24 March 2014

Tourism minister launches 'Madiba’s Journey' travel map

Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk recently launched ‘Madiba’s Journey’, a travel map of Nelson Mandela-inspired tourist attractions that encourages tourists to walk in the former president’s footsteps.

Nelson Mandela Nelson Mandela

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. – Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk

Developed by South African Tourism (SAT) in partnership with the Nelson Mandela Foundation, the map highlights tourist sites as well as general places of interest in the four provinces where Madiba’s life was defined.

These include the Eastern Cape, where Mandela 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 then freed.

Since Mandela’s release from prison in February 1990, a number of world-class museums, monuments and precincts have been developed to bring his story to life and to cater for the demand to better understand South Africa’s history.

The map includes many well-known attractions, such as Robben Island – a UNESCO World Heritage Site where Mandela was imprisoned; Mandela’s house on Vilakazi Street in Soweto; Soweto’s Kliptown Open Air Museum, which is where the Freedom Charter was adopted in 1955; and the Nelson Mandela Youth and Heritage Centre in Qunu – Mandela’s childhood home and where he was buried.

Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk launched the map at the Drakenstein Correctional Centre (formerly Victor Verster Prison) in Cape Town – the last place Mandela was held captive before being freed on 11 February 1990.

‘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.

He added that Mandela’s passing in December 2013 had sparked a global outpouring of grief, with most places associated with his life’s journey teeming with visitors who dedicated private notes and flowers as tokens of respect and remembrance.

‘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. Since 1994, visitors from all corners of the globe have come to South Africa to seek out the places that shaped his remarkable life,’ he said.

The map has been made available to trade partners in South Africa and around the world to make it as easy as possible to package Madiba-inspired itineraries. It is also available online here and features 27 attractions, complete with information about the attraction, its website address and GPS coordinates.