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A picture of the red-bricked Mandela House in Soweto
Written by Preetha Manivelan on May 19, 2020 Share on

The Mandela House – What makes this red-bricked house, a Museum?

South Africa is one place everyone should visit at least once in their lifetime. Be it the amazing beaches, pleasant weather or the vast wildlife, South Africa has it all. Moreover, there are a lot of activities and attractions to include in your South Africa itinerary. If your idea is to have a historic attraction included in your plan, then make sure you add Soweto to your list. Soweto is one of the important locations of the struggle of the blacks against apartheid. This is where is located, The Mandela House on Vilakazi Street.

The Mandela House is one of the must-visit attractions in South Africa. It also is a leading centre for the preservation of the heritage of not only the Mandela family but also everyone who had risen against all adversities. It is basically a small red-bricked house with photos covering the walls inside the house. Here, you can get to know about Mandela’s entire journey of life, success and failures and how he fought for equality and mutual respect amongst the South Africans.

One of the views of The Mandela House, Soweto
Image Credits: Google Images

About the Mandela House

The main beauty of the house is how simple it was built. It is suggested to visit this during the weekdays if you do not like crowded places as Vilakazi street will be filled with tourists and school kids during weekends. Inside the house is four interconnected rooms. Whatever you find here will surely make you sense his energy and it has been preserved for so many years.


Dating back to 19th century, between the year 1930-1970, Soweto was where the South African blacks were separated by the whites, which is known as the Apartheid. And in the year 1976, they finally got rid of apartheid-era oppression and elected Nelson Mandela as the president of the multiracial election. On 1 September 1997, the house was donated by Mandela to preserve the legacy of the family and now its been run by Soweto Heritage Trust. On 16 March 1999, it was declared as a national monument.

Why is it worth visiting?

Mandela was one of the many amazing leaders the world has ever seen. Moreover, this house stands as a memory of how the whites discriminated the blacks in the county. It also lets one not forget how the blacks fought and finally won, following the footsteps of Mandela. When you visit the house, you will still be able to find the bullet holes on its walls and petrol bombs that were thrown at the house while he was imprisoned. You will find inside so many rewards and recognitions this man had received, photographs of his early life and as a president and a pair of boots worn by him.

The rewards and recognition of the powerful leader, Mandela
Image Credits: Google Images

Renovations made in The Mandela House

It was renovated in 2009 which include preservation of history, quality merchandise of Mandela house for tourists to purchase, new exhibitions installation and some audiovisual displays.

How to reach

Situated right in the heart of Soweto, it is just half an hour drive away from Johannesburg. You can also take hop-on hop-off tours available which can take you to the Mandela house. Though it takes you to many other attractions in Soweto, Mandela house is the prime attraction.

Entry fees and timings

The entry fees differ from people to people and here is the amount that one has to pay.

  • For tourists: ZAR 60
  • For residents: ZAR 40
  • Children above 6 years, students and pensioners – ZAR20
  • Children below 6 years – ZAR 5

Operating hours: This is open every day from 9 AM to 4.45 PM except for some major occasions like Good Friday, Christmas, New years and some more.

Tips while visiting The Mandela House

  • Prepare yourself with some basic information on South Africa, Johannesburg and Apartheid. This will help you to grasp whatever is been explained by the guides over there.
  • Make sure to have some time in hand as the rest of Soweto is as interesting as Mandela house.

Point to be noted

Only 20 people can navigate inside the house at a time. There might be waiting time if the previous batch hasn’t completed theirs.

A picture of people at the Mandela House in Soweto
Image Credits: Google Images

Visit this historic attraction and learn some history about the family of Mandela. The attraction also is a symbol of how the blacks fought against the whites for human rights and mutual respect. Check out the itineraries that we have for you and plan a trip to South Africa with Pickyourtrail.

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