Mandela Apartheid Route

South Africa’s Journey to Freedom tour

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

Freedom struggle tour – Nelson Mandela road to freedom.

Private collection and drop off – supplied as a fully guided professional tour covering en-route as may be possible from collection to drop off. As a result, not simply a point to point transfer with a driver.

Tour covering Colonization to Apartheid to 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 condense 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.

This is NOT a museum to museum tour

Large parts of Johannesburg (and Pretoria if time) are covered. Covering areas of importance to Nelson Mandela as a young man in Johannesburg, becoming an activist in Johannesburg and returning to Johannesburg after being released. All through to his final years in Johannesburg. Far more important than simply visiting a prison. Experience the balance of the life of Nelson Mandela, specifically the years before Robben Island, becoming a lawyer and as an opponent of the racial laws and system. Also covering the struggle against Apartheid in general and the people involved.

The Tour

Focusing in and around Johannesburg (including Soweto) and Pretoria 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 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 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 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.

Cheap 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 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.

Get an understanding of the system of apartheid in the area (Johannesburg to Pretoria). Segregated cities where Apartheid grew from and was administered 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

Apartheid Presidents: D. F. Malan + H. F. Verwoerd + B. J. Vorster + P. W. Botha +F. W. de Klerk

A.N.C. Leaders/members/activists: Nelson Mandela + Walter Sisulu + Oliver Tambo + Winnie Madikizela Mandela + Dennis Goldberg + Chief Albert Luthuli

South African Communist party members/activists: Ahmed Kathrada + Joe Slovo + Govan Mbeki + Chris Hani + Bram Fischer + Ruth First + Raymond Mhlaba + Lionel Bernstein

Other important names in the Struggle against Apartheid:

Desmond Tutu + Helen Joseph + Mangosuthu Buthelezi + Helen Suzman + Trevor Huddleston + Robert Sobukwe + Steve Biko + Hector Pieterson

Strikes, demonstrations and non-cooperation with the government to achieve 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 – Passbooks – 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 and Bernstein’s.

Perfect tour options to include with Freedom Route Tour to create a full day/multi day historical/cultural tour:

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 years between late 1940’s and early 1960’s.

Nelson Mandela and Oliver Tambo law office – Chancellor House, with 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 fort to prison with its earliest inmate – Mahatma Gandhi to Nelson Mandela and now South Africa’s highest court, protector of most advance constitution in the world. More on Constitution Hill:

Chancellor House: Law firm set up by Nelson Mandela and Oliver Tambo. Directly across from the busiest court in South Africa – the Johannesburg Magistrate court.

Office of Witkin, Sidelsky and Eidelman – Young Mandela as an articled clerk and his introduction to the South African Communist Party.

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 symbol of Apartheid. 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. Very interesting recent developments in deaths that took place here during Apartheid.

Drill Hall: First sessions of the infamous 1956 treason trial in which 156 anti-apartheid activists, including Nelson Mandela and Oliver Tambo, 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 Robben Island (not Dennis Goldberg – sent to Pretoria central prison as he is white). 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 whites 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).

Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory: Including Nelson Mandela’s office after retiring as President.

Bantu Men’s Social Centre: Saw the launching of the ANC youth league.

Kholvad House: Ahmed Kathrada’s apartment that became the law office of Nelson mandela.

Fietas/Pageview/Vrededorp and the “Coolie Location”: Multicultural 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 group areas act.

Yeoville: Working class suburb and childhood 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. 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 Robben 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 Baragwanath 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 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.

Walter and Albertina family home: Nelson Mandela’s home away from home in Soweto.

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

Johannesburg/Gauteng 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. Also serves as an inspiration for the future.

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

Gallows and death row: Pretoria central Prison. Only site in South Africa where the death penalty was carried out and frequently used by the Apartheid system. Now open as a museum.

Vereeniging / Vanderbijlpark / Sharpeville

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

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

Constitution Square, Vereeniging: Celebrates South Africa’s democracy and place of the signing of South Africa’s Constitution by Nelson Mandela.

Nangalembe Memorial – Vereeniging Constitution Square.

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

Ekala Family & Guides

We pride ourselves on our extensive knowledge of South Africa’s history, culture and wildlife.

With our vast experience and expertise, we will, above all, ensure you leave full of memories.

Ekala will additionally endeavor to personalise your tour according to individual time as well as requirements.

Furthermore Ekala personally conducts and organise all our tours and safaris as highly experience and professional guides.

Consequently you get an enhanced understanding of South Africa’s wildlife, history and diverse cultures.

Follow in Nelson Mandela footsteps:

Robben Island – indeed, you can visit his prison cell.

However – Johannesburg/Pretoria:

Nelson Mandela came to Johannesburg as a young man.

Additionally became an activist in Johannesburg

Entire focus of his defiance campaign – Johannesburg.

Then became a lawyer in Johannesburg.

Consequently ran his law firm (and that of Oliver Tambo) in Johannesburg.

Moreover all time spent in prison before and in addition to the Rivonia trail – in Johannesburg and Pretoria.

Furthermore, after Release:

Returned to Johannesburg.

Inaugurated as President in Pretoria.

Hence, while President – office in Pretoria.

While President – main residence in Pretoria.

Further, after retiring (as president) still had an office – in Johannesburg.

Actually still today – his office – now the Nelson Mandela center of memory - in Johannesburg.

Furthermore, spent the last 23 years of his life in Johannesburg (apart from a limited amount of time in Qunu).

Hospital while ill – Pretoria.

Passed away in Johannesburg.

Accordingly if you wish to WALK  in the footsteps of the Great Man and to truly experience his life, it needs to be in Johannesburg and Pretoria.

Enjoying and respecting South Africa’s national assets – wildlife, environment and the people.

An Historical/Cultural tour and Safari to remember for the right reason


No prices on our website due to the unique, individual and specialised requirements for each tour we supply.

Ekala structure our tours/safari's around our client’s individual requirements.

If time is limited:

We indeed structure the tour from arrival to departure – including airport collection and drop off.

Accordingly using all time available as a fully guided professional tour.

In contrast, not simply a point to point mixed group drive around.

As a result, tour quote based on your specific requirements.