Price range, per nightmin R max R
*All distances listed are as the crow flies, and not actual travel distances.
Typical of the red brick matchbox houses built by the apartheid government in the 1940s and 1950s to provide the most basic of housing to black citizens, Mandela House in Soweto is the site of Nelson Mandela’s first house purchase made in 1946 and where he stayed with his first wife for 11 years. He was to divorce her and remain in the house with his new bride Winnie Madikizela before being arrested for treason in 1962.
At the time of Nelson Mandela occupying the house, it consisted of three rooms, a narrow kitchen and bucket toilet outside, and was one of many such houses along a dusty Vilakazi street. After his release, Nelson Mandela returned to the house for a brief period, in what he referred to in his memoirs as ‘the place marked with an X in my mental geography’. He donated the home to the Soweto Heritage Trust which has since been restored and a visitor centre added, however, the old bullet holes and scorch marks from hurled petrol bombs still scar the exterior.
Inside are various personal items belonging to the Mandela family and tour guides are on hand to better explain the exhibits on show. Merchandise is available for purchase, including Nelson Mandela’s autobiography titled Long Walk to Freedom.
The public is invited to become a member of the Friends of Mandela House to assist in its upkeep and fund raising. Members receive free lifetime access and are kept updated on any changes or events that occur at the museum.
Mandela House is open 9h00 to 17h00 daily.