Ultimate Walk with Nelson Mandela Tour

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Introducing the ULTIMATE WALK WITH MANDELA TOUR. From Prisoner to President, an exclusive experience you’ll not find anywhere else. 

Known and loved around the world, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was an anti-apartheid revolutionary, a political leader, and a philanthropist who became South Africa’s first Black democratically-elected president from 1994 to 1999.  For 20 years, he directed a campaign of peaceful, nonviolent defiance against the South African government and its racist policies during the Apartheid era. From 1962, Mandela spent 27 years in prison for his defiance and political offenses against the South African government at the time. 

Released in 1990, Mandela participated in the eradication of apartheid, and in 1993, Mandela and South African President, F.W. de Klerk were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts to lead the country out of segregation. After retiring from politics in 1999, Mandela remained a devoted champion for peace and social justice in his own nation and around the world until his death in 2013 at the age of 95. 

Quintessentially Africa offers the Ultimate From Prisoner to President Tour with Christo Brand. 

This one-of-a-kind tour provides an incredible insight into the years Mandela spent on Robben Island and at Pollsmoor, from someone who knew him well. Christo Brand went from being Nelson Mandela’s warder to forming a close friendship with the ex-president.


  • Start your journey at Jetty One located at the V and A Waterfront, enjoy a cup of coffee with Christo before seeing the place where prisoners were registered and used to board the ferry for their perilous trip to Robben Island
  • Take a private tour of Robben Island with a private vehicle and driver. On the island, the tour route includes the graveyard of people who died from leprosy, the Lime Quarry, Robert Sobukwe’s house, the Bluestone quarry, the army and navy bunkers, the censor office and the Maximum Security Prison where thousands of South Africa’s freedom fighters were incarcerated for years. The tour culminates with a viewing of Nelson Mandela’s cell.
  • Return to the V&A waterfront and continue past the home of former Minister of Security, Kobie Coetsee
  • Travel to Pollsmoor Prison where Mandela was imprisoned from 1982 to 1988 and where Christo was in charge of the Mandela group
  • Stop at the entrance to the prison before driving in and stopping outside Mandela’s cell – subject to approval on the day
  • Returning  to the city, stop at Mandela’s former home in Bishopscourt and finally the City Hall where a statue of Mandela marks the place where he made his very first speech as a free man on 11th February, 1990.
  • End the tour with a dinner where Christo will share his story and insights into his life with Nelson Mandela. It is a unique story of a young, white, Afrikaans speaking warder who befriended an elderly, black, Xhosa speaking prisoner.  Two men who should have hated each other but instead became close friends.
  • End your journey back at the waterfront or your city hotel.

This tour involves a private experience with Christo Brand, warder to Nelson Mandela for many years. Rather than join the army for National Service as was compulsory for every white South African male at the time, Christo decided to join the prison service. After training, he applied for a post on Robben Island so that he could be close to home. Upon successful application, Christo was sent to work on Robben Island at age 19 in 1978, when he came across Nelson Mandela who was 60 years old at the time. It was during this time where Christo and Mandela formed a relationship which was built on trust and mutual respect for one another. 

In 1982, Mandela was transferred from Robben Island to Pollsmoor Prison and soon afterwards, Christo was sent to Pollsmoor and responsible for guarding Mandela. 



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