A Unique Travel Experience to Honor International Mandela Day
July 18 marks the birthday of the legendary late Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s first Black president and Nobel Peace Prize winner. The date has now been coined International Mandela Day by the Nelson Mandela Foundation and United Nations and, to honor Mandela’s 67 years of service, the organizations encourage individuals to give at least 67 minutes of their day to making a difference through volunteering, community service or donations. With people around the world celebrating his life, his impact on South Africa and the human quest for peace, it’s also a global call to action that celebrates the idea that each individual has the power to transform the world and the ability to make an impact.
With 29% of global travelers stating that a historic and/or cultural tour was of interest to them on their last trip,* we are sharing unique travel experiences where travelers can immerse themselves in the cultural legacy of this great man, and where they can give back to the community in order to commemorate this special day.
The largest city and vibrant heart of South Africa, Johannesburg is awash with history and culture that offers deep insight into South Africa’s past. Its sprawling Soweto township was once home to Nelson Mandela and his former residence is now the Mandela House museum. Travelers can visit this legendary landmark on a Soweto and the Apartheid Museum Tour, and spend time in Soweto, the oldest Black township in South Africa, learning about the history of the Apartheid era. Other key cultural landmarks on the tour include the Hector Pieterson Memorial site and the impactful Apartheid Museum. Along the way, a guide will detail acts committed by the Apartheid government as well as the underground activism of the era.
With 58% of global travelers saying it’s important that their trip is beneficial to the local community,** there will be plenty of meaningful initiatives across town to participate in – from knitting blankets to keep the less fortunate warm to joining the national food drive in the fight against hunger – all great options for visitors wanting to dedicate 67 minutes or more on July 18. For those seeking an opportunity to support local arts and crafts makers, visitors should visit the urban hipster Maboneng area full of trendy studio spaces and popular galleries.
For a truly immersive experience, bed down at the new Sanctuary Mandela, a boutique hotel built on one of Mandela’s former residences on a quiet street in the city’s affluent Houghton neighborhood. Featuring original touches throughout, this nine-bedroom hotel eloquently reflects aspects of his personality through the design and decoration; each room is dedicated to a part of the great man’s life, from his childhood through to his time as an activist, prisoner and, ultimately, president and statesman. With sunlight flooding in from the generous skylights and bay windows, every corner is curated to combine tranquility and heritage to reflect Mandela’s calm and positive energy. Guests can take a dip in the outdoor heated swimming pool to unwind and reflect, and indulge in some of his favorite dishes at the onsite restaurant, run by the chef who cooked for him for over 20 years – the tasty ravioli inspired by Mandela’s beloved meal of stewed oxtail is a must-try.
*Research commissioned by Booking.com and independently conducted among a sample of 48,413 respondents across 31 markets (2,000 from USA, 1,864 from Canada, 1,999 from Mexico, 2,003 from Colombia, 2,005 from Brazil, 2,002 from Argentina, 1,020 from Chile, 1,777 from Australia, 818 from New Zealand, 1,999 from Spain, 2,002 from Italy, 1,998 from France, 1,990 from UK, 2,005 from Germany, 2,003 from Netherlands, 985 from Denmark, 999 from Sweden, 910 from Croatia, 918 from Switzerland, 1,986 from Belgium, 998 from Russia, 953 from Israel, 1,999 from India, 1,990 from China, 901 from Hong Kong, 1,775 from Thailand, 1,001 from Singapore, 975 from Taiwan, 1,800 from Vietnam, 1,757 from South Korea, 1,001 from Japan). In order to participate in this survey, respondents had to be 18 years of age or older, had to have traveled at least once for business or leisure in the past 12 months, and planning to travel in 2022 and be either the primary decision maker or involved in the decision making of their travel. The survey was taken online and took place in January 2022.
**Research commissioned by Booking.com and conducted among a sample of adults who plan to travel for business or leisure in the next 12-24 months. In total 24,055 respondents across 31 countries and territories were polled (including 501 from Argentina, 1003 from Australia, 500 from Belgium, 1001 from Brazil, 500 from Canada, 1000 from China, 1007 from Colombia, 1001 from Croatia, 508 from Denmark, 1002 from France, 1000 from Germany, 1005 from Hong Kong, 1000 from India, 502 from Israel, 1003 from Italy, 1002 from Japan, 500 from Mexico, 501 from The Netherlands, 501 from New Zealand, 500 from Peru, 1000 from Russia, 1005 from Singapore, 1002 from South Korea, 1002 from Spain, 501 from Sweden, 501 from Switzerland, 504 from Taiwan, 500 from Thailand, 1000 from the UK, 1002 from the US and 501 from Vietnam). Respondents completed an online survey in August 2021.