Visit the former home of Nelson Mandela to find artifacts and memorabilia relating to the life of South Africa’s most famous public figure.
Mandela House presents the chance to delve into the interesting story of anti-apartheid activist and Noble Peace Prize winner Nelson Mandela. Find artifacts that highlight the life, work and struggles of one of South Africa’s most well-known figures. Mandela and his family lived at the house during the 1940s and 1950s and today it serves as a poignant reminder of the battle for democracy.
As you approach the house, look for the bullet holes and scorch marks that adorn the walls. They are the result of petrol bomb and arson attacks that occurred while Mandela was in prison. Step inside to find a humble home with four interconnecting rooms, which display original furniture and artifacts. Check out the house’s modest bedroom, barely large enough to accommodate a double bed.
See photos and paintings of Mandela’s early life, apartheid years and his period as the President of South Africa. Spot several original pairs of his old boots. Admire the displays of awards and honorary doctorates, presented to Mandela by various worldwide institutions. Don’t miss the world championship boxing belt donated by Sugar Ray Leonard.
Outside the house local vendors sell African handicrafts and Mandela memorabilia. On the opposite corner you’ll find a small restaurant owned by Mandela’s former wife, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. Sample a bunny chow, a curry-filled loaf of bread that originated in the South African city of Durban.
Situated in the Soweto district, Mandela House is a 25-minute drive from downtown Johannesburg. An easy way to get here is on the city’s hop-on hop-off tourist bus. Combine your visit with a tour of vibrant and friendly Soweto, South Africa’s most well-known township. Marvel at the contrast of opulent mansions and rows of basic houses. Visit heritage sites, such as the house of Desmond Tutu, or watch a soccer match or concert at the Soccer City stadium.
The house is open daily, except for selected public holidays. Free guided tours are available, for which advanced bookings are advisable. Find full tour details plus the complete opening hours and admission fees on the house’s official website.