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Cultural Enlightenment

Discover South Africa’s journey to freedom with Cultural Enlightenment. Immerse yourself in the Lesedi Cultural Village, heart and home to families from a range of African tribes including the Zulu and Sotho. Walk through history and learn about the devastating riots, hear the story of Mandela and visit historic sites prominent into South Africa’s road to freedom. Wander through Cape Town and relish in the breathtaking ocean views. Visit the penguin colony at Boulder’s Beach for a wildlife experience to wind down your time in South Africa. 

Trip Type: Romance & Honeymoon, Family

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Day By Day

Day 1 – USA to Johannesburg
Today you will begin your Swain Destinations customized itinerary. Please note, international air has not been included in this package price.

Day 2 – Welcome to Johannesburg, South Africa
Upon arrival into Johannesburg you will be met and transferred to your accommodation. 

Johannesburg is the economic heart of South Africa, the central focus of Egoli ('Place of Gold'), as the Sotho name for Gauteng suggests. The largest and richest city in South Africa, Johannesburg's lifestyle is a fast-paced and hectic one. No-one could have imagined the repercussions when an unemployed miner found a stone bearing traces of gold here in 1886, an event that led to the discovery of the world's richest natural treasure trove. 
People flocked to the Johannesburg area from all ends of the earth, and the open pastoral landscape changed almost overnight. Shantytowns sprang up and were rapidly transformed into modern concrete cities. Johannesburg became 'The Gold Capital of the World', and the entire country was catapulted into an economic boom.  Today the shantytown remains, a vast and sprawling tin-roofed expanse that houses millions of extremely poor blacks. Astonishingly, the opulent and luxurious mansions of the rich are located less than a mile distant, behind high walls and razor wire. 
Despite its sociological problems, which intimidate many people away from exploring Johannesburg, the city is not to be written off as tourist destination. For those interested in South Africa's history and culture, Johannesburg offers fascinating museums. A thriving café culture and a thrumming nightlife exist in many of Johannesburg's suburbs. The townships are also interesting to tour.

Starting Accommodation: The Protea Hotel by Marriott Johannesburg Balalaika Sandton

Day 3 – Lesedi Cultural Tour
Five cultures in a day, that’s what we’ll be exploring at the Lesedi Cultural Village, heart and home to families of a range of African tribes, all living harmoniously in true traditional homesteads. You’ll be right there experiencing the warmth and hospitality of people from the Zulu, Xhosa, Ndebele, Sotho and Pedi cultures, and you’ll find it fascinating! Our multilingual, visual orientation depicts the history of South Africa, and will deepen your understanding of the complexity of our multicultural community. As evening falls, we all enjoy a traditional African meal, a fine way to round off a day of new experiences and fresh insights.

Starting Accommodation: The Protea Hotel by Marriott Johannesburg Balalaika Sandton

Day 4 – Journey to Freedom
Many South Africans gave a lot, and some gave all, to achieve a truly democratic South Africa. Come with us on this full day tour which shares some of the journey, pain and struggle of those heroes; witness the places, experience the diverse museums where these momentous, tumultuous years have been so well documented.

Our day begins at the Hector Pieterson Museum, where we start to unravel the cause of the devastating riots, before travelling past Mandela House, where you have the option of visiting this small museum (own account). Our next significant stop is the fascinating Regina Mondi Church, site of so many of the underground meetings of the then banned political parties. Standing in here, you can feel the tension; picture the intensity, the strain on the faces of those unthinkably brave souls, committed at any cost to changing the way of life of a nation. 

We’ve chosen to lunch in Soweto at a local restaurant (own account), before visiting the legendary Apartheid Museum. This is an interactive voyage of discovery, one which takes you from the dark days of ‘whites only’ privilege, through to Nelson Mandela’s historic release. The Apartheid Museum is a multimedia experience, with documentary film snippets, texts, sound clips and live accounts, recapturing life in the dark days of South Africa.

It’s a fascinating tour, filled with tales of bravery and sadness, but ultimately, it’s a story with the right ending.

Starting Accommodation: The Protea Hotel by Marriott Johannesburg Balalaika Sandton

Day 5 – Johannesburg to Cape Town
Transfer to the airport for your onward flight. On arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel.

Starting Accommodation: Townhouse Hotel

Day 6 – Walk to Freedom Tour
Experience the wonderful raw energy of our 'Rainbow Nation' in one unforgettable morning. You'll be walking in the footsteps of the local communities - those of yesterday and today - seeing where and how both past and present generations lived, or just existed, during the dark days of apartheid, and experience how people of these townships live today. We'll explore the riveting District Six Museum (closed Sundays) for a sharp reminder of the past, then tour Langa, the oldest apartheid housing scheme in the Cape, and visit the impressive Tsoga Environmental Gardens. We want you to enjoy a hands-on experience of life in a township, so you'll be visiting an informal spaza shop, popping into a shebeen (pub), and visiting a hostel; tastes of the daily life of a community.

During the afternoon, visit Robben Island, cruel home of Nelson Mandela for so many years. It is a highly charged and emotional moment when you visit the site of this suffering, and realize how far South Africa has come from those days. On Robben Island, visitors' movements are restricted by regulation to the bus and the group's guide. Tour of the island is conducted in large buses.

Starting Accommodation: Townhouse Hotel

Day 7 – Cape Peninsula Tour
The Fairest Cape…and it surely is! You'll soon see for yourself where and why it earned its name. Sit back and relax, we're going to cruise along the exquisite stretch of coastline known as Millionaire's Paradise - from Camps Bay and Clifton to the exclusive beach hamlet of Llandudno - towards the charming working harbor of Hout Bay; if you so choose, you can embark on an up-close-and-personal Seal Island cruise (own account). Back on terra firma, we wind along the legendary Chapman's Peak Drive, hugging the cliffs and relishing the breathtaking ocean views, before arriving at our lunch spot of choice (own account): the wild and beautiful Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, an integral part of the world-renowned Cape Floral Kingdom. We meander back along the coast towards the City, visiting the historic naval port of Simon's Town and the endearing penguin colony at Boulder's Beach. The Fairest Cape of All, that was Sir Francis Drake's opinion…and we're sure you'll echo it.

Starting Accommodation: Townhouse Hotel

Day 8 – Cape Town to USA (via Johannesburg)
Transfer to the airport for your flight to Johannesburg then back to the USA.

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Highlighted Activities

Cape Peninsula Tour
Cape Peninsula Tour
Cape Town
Length: Full-day
Walk to Freedom Tour
Walk to Freedom Tour
Cape Town
Length: Half-day, Full-day


JohannesburgThe Protea Hotel by Marriott Johannesburg Balalaika SandtonThe Michelangelo HotelAtholPlace Hotel
Cape TownTownhouse HotelTaj Cape TownOne&Only Cape Town


Pricing for this package is on request. Please call a Swain Destinations Specialist to customize this journey.

Terms and Conditions

Prices are per person, twin/double share in USD. All highlighted savings are reflected in the price. Travel may be limited to certain days of the week. Hotels and tours remain subject to availability. Cancellation penalties and other booking or alteration restrictions may exist. Please note blackout dates may apply to Christmas, New Year and local special event periods. Pricing may increase over Holiday and special event periods and may not be reflected in price grid. Prices indicated remain subject to change without notice. Prices are not guaranteed until full payment is received and processed. CST #2012413-20 See our full Terms and Conditions: