Freedom Day is a historical day in the South African calendar, therefore it is only fitting that one visit some of the country’s historical places. Here are our top 5 spots.
Where: Boat leave for Robben Island at the V&A Waterfront.
Price: R320 per adult, R180 per a child.
Contact: 021 413 4200.
Robben Island is quite popular for tourists, but how many South Africans have actually been to the island? I visited the island in December and what a history lesson it was. Robben Island is located in Table Bay, some 6km west of Bloubergstrand, and stands around 30m above sea level. Robben Island has been used as prison and a place where people were isolated, banished and exiled to for nearly 400 years. It was also used as a post office, a grazing ground, a mental hospital and an outpost. Former president Nelson Mandela was imprisoned at Robben Island. Unesco declared Robben Island a World Heritage Site in 1999.
Soweto- Vilakazi Street
Where:Vilakazi St, Orlando West, Soweto
There is so much to do in Soweto and a visit to the township is not complete without a tour of the famous Vilakazi Street. Undoubtedly one of the famous streets in Johannesburg, Vilakazi Street was home to Nobel Prize winners Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. The street was named after BW Vilakazi, who was a poet and novelist. Make sure you visit the Mandela House Museum and the Hector Peterson Memorial that is situated on the corner of Moema and Vilakazi Streets.
Where: Northern Park Way and Gold Reef Rd, Johannesburg, 2001
Price: Normal price is R85pp
Contact: 011 309 4700
The Apartheid Museum has everything you may need to know about the Apartheid system. Not only would a visit allow you to appreciate a democratic country, but shows the rise and fall of the system that plagued many South Africans. It was opened in 2001 and is now considered the pre-eminent museum in the world dealing with 20th century South Africa. A series of 22 individual exhibition areas takes visitors on a journey that shows racial discrimination and the struggle faced to overthrow the government.
Price: From R30-R70.
Contact: 082 801 0551
The KwaZulu-Natal battlefield route comprises of 82 battlefields, museums, old fortifications and places of remembrance. Some of the must see battlefields include the Blood River battlefield, off R33 between Dundee and Vryheid and Isandlwana, off R68 between Nqutu and Babanango.Many of the battlefields are close to game parks, mountains of the uKhahlamba/Drakensberg Heritage Park as well as Zulu Culture and Heritage sites.
Nelson Mandela Capture site
Where:Mandela Capture Site, R103, Howick, 3290
Price: Free, works on a donation
Contact: 033 330 8195
This site commemorates the August 5 1962 incident where Nelson Mandela was arrested by police at the site. Nelson Mandela Capture Site was just a small bricked area with a plaque, but a steel structure consisting of poles creating a Mandela image and visitor’s centre was launched in 2012 to mark the 50th anniversary. The 35 metre sculpture was designed by artist Marco Cianfanelli.