Top 10 things to do on Freedom Day

Wondering what to do for Freedom Day on 27 April 2015? First Car Rental has put together a list of places that capture the past, present and future of South Africa's amazing journey to becoming a democratic and united republic.

  • Nelson Mandela Museum

    1. Nelson Mandela Museum, Mthatha, Eastern Cape

    Start your Freedom Day weekend at the Nelson Mandela Museum in Mthatha. The museum was opened in 2000, ten years after Madiba's release from prison in 1990 and incorporates three sites – Mvezo (near Coffee Bay, where Mandela was born); Qunu (his childhood village); and the Bhunga Building in Mthatha where the story of the life and times of one of South Africa's greatest leaders is depicted.

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  • Nelson Mandela Capture Site

    2. Nelson Mandela Capture Site, Howick, KwaZulu-Natal

    The sculpture at Madiba's Capture Site was erected in 2012 to mark the 50-year anniversary of what became known as Nelson Mandela's “long walk to freedom”. The iconic and powerful sculpture was designed by South African artist Marco Cianfanelli. Madiba's profile spans across 50 columns and the shape and form of the sculpture are representative of the 27 years Mandela spent behind bars in his efforts to bring equal rights and governmental representation to the nation.

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  • Robben Island

    3. Robben Island, Cape Town, Western Cape

    Robben Island is where Mandela spent 18 of his 27-year prison sentence. A 9km ferry ride off the shore of Cape Town takes you to Murray's Bay Harbour situated on the east coast of the island. Guided tours are conducted by former political prisoners who are fully knowledgeable about the island's 500-year history. Along with being a World Heritage Site, Robben Island is also a protected natural eco-system. The island is home to about 132 species of birds and is also inhabited by the Cape Fur Seals. Visitors can also spot Southern Right Whales and Dusky and Heaviside's dolphins.

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  • Apartheid Museum

    4. Apartheid Museum, Soweto, Gauteng

    Just 15 minutes from OR Tambo International Airport or 20 minutes from Sandton, the Apartheid Museum in Soweto is where you can discover the true story of South Africa – the story of the triumph of the human spirit over adversity. The exhibits have been assembled by a multi-disciplinary team of curators, historians, designers and film makers and include provocative film footage, photographs, text panels and artifacts of South Africa's tumultuous past and well as inspiring stories of the struggle towards democracy.

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  • Vilakazi Street

    5. Vilakazi Street, Soweto, Gauteng

    Vilakazi Street is one of South Africa's most famous streets, known for its history, township heritage and vibrant spirit, as well as being the home of two Nobel laureates – Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Vilakazi is also known for its great restaurants that serve up exceptional local cuisine. The historic Hector Pieterson Museum, which commemorates the role of the country's students in the struggle against apartheid, is just a short walk down Vilakazi Street.

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  • Main Street Mining District

    6. Main Street Mining District, Johannesburg, Gauteng

    The Main Street Mining District, located in the heart of Johannesburg, is a must-see for those interested in learning about the City of Gold's mining history. Regeneration projects, including the new Main Street Mall and pedestrianised blocks, have transformed the area into a safe and sustainable commercial environment, with pavement cafés, craft markets and restaurants. Situated all along the street are various relics from the early gold-rush days such as covered wagons, stamp presses and headgear from old mine shafts, as well as the headquarters of many of the world's biggest mining corporations.

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  • Constitution Hill

    7. Constitution Hill, Johannesburg, Gauteng

    Located in Braamfontein, Constitution Hill is the seat of the Constitutional Court of South Africa. Before Constitution Hill was established in 2004, the precinct housed the Old Fort Prison complex. Built in the 1890's, the complex originally housed prisoners of the Anglo-Boer War until 1902. The complex then became a detention centre of political prisoners. Today Constitution Hill has become a symbol of freedom and the triumph of democracy and human rights over apartheid.

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  • Maboneng Precinct

    8. Maboneng Precinct, Johannesburg, Gauteng

    The colourful Maboneng Precinct located in the Johannesburg CBD is a representation of South Africa's growth and development. From a no-go inner-city zone to a thriving commercial and residential community, the Maboneng Precinct's transformation is nothing short of remarkable. With a mix of art galleries, designer stores, and funky restaurants and cafés, the precinct has breathed new life into downtown Johannesburg, becoming one of the hippest places in the city.

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  • Kliptown Open Air Museum

    9. Kliptown Open Air Museum, Soweto, Gauteng

    The Kliptown Open Air Museum, located in the heart of Soweto, was where the Freedom Charter was drafted in 1955. The art on the outside walls and inside the building depicts the people who were involved in making history. Along with visiting this historic site, visitors can also see the lovely art galleries, craft shops and eat at number of fine restaurants in Soweto serving traditional South African cuisine.

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  • Phezulu Cultural Village

    10. Phezulu Cultural Village, Durban, KwaZulu-Natal

    If you want to experience the spirit of Africa, the Phezulu Cultural Village is the place to be. The Phezulu Village showcases the beauty of Zulu culture and lifestyle. The picturesque park has beautiful views of the famous Valley of a 1000 Hills. Visitors can enjoy a tour of the village, watch the traditional Zulu dance show and even meet Rameses, the 90-year-old Nile crocodile that lives in the village's crocodile park.

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So book a car with First Car Rental and take a trip to these inspiring and thought-provoking destinations in South Africa this Freedom Day weekend. We have 49 branches located nationwide to help you get to your destination with ease.

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