The freedom to walk in the historical footsteps of Mandela


To commemorate the 25th anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s release from prison, South African Tourism, with the support of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, has released “Madiba’s Journey”, a mobile app that beautifully showcases 27 attractions closely associated with Mandela.

The launch of “Madiba’s Journey” took place at Liliesleaf Farm today, April 1, 2015.

Speaking at the launch, South African Minister of Tourism Derek Hanekom said, “We would like to encourage everyone to use the app to discover some of the stories behind the legend. This is an exciting new layer to the map, which has already proved to be hugely popular with the international and domestic travel trade. Just as Mandela brought out the greatness in us, this app will help us to continue building a tourism sector that is truly great.”

Chairperson of South African Tourism Board Zwelibanzi Mntambo accoladed the team behind the app, saying “I can’t believe that in such a short space of time the team that has worked on this has done such a fantastic job.”

The new app, developed by Flow Communications, is based on the “Madiba-inspired tourist attractions” map launched in 2014 to encourage tourists from around the world and South Africa to travel the country and walk in the footsteps of Nelson Mandela (see It features tourist sites as well as general places of interest in the four main provinces that defined Mandela’s life: the Eastern Cape, Western Cape, Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal. The attractions range from the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Robben Island, off the coast of Cape Town, where he was imprisoned, to Qunu in the Eastern Cape, where he grew up and was laid to rest.

Tara Turkington, CEO of Flow Communications, said, “We are incredibly proud to have been part of the development of this ground-breaking idea and to have helped to put a personal tour-guide into the phone of every tourist in South Africa.”

Sello Hatang, CEO of the Nelson Mandela Foundation said, “Madiba’s legacy will continue to reach both global and local audiences through this app. This app is about pride – our expression of pride and passion we have as South Africans.”

The GPS-enabled app uses location-based services to establish which attraction the user is visiting and provides real-time information to enrich their experience. This includes written information on the attraction, audio describing the attraction, and other relevant information including contact details, maps and photo galleries.

The app also gives users their proximity from other “Madiba-inspired tourist attractions” and includes an itinerary builder, making it as easy as possible for those wanting to visit numerous attractions to best plan their route. It also makes it simple for visitors to share their experience on social media and features a rewards system linked to visitors’ social media activity. The rewards system will also encourage visitors to visit more than one Madiba site.

The app is now available for download for free in English from the Apple iTunes store (iOS devices) and the Google Play store (Android devices). It will soon be available in other languages including: Zulu, Xhosa, Afrikaans, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Mandarin and Portuguese.