About Nelson Mandela Museum

The Nelson Mandela Museum was officially opened on the 11 February 2000, at a function to coincide with the tenth anniversary of the release from prison of Nelson Mandela in 1990. The birthplace / museum is situated at Qunu, along the N2 highway, south of Umtata in the Eastern Cape.

Did you know? "I learned that courage is not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear" ~ Nelson Mandela.

The Museum offers visitors an inspiring journey through the life of Nelson Mandela. Known affectionately as 'Madiba', Nelson Mandela is loved and respected world-wide for his tireless energy to bring about a better life for all.

Mandela insisted that the museum should not be a tribute dedicated to him, but should serve as a catalyst and springboard for the upliftment and development of the local community instead.

The museum comprises two main elements: The impressive Bhunga Building in Umtata; and the Youth and Heritage Centre in Qunu (the cultural village where he grew up).

The Bhunga Building

At the historic Bhunga Building, you will experience the story of Nelson Mandela told in his own words. It is based on his poignant and world-renowned book, "Long Walk to Freedom".

Highlights here include:
• Gifts of the Nations - the Bhunga Building houses an international selection of diverse gifts that Madiba received during his presidency.
• The Meaning of Mandela - this exhibit explores the man in his many facets - prisoner, president, negotiator, comrade and leader.
• Mandela and Luthuli: In Conversation - a collection of photos and excerpts from his writing are compiled to tell the tale of the interactions between these two Nobel laureates. It brings to life their conversations, allowing visitors a sneak peek into some incredible insights.


At Qunu, the young Rolihlahla assumed the name Nelson, as was the custom at missionary schools. In his book "Long walk to Freedom", Madiba states that Qunu is where he spent the happiest moments of his childhood.

It is a modest, yet vibrant village where the Youth and Heritage Centre has been built and is currently being renovated and developed to the tune of R30 million. The vision for this centre includes youth and leadership programmes, the promotion of local arts and crafts, and the development of tourism as an industry in the Eastern Cape. It is currently closed, but is scheduled to reopen in 2021.

"I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die." Nelson Mandela's statement from the dock in the Rivonia Trial ended with these words.

Need to Know

WhereNelson Mandela Museum, Corner Nelson Mandela Drive and Owen Street, Bhunga Building, Mthatha, Wild Coast, Eastern Cape, South Africa

WhenMonday to Friday from 09h00 to 16h00.
Saturdays and public holidays (except workers day) from 09h00 to 15h00.
Sundays from 09h00 to 13h00
The Museum accepts after-hour bookings in advance.
No entrance fee – donations encouraged.

Telephone+27 (0)47 501-9500

OvernightStay in Mthatha Accommodation, Eastern Cape


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Nelson Mandela

Fascinated with Past President Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela? Nelson Mandela is one of the world's most remarkable leaders. Find out more about his past and his impact on South Africa's present and future, and follow in his footsteps with our curated Mandela Route of South Africa.

A Tribute to Nelson Mandela

The Mandela Route

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