It’s not all hard work and no play! A varied selection of day tours in and around Tshwane will be available for ISRSE-37 participants and partners who find that they have a free moment during the Symposium week.
These handcrafted day tours will allow participants to truly connect with South African people, customs and life, creating and sustaining an inter-cultural dialogue that benefits all concerned. Through responsible tourism such as this participants can contribute to conservation of the natural environment and economic growth in the local communities that they visit.
Those wishing to book day tours or who would like more information are invited to contact the ISRSE-37 day tour operator, Ubuhle Be Narha Tours. Bookings can be made ahead of time and Ubuhle Be Narha Tours will have a desk at the symposium for information and last-minute bookings. Please see below for the tours that will be available.
For bookings, contact Ubuhle Be Narha direct:
Walk in Mandela’s Footsteps
Although his heart may have hankered for his home village of Qunu in the Eastern Cape, and his physical being was incarcerated for two decades on Robben Island, much of Nelson Mandela’s working life took place in Gauteng. Sign up for our Mandela Heritage tour and visit some of the landmarks he knew well.
Johannesburg and Pretoria in the City of Tshwane are indelibly linked to Madiba, as South Africans fondly refer to Nelson Mandela. It was in these cities that his path to challenging the apartheid state began, it was here that he stood trial before being sentenced to life imprisonment and it was here that he returned to become the leader of a free country.
Join us as we visit the iconic sites around Gauteng where Nelson Mandela lived and worked:
- Liliesleaf Farm
- Constitutional Hill
- Mandela Museum
- The Apartheid Museum
- Mandela Foundation
- Mandela Bridge and Nelson Mandela Square
- Palace of Justice
- Union Buildings
- The 9m statue of Mandela standing, arms outstretched, just below the Union Buildings
Tshwane City tour
Take a guided tour of South Africa’s capital city, the seat of government and the centre of our rainbow nation. Visit the iconic Union Buildings and the must-see Nelson Mandela statue; stop off at the lively Church Square where you can see the Palace of Justice; tour the Victorian mansion of Melrose House; and walk through yesteryear when we tour Paul Kruger’s House. Two must visit venues are Freedom Park and the Voortrekker Monument.
Here you’ll experience what makes Pretoria and the City of Tshwane unique; a blend of cultures, languages, stories and histories, a fusion of the old with the new, and enjoy the warm welcome of the people (and in October, the glorious purple of the jacarandas).
Mamelodi cycling tour
Negotiate the streets of Mamelodi on our bicycle tour whilst having fun and keeping active. Experience all the township has to offer with our knowledgeable and registered guide. You’ll soon learn about this township’s rich history and the sacrifices made by locals like Solomon Kalushi Mahlangu, Dr Fabian Riberio and Nico Smith in the struggle for a liberated South Africa.
Mamelodi has a rich, yet little-known history. On our tour you will meet a variety of warm and welcoming people, and hear some of the stories about the township’s dark and violent past. Like the more famous Soweto, Mamelodi too was a site of struggle during the apartheid era.
Cullinan Mine Tour: Surface
Experience the thrill of a working diamond mine and see exactly where the largest gem-quality diamond was discovered.
You’ll visit the diamond display room where you can see the replicas of the Cullinan Diamond, see the intricacies of diamond cutting, view a life-size mock-up of an underground tunnel; and visit the lookout point of the Big Hole. This is then followed up with a visit to the local jewellery shop.
It is also worth noting that this diamond mine still operates today.
Soweto Heritage Tour
Buzzing with energy and rich in history, visiting the iconic Soweto is a must for every visitor. Walk the streets of the struggle against apartheid, visit the only road in the world where two Nobel Peace Prize laureates once lived, meet the dynamic people of this township.
Get a bird’s eye view of the township from the top of the Orlando Towers, learn about the struggle for freedom as we visit the Hector Peterson Memorial (the first child to die in the 16 June uprising in 1976) and the Nelson Mandela Museum, walk through Vilakazi Street (home to two Nobel Peace Prize winners, Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu), and stop at the famous Regina Mundi Church.
We’ll visit the local Umbuyisa School of Arts and Culture at Soweto TV. And we end the tour with a drive by the largest hospital in the southern hemisphere, Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, the nearby taxi rank and Vista University.
Cradle of Human Kind Tour
Spend a day with us as we go back in time to find out about our common history at the Cradle of Humankind, a World Heritage Site. During our tour, we visit the Sterkfontein Caves, the Rhino and Lion Park, and the Wonder Caves.
The Cradle of Humankind is the world’s richest hominin site, home to around 40% of the world’s human ancestor fossils. The 53 000ha area is also home to a diversity of birds, animals and plants, some of which are rare or endangered.
Sterkfontein Caves: Amongst the most remarkable findings to have been made by numerous world famous scientists within the Cradle of Humankind is the famous Mrs. Ples, the first complete Australopithecus skull to be discovered and more recently, “Little Foot”, a 4.17 million-year-old almost complete ape-man skeleton was also discovered in these caves.
Rhino and Lion Park: Set in the beautiful Kromdraai Conservancy, this haven from the hustle and bustle of the city boasts White Rhino, Lion, Buffalo, Hippo and more than twenty other species of game. Specially erected enclosures afford visitors the opportunity to view and photograph rare and endangered species such as Cheetah, Wild Dog and the Cape Vulture. The hippo enclosure is situated across the road from the main entrance.
Wonder Caves: This natural wonder, only open to the public since 1991, boasts an enormous single chamber which one enters by elevator beside walls decorated with beautiful formations up to 15m high.
Lesedi Cultural Village
At the Lesedi African Lodge and Cultural Village you can experience the colourful sights and sounds of authentic African villages and learn about the ways of the Zulu, Xhosa, Pedi, Basotho, Nguni and Ndebele people.
Upon arrival at Lesedi, you’re welcomed to the Ndebele village before settling down to an fascinating presentation on the history of South Africa’s rainbow nation. You’re then taken on a guided tour of each of the cultural villages, where you can learn all about the various rituals and folklore of different South African cultures, and even learn a bit of the local lingo.Traditional songs and dances round off the day’s activities, followed by a buffet feast of traditional fare fit for a king.
Enjoy the essence of Ubuntu at Lesedi, where the song, music and warmth of Africa’s hospitality will add a memorable and authentic flavour to your visit.
Gold Reef City Tour
Immerse yourself in the exhilarating Gold Rush of the late 1800s and visit one of the top attractions in Johannesburg, the family-friendly Gold Reef City.
The theme park at Golf Reef City based on a replica of a mining village – including an underground mine, leaves you spoilt for choice: tour the village, explore the mine, take some of the adrenaline-pumping rides, or enjoy the entertainment zones.