South Africa is plagued with a difficult past, but it is this difficult past that unearthed the true spirit of South Africa and allowed us to stand as one. Although we were divided once, through adversity and through triumph, we now stand united – stronger than ever.
Regardless of its nefarious nature, our history has become a part of who we are. Each salient moment in time has become a lesson that we should never forget.
Yes, many come here for our natural beauty, but our history is something that will change the way you look at the world and help you become a better, stronger, more peaceful advocate of humanity.
Here are some life-changing places to visit:
The Sharpeville Human Rights Precinct
The Sharpeville Human Rights Precinct is a memorial for those who died in 1960 in the Sharpeville Massacre, an event that shocked the international community and inspired increased efforts against apartheid.
Johannesburg’s Constitution Hill remembers the horrors of the past, and yet embraces the promises of the future, marrying them with the reality of the present. It is home to the Constitutional Court, the birthplace of our democracy and protector of our human rights.
The Apartheid Museum
The Apartheid Museum, close to downtown Johannesburg, focuses on the notorious system of racial discrimination that became synonymous with South Africa from 1948 (when the white-minority National Party was voted into power) until 1994, the year in which the country held its first fully democratic elections.
Freedom Park is a memorial and sanctuary conceptualised by former president Thabo Mbeki, to pay tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice for human rights and their country during South Africa’s turbulent history. The shrine to freedom sits on a 52-ha site atop Salvokop Hill and offers 360° views of Pretoria.
Learn more here.
The Hector Pieterson Museum
The Hector Pieterson Museum in Soweto’s Khumalo Street recalls the events of 16 June 1976 and the ensuing Soweto Uprising. This museum in Soweto takes the visitor on a journey that includes the build up to a youth rebellion, the events of that fateful day and its aftermath.
The Luthuli Museum
The Luthuli Museum is located in the 1927 home of the late Nobel Peace Prize winner, Chief Albert Luthuli. The essence of his anti-apartheid struggle is captured via photographs, newspaper clippings and mementos of South Africa’s turbulent past.
Liliesleaf Farm in Rivonia was where senior ANC members planned the overthrow of the apartheid government and were arrested during a police raid in 1963. The Liliesleaf Farm Museum aims to give it its rightful place in South Africa’s history.
The Iziko Slave Lodge
The Iziko Slave Lodge documents the Cape’s role in the Indian Ocean slave trade route, where slaves were brought to the Cape from Indonesia, India-Ceylon, Madagascar and Mozambique. At the same time, this Cape Town museum pays tribute to those who were forgotten, denied and stigmatised through slavery.
The KwaZulu-Natal Freedom Route
KwaZulu-Natal’s Freedom Route offers a multi-perspective view of life under apartheid, thanks to its melting pot of cultures. See the landmarks, walk in struggle heroes’ footsteps, and admire the statues and plaques built in their memory by successive generations who today enjoy the fruits of a democratic country.
source: South Africa