Choose your country and language:

Africa

  • Global
  • Angola
  • Botswana
  • DRC
  • Ethiopia
  • Ghana
  • Kenya
  • Malawi
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Nigeria
  • South Africa
  • Tanzania
  • Uganda
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

Americas

  • USA
  • Argentina
  • Brazil

Asia Pacific

  • China
  • India
  • Japan
  • South Korea
  • Australia

Europe

  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Netherlands
  • United Kingdom
Back

WWhile the Trans-Atlantic slave trade saw millions of enslaved Africans heading to the Americas, a lesser-known slave port was developing rapidly in the southernmost tip of Africa between 1653 and 1856.

This comes after the Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie (VOC) or Dutch East India Company established a maritime halfway-house at the Cape in 1652 for Europeans ships en route to Asia. Subsequently, the expanding colony called for cheap and subservient labour.

As a result, thousands of slaves coming from India, Indonesia, East Africa, Mauritius and Madagascar were captured by the VOC, and taken to the Cape of Good Hope – where they were either sold to colonial homes and farmers or worse, retained by the trading company.

Did You Know?
BBuilt in 1679, the Slave Lodge is the second oldest building in South Africa.

TThe year is 1679. The VOC has been ‘hard at work’ trying to build a new place for its captured slaves next to an already existing one near the Company Gardens in the centre of Cape Town. No windows - only barred slats in the walls - as well as leaking roofs to cause perpetual dampness, poor air circulation and a permanent stench in the building.

TThe year is 2018. The Slave Lodge is no more. It operated until 1811 when it was transformed into government offices by the British colonial authorities. Later, it served as a Supreme Court. But the memory of the slaves is kept alive in the very same building.

The walls tell a gripping story about the horrors of an estimated 7000 – 9000 men, women and children who suffered a gross human injustice over a period of 132 years at the hands of slave masters. The building represents a living memorial.

It addresses the legacy of slavery in our country as well as topical issues such as freedom, identity, human rights, reparations, racial discrimination and cultural change. It’s now a place that seeks to educate, enlighten and inform its visitors about South Africa’s rich history.

It’s called the Iziko Slave Lodge Museum.

Past exhibitions at Iziko include; The Struggle Against Separate Schooling in America, African Slaves in Brazil, a photographic collection highlighting the role of women in the struggle against Apartheid as well as a poignant exhibition paying homage to struggle stalwart Nelson Mandela.

Mandela: Leader, comrade, negotiator, prisoner, statesman. The Iziko Slave Lodge unveiled an exhibition celebrating the life of Nelson Mandela on 11 February 2010 to mark 20 years since his release from prison.

Titled, Mandela: Leader, comrade, negotiator, prisoner, statesman, the year-long exhibition made use of visual wall displays and films to tell a story of Madiba’s life in thematic sections; character, comrade, leader, prisoner, negotiator and statesman.

The public display traced how Mandela built a new nation from the fragments of conflict, making full use of the ‘weapons’ at his disposal: love, persuasion, forgiveness and acute political acumen – with a fair amount of self-deprecating humour thrown in for good measure.

More than just a static public display, the Iziko Slave Lodge is an experience of South Africa’s past, present and future.

Iziko Slave Lodge

Food
When to visit
How to get here
Who to contact
Best time to visit
What does it cost

Related articles

Vibrant culture

A most representative collection of KwaZulu-Natal heritage

Vibrant culture
A most representative collection of KwaZulu-Natal heritage

A most representative collection of KwaZulu - Natal heritage.

Vibrant culture

Top 10 historical sites in the Western Cape - a rich heritage

Vibrant culture
Top 10 historical sites in the Western Cape - a rich heritage

The Western Cape was the first place that Europeans settled in the country, in 1652 when Jan van Riebeeck’s three vessels landed at the Cape. As employees of the Dutch East India Company, they had come to establish a halfway station for ships travelling to and from the East. Their influence is evident in the buildings, some of which are 350 years old, and culture of the Western Cape.

Vibrant culture

South Africa’s top 10 cultural villages

Vibrant culture
South Africa’s top 10 cultural villages

Experience music, dance and food from across the country, as well as Tsonga crafts and Zulu beer-brewing; and don’t forget the magical clicking language of the San people.

Vibrant culture

The Taung Heritage Route - explore the origins of humankind

Vibrant culture
The Taung Heritage Route - explore the origins of humankind

Go on a fascinating journey of discovery when you follow in the prehistoric footsteps of our hominid forefathers, to get a rare glimpse into our distant past in the region that early humans once called home.

Vibrant culture

Grahamstown - a town of artistic and academic expression

Vibrant culture
Grahamstown - a town of artistic and academic expression

Explore galleries and museums, and then relax at one of the restaurants and pubs set in the wide, tree-lined streets before setting off to enjoy one of the many plays on offer at the world-renowned National Arts Festival.

Vibrant culture

Music of South Africa - discover the rhythmic heartbeat

Vibrant culture
Music of South Africa - discover the rhythmic heartbeat

The music culture in South Africa is made up of diverse genres, from jazz, hip hop, kwaito and gospel to pop and alternative rock.

Vibrant culture

Zululand - where nature and ancient culture abound

Vibrant culture
Zululand - where nature and ancient culture abound

The Zululand area, in South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal province, is rooted in the legacy of the great Zulu nation, and the area provides ample opportunity to explore the fascinating rich history of this proud nation

Vibrant culture

Ceremonies and traditions - food of South Africa

Vibrant culture
Ceremonies and traditions - food of South Africa

We really love eating, so join us at the table and tuck in.

Vibrant culture

11 South African drinks you’ll definitely love

Vibrant culture
11 South African drinks you’ll definitely love

From soft red tea leaves and fermented milk to home-made beers and pub-favoured shooters, these are some of South Africa’s finest drinks.

Vibrant culture

Shebeens – your uniquely South African local tavern experience

Vibrant culture
Shebeens – your uniquely South African local tavern experience

The first shebeens in South Africa were local bars and taverns where mostly working-class urban males could unwind, socialise, and escape the oppression of life during the Apartheid era.

Vibrant culture

Explore amazing organic wine farms and blankets of wildflowers

Vibrant culture
Explore amazing organic wine farms and blankets of wildflowers

Prepare to be enchanted by whitewashed fisherman’s cottages, seasonal wildflowers, seafood fresh from the sea, and wines with complexity and conscience.

Vibrant culture

The fascinating story behind the birth of gumboot dancing

Vibrant culture
The fascinating story behind the birth of gumboot dancing

Gumboot dancing was originally a means of communication amongst miners who were forbidden from talking to one another.

Vibrant culture

Victoria Street Market - a unique and colourful shopping stop

Vibrant culture
Victoria Street Market - a unique and colourful shopping stop

Linger longer as your senses take in the smells, sounds and tastes of different spices and incense or let your sight drink in the vibrant and colourful fabrics.

Vibrant culture

aha Shakaland Hotel & Zulu Cultural Village - the greatest Zulu experience in Africa

Vibrant culture
aha Shakaland Hotel & Zulu Cultural Village - the greatest Zulu experience in Africa

Shakaland is a cultural replication of a Zulu “Umuzi” or homestead, complete with 55 very comfortable beehive huts that overlook the Phobane Lake.

Vibrant culture

An enduring symbol of unity and overcoming adversity as a nation

Vibrant culture
An enduring symbol of unity and overcoming adversity as a nation

The South African flag is an enduring symbol of unity and overcoming adversity as a nation.

Vibrant culture

Art and science - The Cape Town Museum and Planetarium

Vibrant culture
Art and science - The Cape Town Museum and Planetarium

A walk up the beautiful Company’s Garden, at the top of Cape Town, takes you to the South African Museum.

Vibrant culture

Basotho traditional cuisine

Vibrant culture
Basotho traditional cuisine

Basotho traditional cuisine is all about think stews, salty porridges, dried veg, yoghurt and spicy seeds. The culture is rich, hearty and historical.

Vibrant culture

A commemoration of a bold life – The Luthuli Museum

Vibrant culture
A commemoration of a bold life – The Luthuli Museum

Albert Luthuli was the first African to receive a Nobel peace Prize. The Luthuli museum commemorates his life and achievements.

Vibrant culture

Pollsmoor Prison - ‘A tent of blue which prisoners call the sky’

Vibrant culture
Pollsmoor Prison - ‘A tent of blue which prisoners call the sky’

The Iziko Slave Lodge tells a story of slaves who were captured in South East Asia and brought to the Cape by the Dutch East India Company.

Vibrant culture

The Old Synagogue - from Jewish place of worship to historic courtroom

Vibrant culture
The Old Synagogue - from Jewish place of worship to historic courtroom

Paul Kruger Street Synagogue, the first synagogue to be constructed in Pretoria, was expropriated by the government in 1952 and converted into a special Supreme Court.

Vibrant culture

Nelson Mandela’s African journey

Vibrant culture
Nelson Mandela’s African journey

As he made his way through Tanzania for the first time since 1962, he arrived in the city of Mbeya. This was a cathartic moment for Mandela, marking the first time he had truly felt free. In Long Walk to Freedom, he wrote, “I then truly realised that I was in a country ruled by Africans. For the first time in my life, I was a free man … I felt the burden of oppression lifting from my shoulders … I was being judged for the first time not by the colour of my skin but by the measure of my mind and character.”

Vibrant culture

The Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory – the legacy lives on

Vibrant culture
The Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory – the legacy lives on

The Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory is committed to preserving the work of the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

Vibrant culture

Mandela Museum in Qunu and Mthatha

Vibrant culture
Mandela Museum in Qunu and Mthatha

Walking in the footsteps of a great man - a remarkable museum dedicated to Madiba

Copyright © 2018 South African Tourism
|Terms and conditions|Disclaimer|Privacy policy