Airbnb Experiences that let you walk in the footsteps of Mandela
Hello Joburgers, the whole country is busy gearing up to celebrate 100 years for the Father of our Nation, Nelson Mandela.
There are many events planned that will celebrate Mandela’s legacy around the county, but if you’re looking for a truly unique way to celebrate South Africa’s first democratically elected president, we’ve got exactly what you need!
These Airbnb Experiences across SA will allow you to walk in the footsteps of Mandela…
Read more on entertainment here.
Experience what it’s like to walk in Mandela’s footsteps
As we approach 100 years since legendary former South African leader Nelson Mandela was born, the country is inundated with Mandela Day activities and tributes to the great man’s life.
He may not be around any more, but his presence in South Africa is certainly felt. And there are many places you can visit to witness how his legacy lives on.
Airbnb Experiences recently launched in Johannesburg and already offers around 30 local Experiences on the platform. These are activities or excursions led by passionate local hosts, highlighting their interests and perspectives in unique places that many visitors might not otherwise know to visit. The site is also now open for Experience host submissions nationwide.
In what would have been Mandela’s centenary year, the below Airbnb Experiences enable you to walk in his footsteps.
“Home is home, even for those who aspire to serve wider interests and who have established their home of choice in distant regions.”
Explore Soweto with local Airbnb host and experienced tour guide, Ntsiki, who grew up in Soweto and loves to show hospitality through history and culture.
This tour begins with a visit to Vilakazi Street “to experience both the historical and current happenings of Soweto”. This street is famous for being the location of the homes of both Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Madiba’s home is now a museum, and Tutu can sometimes be seen strolling along the street when he’s in town.
You’ll also visit Winnie Madikizela Mandela’s home and the Hector Pieterson Museum, where you’ll learn about the Soweto student uprising that became a turning point in South African history. A taxi will transport you to “the deep side of the township” to view the older, historic parts of Soweto and, before you go home, you’ll enjoy some delicious local delicacies (including some of Mandela’s personal favourites). Throughout this tour, you’ll learn about the history of this fascinating area that was home to great leaders and Nobel Prize winners.
Read more on leisure activities here.
Where that iconic moment happened
“Today the majority of South Africans, black and white, recognise that apartheid has no future. It has to be ended by our own decisive mass action in order to build peace and security.”
Walking through Cape Town’s city centre, there is so much history around you. This walking tour takes you from the Central Methodist Mission Church in Cape Town’s Greenmarket Square (where the early policing system was founded) to the Castle (the oldest building in the city) via the Grand Parade and City Hall, where Mandela made his first public speech after being released from prison in 1990.
Born as a “person of colour”, your Airbnb Experience host Richard is a registered tour guide with first-hand experience of the brutality of apartheid. You’ll also visit the Company’s Garden and the Iziko Slave Lodge before ending your tour at St George’s Cathedral ‒ an active location during anti-apartheid protests.
“As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison.”
Nelson Mandela spent 18 of his 27 years in prison on Robben Island. To this day, visitors to Cape Town from all over the world take the ferry to the island to tour this prison and visit Mandela’s former cell. For additional perspective into Mandela’s time imprisoned on the island, this Airbnb Experience takes the traditional tour to a new level.
Long before he was an Airbnb Experience host, Jack was Mandela’s prison warden. He will be your personal tour guide on the island and share his memories of life as a white warden under apartheid. You’ll visit Mandela’s cell and the lime quarry where prisoners worked by day, as well as Jack’s former accommodation on the island. You’ll then share lunch in the prison before travelling to the prison “home” in Cape Town where Mandela spent his final 14 months in jail before he was released.
As a social impact experience, 100% of your payment for this tour will go to the Nelson Mandela Foundation. Around 30% of Experiences booked in South Africa are Social Impact Experiences that support different associations and NGOs.
Read more on our top 5 here.
How he trained
“After a strenuous workout, I felt both mentally and physically lighter. It was a way of losing myself in something that was not the Struggle. After an evening’s workout, I would wake up the next morning feeling strong and refreshed, ready to take up the fight again.”
Mandela loved boxing for fitness, and the science behind the sport. In his autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom, he describes how he was “intrigued by how one moved one’s body to protect oneself, how one used a strategy both to attack and retreat, how one paced oneself over a match”.
Taking a class with these “Boxing Grannies” will give you a glimpse into this sport and, as another social impact experience, benefits the A Team Foundation which helps promote fitness and bodybuilding in underserved areas.
You’ll spend a morning boxing with a gorgeous group of grannies. You’ll learn about the NGO’s work and be paired with a granny for one-on-one sparring. Be warned though, they are much tougher than they look. With some years of training behind them, DO be afraid of their upper cuts!
PS: Too busy to take time off this Mandela Day? Then why not purchase a virtual Santa Shoebox for a rural child? More details here.
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