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7 new tours and experiences from South Africa’s Nelson Mandela-themed 2018 calendar

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South Africa will celebrate 100 years since the birth of Nelson Mandela in 2018, with special holiday packages, new openings, projects and events to celebrate his life.

For those wishing to celebrate Nelson Mandela’s legacy in South Africa, a free app, Madiba’s Journey, outlines more than 27 places of historical significance across the country that help to tell his story. These locations include Robben Island in Cape Town and the site where Mandela was captured in KwaZulu-Natal. New tours and experiences include:

1. Footsteps to freedom with Western & Oriental

A new seven-night itinerary for 2018 from Western & Oriental, Following the footsteps to Freedom – Nelson Mandela’s South Africa, begins with three nights in Cape Town including a visit to Robben Island and a walking tour, two nights on Rovos Rail, and two nights in Johannesburg including a half day apartheid tour and a half day tour of Soweto.

Prices start from £3,550pp (based on two sharing) and includes direct flights with British Airways, three nights B&B at Cape Grace in Cape Town, two nights all-inclusive on Rovos Rail, two nights B&B at the Saxon Hotel in Johannesburg, transfers, tours and excursions.

2. Half-term break with Rainbow Tours

This seven-night trip from Rainbow Tours is designed to slot into a February or October half-term holiday. After four days in Cape Town, where families can enjoy the views from Table Mountain, visit the penguins on Boulders Beach or learn about Nelson Mandela’s incarceration on Robben Island, the trip continues to the Eastern Cape for three nights on the Kariega Private Game Reserve.

Here, families can embark on game drives and guided bush walks to spot giraffes, lions, zebras and buffalo. Prices start from £4,370pp (based on two adults two children under 12 sharing), and includes flights, four nights B&B in Cape Town, three nights full board on safari and transfers.

3. Eastern Cape packages from Mantis Collection

Mantis Collection is offering two holiday packages to the Eastern Cape in 2018. With Mantis Madness, visitors  combine a city break to Cape Town with a safari in the Eastern Cape, booking two nights at Founders Lodge and getting two nights free, and booking two nights at the Oceana Beach & Wildlife Reserve to get one night free. The package is inclusive of all accommodation, meals and two game drives per day.

With Baycation with Mantis, holidaymakers can book a two-night trip to Nelson Mandela Bay for R5,500 (approx. £300) based on two people sharing. The package includes a daily breakfast, two course dinners and one night at the Jazz Room Restaurant @ No. 5. Guests will also receive two free Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism Passes, with additional free and discounted experiences for over 70’s.

4. Experience the Secret Season at Grootbos

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Grootbos Private Nature Reserve, a luxury eco-reserve in the Western Cape two hours’ drive south from Cape Town, is surrounded by fynbos-covered contours and flora and fauna. The middle months are a great time for holidaymakers to spot the Cape Fur Seal, Great White Shark, Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphin, African Penguin and Southern Right Whale on a marine safari and to harvest honey.

5. Sensory experiences at The Table Bay Hotel

The five-star Table Bay Hotel by Sun International, opened by Nelson Mandela in May 1997, is introducing its new craft beer, Wild Legend Weiss, and pairs well with fish and shellfish dinners all on offer at The Table Bay Hotel.

The Table Bay Sensory Dinner experience is available in The Table Bay Camissa Brasserie which offers locally-inspired dishes by Chef Jocelyn Myers Adam. The hotel has also launched an exclusive fragrance, Kaap, produced with 100% botanicals from the Cape and crafted by Tammy Frazer, Gganddaughter of inventor of Oil of Olay Graham Wulff.

6. Western Cape tour with Ampersand Travel

Ampersand Travel is offering a 13-day family holiday from £3,870 per adult and £910 per child, based on two adults and two children sharing. The package includes a stay at the Madikwe Game Reserve in the North-West Province, before Cape Town, staying overnight at the four-and-a-half star One and Only hotel.

After a stop at Cape Point Vineyard for a glass of Sauvignon Blanc, the trip concludes in Hermanus for whale watching and a luxury stay at eco-paradise Grootbos.

7. Rhino tracking from in KwaZulu-Natal

Visions of Africa is offering an 11-night holiday to experience KwaZulu-Natal, including rhino tracking at Thanda Safari Private Game Reserve. Guests will join the Rhino Monitoring Team to find the animals, learn how to read their tracks, observe their behaviour and feeding patterns, and understand the threats they face.

The holiday includes three nights at Lalaria Lodge on the Dolphin Coast, and a stay at St Lucia Wetlands Guesthouse in St Lucia.. Prices start from £2,350pp for travel in August 2018, including flights, accommodation, car hire, game drives and rhino tracking.

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