The Satyagraha House, Orchards, Johannesburg
Did you know?
Gandhi lived in South Africa for 21 years, from 1893 to 1914. His experiences of racial prejudice in this country shaped his philosophy of Satyagraha or non-violent protest.
The Satyagraha House is a recent and charming addition to Johannesburg’s heritage scene, a peaceful and contemplative spot where you can immerse yourself in the spirit of the philosophies of the great Mohandas (also known as Mahatma) Gandhi. Satyagraha was the name given to the philosophy of passive resistance developed by Gandhi.
The house was built in 1907 by architect Hermann Kallenbach, who forged a friendship with Gandhi when he was developing his Satyagraha philosophy in South Africa. In Johannesburg, Gandhi shared the house with Kallenbach between 1908 and 1909. It has now been tastefully restored and cleverly integrated as a museum and guesthouse.
It may be over a century since the great Gandhi lived here, but his presence can still be felt in this Johannesburg historical landmark. His principles of asceticism remain evident in the minimalist decor and simplicity, all of which combine to create a haven for visitors to the city. There are tranquil spots both in the house and garden conducive to meditation, such as the mezzanine level which Gandhi once used as his bedroom. The guest rooms are decorated in neutral tones, there are no television sets and the restaurant serves only vegetarian meals. Should guests require it, staff will arrange for yoga and meditation classes.
Built in the style of an African kraal with rondavels and a thatched roof, the public spaces in this Gandhi monument double as an exhibition area, narrating this chapter of Gandhi’s South African period through simple wooden plaques, photographs, exhibition panels and cotton draperies. The knowledge that the great Gandhi once occupied this space is awe-inspiring.
There is no entrance fee to view the house.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Address: 15 Pine Rd, Orchards, Johannesburg
Tel: +27 (0)11 485 5928/2471
How to get here
The Satyagraha House is situated in Orchards, with easy access from Louis Botha Avenue.
Around the area
If you enjoy history, then you might want to visit Liliesleaf Farm in Rivonia, the last place former president Nelson Mandela lived before the Rivonia Trial.
Tours to do
While in Johannesburg, take a tour on the CitySightseeing Bus and get to know the city a little better.
What will it cost
There is no entrance fee to view the historical display. Room rates start from R2065 and go up to R5775. There are low-season and high-season rates so enquire before you make your booking.
Length of stay
You could happily spend a few nights at this tranquil retreat.
Where to stay
Stay overnight at the Satyagraha House which has a range of accommodation. You can also book out the whole house if you wish to.
What to eat
Vegetarian meals are available, but you must make arrangements for dinner in advance. The Satyagraha House is relatively close to Norwood, Melrose Arch and Sandton where you will find a host of restaurants.