Historic Capture Sight Captures the Imagination

Historic Capture Sight Captures the Imagination

Visit what is probably one of the most significant sites in South African history, Nelson Mandela’s Capture Site.

Nelson Mandela Capture site
Supplied, Tourism KwaZulu Natal
Tourism KZN
Tourism KZN

On 5 August 1962, this ordinary piece of road along the R103 just outside Howick gained major historical importance when apartheid police pulled over a car being driven by the late president, Nelson Mandela. At that point, Mandela had been on the run and had evaded arrest for 17 months already. Unfortunately, his capture here was the start of his 27-year incarceration.

Nelson Mandela was returning from a visit to ANC President Chief Albert Luthuli’s Groutville home and was pretending to be a chauffeur when he was captured.

What you’ll see

Make your way to the newly-built Visitor Centre and have a look at the new immersive exhibition which includes a film, historical artefacts, and photograph display, and a replica of the Austin Westminster that Nelson Mandela was driving in when he was arrested.

The exhibition has a strong focus on the struggles in this part of the country, starting with the Bambatha Rebellion of 1906. It showcases the resistance to colonial rule and the struggle against apartheid up until the mass mobilisation of the 80’s.

Once you’ve completed the exhibition in the Visitor Centre, you’ll take a “Long Walk to Freedom” through the garden to what has now become an iconic sculpture called, Release. The sculpture consists of 50 laser cut steel columns, between 6 and 9,5 meters high, along a 30-meter length. Once you hit a certain point, the steel columns line up and create the illusion of a flat two-dimensional image recreating Madiba's portrait.

This is the largest artwork of its kind in South Africa and has become a symbol of the iconic status of Mandela.

Plan your visit

The Nelson Mandela Capture Site is now open and follows strict COVID-19 protocols. Operating hours and capacity have been reduced to keep in line with regulations, so best you call ahead to make sure you’ll be able to enter.

Cashless payment is encouraged, and guests have to adhere to social distancing guidelines. Note the on-site café will only be opened once it is safe to do so again.

Tickets cost R100 for adults over 18, and there are discounted rates for kids and adults over 60.

Click here for more information. 

Where to stay

If you’re planning to visit the area for a few days, there are plenty of places to stay nearby. The Fern Hill Hotel offers charming country accommodation just 3km from the Capture Site. It’s also perfectly situated to explore the rest of the area and the perfect getaway base for a few days.

The Granny Mouse Country House & Spa promises relaxation and luxury. If it is opulent accommodation coupled with old-world charm and service you're after, this might be the place for you.

Set in the foothills of the uKhahlamba Drakensberg Mountain range, you’ll find Lythwood https://lythwood.com/, a 4-Star country hotel right on the Midlands Meander. They promise a relaxing all-inclusive weekend away or a short midweek break, and a “true country rest”.

Fordoun Hotel and Spa is an award-winning five-star luxury boutique hotel and spa located in the Midlands. It is a family-owned and managed destination with a history dating back to the 1800’s. Fordoun promises panoramic views of the Drakensberg and a tranquil country setting. If it’s romance and rejuvenation you’re after, they might be worth a visit. 

For more KZN Travels articles read below:

  1. Visiting the Valley of Kings
  2. Interesting facts about Umkhosi WoMhlanga – the famous Zulu Reed Dance
  3. The rich cultural history of Fort Nongqayi
  4. Enjoy amazing views during a boat trip with the KZN Sharks Board
  5. Fun in the Sun! Things to do on Durban’s Golden Mile

Main image courtesy of Tourism KwaZulu-Natal

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