas.

The Rivonia Trial – Treason trial and the Freedom Charter.

“Bantu” Education – resulting in the June 16th 1976 student uprising in Soweto and spreading to all of South Africa.

Pass laws – the requirement that a black person would carry, at all times, a pass book, or face being arrested if you did not have a pass.

Forced removals – relocation of “Non-White” South Africans to locations outside of cities.

Forced removals – Pass books – Apartheid life in the townships – Operation Mayibuye – Guerrilla warfare – Black and White resistance to Apartheid

Rent Boycotts – Anti-pass Campaigns and marches – Defiance Campaigns – Civil disobedience campaigns.

Solitary confinement – anti-apartheid movements abroad – sport boycotts – Apartheid resistance

Apartheid government monopoly on brewing and distribution of African beer.

Anti Apartheid campaigns: Including Defiance Campaign and Bus Boycotts.

Truth and Reconciliation Commission – TRC – finding a way for South Africa to move forward – without civil war.

Afrikaner nationalism – Building of Afrikaner nationalism – White Supremacy: Political, economic and social supremacy of White South Africa. Apartheid ensured that White supremacy was systematic.

Jewish connections to Johannesburg and the rise and fall of Apartheid.

Contributions made by Jews to establishment of Johannesburg/Witwatersrand – Randlords – Industrialists – early diamond and gold wealth,

Randlords, Industrialists include: Sammy Marks, Barney Barnato, Isaac Lewis, Alfred Beit and George Albu.

Politically active: Joe Slovo, Ruth First, Helen Suzman, Dennis Goldberg, James Kantor, Goldreich’s and Bernstein’s.

Places visited/covered – 4 day tour – Can condense to cover some or most important items:


City built on profits of gold and foundations of Apartheid were laid in Johannesburg. Last home to Nelson Mandela and in the years between late 1940’s and the early 1960’s.

Nelson Mandela and Oliver Tambo law office – Chancellor House, with the sign “Mandela & Tambo Attorneys”. First black-owned law firm in South Africa. Nelson Mandela and Oliver Tambo’s law practice ran in Johannesburg for eight years.

Johannesburg magistrate court and the Southern Gauteng high court.

Apartheid Museum: White privilege, black suppression through to Nelson Mandela’s release. The Apartheid Museum is a multimedia experience, depicting life during the Apartheid years in South Africa. More on the Apartheid Museum.

Constitution Hill/Constitution Court/Old fort complex. From a fort to a prison with its earliest inmate – Mahatma Gandhi to Nelson Mandela and now South Africa’s highest court, protector of the most advance constitution in the world. More on Constitution Hill:

Nelson Mandela Bridge – representative of bridging role Nelson Mandela played in uniting all South Africans, across the apartheid divide.

Johannesburg non European affairs department (Pass office). “Pass Laws” required the “black” population to carry passes. A system originated in 1760 in the Cape Colony to regulate the movement of slaves.

John Vorster Square: Now Johannesburg Central Police Station. Police interrogation and deaths while in police custody at the Johannesburg police station.

Drill Hall: First sessions of the infamous 1956 treason trial in which 156 anti-apartheid activists, including Nelson Mandela and Oliver Tambo were charged with high treason.

Rivonia/Sandton – “White flight” with the resultant vacuum created in the Johannesburg city centre, leading to Sandton becoming the richest area in Africa.

Liliesleaf – “safe house” in early 1960’s for the anti Apartheid liberation struggle and headquarters of Umkhonto we Sizwe, the military wing of the ANC. South African apartheid security police arrested the anti Apartheid struggle members at this site. This led to the “Rivonia Trial”, resulting in Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Govan Mbeki, Raymond Mhlaba, Ahmed Kathrada, Elias Motsoaledi, Andrew Mlangeni and Dennis Goldberg being sentenced to life imprisonment on Robin Island (not Dennis Goldberg – he was sent to Pretoria central prison). More on Liliesleaf:

Sophiatown: Culturally mixed and vibrant culture destroyed by bulldozers in the name of the apartheid group areas act and recalled Triomf by the apartheid state to become a white’s only community. Trevor Huddleston memorial centre/St Joseph’s children’s home. Dr Alfred Bitini Xuma house (President ANC – 1939 to 1949). Nelson Mandela and Walter Sisulu as then leaders of ANC Youth League – met with Xuma at his home to discuss the League’s proposed charter including moving away from the non violent opposition to Apartheid. Leading to the establishment of MK (Umkhonto we Sizwe).

Fietas/Pageview/Vrededorp and the “Coolie Location”: Multi-cultural community settled by people classified as Indian, coloured, Malay, African, Chinese and white Afrikaner’s. Community forcibly removed and the area destroyed in the name of the group areas act.

Yeoville: Working class suburb and child hood home of Joe Slovo, key strategist in the anti apartheid movement. Early residents included Emily Hobhouse and Ronnie Kasrils.


Soweto: Extensive township of Soweto (South Western Township).

A product of forced removals – the earliest dating to 1904 and the most influential township with regard to the anti apartheid struggle. The full might of the Apartheid force was felt in the townships and equally the main struggle against Apartheid occurred in the townships of South Africa.

Vilakazi Street: Previously home to 2 Nobel peace prize winners – Nelson Mandela & Bishop Desmond Tutu.

Nelson Mandela Family home and museum: Nelson Mandela’s home though 2 marriages and 17 years before being sent to Robin Island for life.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s Home. Home of the first black South African Archbishop.

Hector Pieterson Museum/Memorial: Bantu education and the inevitable rejection of the students of Soweto (and South Africa) to the system of “Bantu” black education and its stark differences to the white system of education. Remembering the students that gave their lives in the liberation struggle. The contribution that the photo of mortally wounded Hector Pieterson played in the world in the years that followed. Iconic memorial to all who died in the struggle against Apartheid.

Chris Hani Baragwaneth Hospital. Largest medical facility in Africa. Military hospital becoming a “black only” hospital during the Apartheid years.

Orlando power station and Cooling Towers. Coal powered power station, construction started in 1935 to cope with rising demand for electricity in Johannesburg. Little of this however being supplied to Soweto.

Regina Mundi Church: Became known by the people of Soweto as the people’s parliament during the apartheid years. Site of many underground meetings of student organizations and banned political parties.

Kliptown – Freedom square – Walter Sisulu Square of dedication – Freedom Charter memorial. Congress of the People. The drawing up of the people’s bill of rights – freedom charter and the fear created within the apartheid government with the resultant clampdown and the charging of 156 people of treason, including Nelson Mandela and Oliver Tambo.

Soweto’s Avalon cemetery: Largest cemetery in South Africa – over 400 000 graves, including many anti apartheid figures buried side by side including Hector Pieterson and two prominent white anti apartheid figures, Joe Slovo and Helen Joseph.

Hostels: Dormitory type, ethnically segregated single-sex Soweto hostels for migrant workers.

Bara Taxi rank: The largest taxi rank in South Africa. Taxi system coming about during Apartheid.

Johannesburg/Gauteng’s mining reef/belt – the wealth that drove Apartheid.


Pretoria: South Africa‘s administrative capital

Regarded by black South Africans as the capital of Apartheid.

Union Buildings: Offices of Apartheid Presidents, thus becoming the focus of many protests during the struggle for freedom. Union Buildings saw the inauguration of South Africa’s first democratically elected President, Nelson Mandela.

Church Square – High Court: Palace of Justice, served as venue for many Apartheid related trails, having a significant bearing on the events in South Africa during the struggle years, including the trail of Nelson Mandela.

Pretoria Synagogue: Converted to the High Court where numerous high profile hearings and court cases, involving amongst others Nelson Mandela and Oliver Tambo.

Freedom Park: Memorial park symbolic of the struggle South Africa faced. Serves as an inspiration for the future and a space to reflect on South Africa’s past. It also serves as an inspiration for the future

Voortrekker Monument: Memorial commemorating the “Great Trek” and the symbol of Afrikaner nationalism.

Vereeniging / Vanderbijlpark / Sharpeville

80 kilometers South of Johannesburg: Sharpe “Native” Township – to become Sharpeville Township.

1960 Sharpeville massacre – Pan African Congress (PAC) pass law protest led by Robert Sobukwe. Sharpeville Memorial/Sharpeville Police Station/Sharpeville.

Also visit either en-route or while in Vereeniging: Boer Peace Monument in Vereeniging, Boer War Witkop Blockhouse and Oprah Winfrey School

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Ekala Family & Guides

Full or Half Day Tours

personalised historic, cultural or custom Tours.

Personised Historic Tours

including Johannesburg, Pretoria, Soweto, Gold, Diamond, Gauteng Aviation and Military History.

Wildlife Safari's & Tours

Eco wildlife including Pilanesberg, Kruger National and Hluhluwe - Umfolozi Game Park.

Personised Cultural Tours

including Johannesburg, Pretoria, Soweto, Alexandra Township and local Cultural Villages.

Private Transfers

including Sandton to O.R. Tambo Airport, Pretoria and Johannesburg Park Station Transfers.