About OR Tambo Garden of Remembrance

Since the death of Oliver Tambo, in 1993, his family's homestead in Bizana on the Wild Coast attracts thousands of foreign and local visitors.

Oliver Tambo was president of the ANC for over 25 years. He opened the first black law firm in the country, with Nelson Mandela, who was later to say of his lifelong friend: 'he was my partner, my comrade, my friend and my colleague.'

Did you know? OR Tambo Memorial site is located at KwaMzimeli close to the village of Nkantolo. KwaMzimeli was the homestead of OR Tambo’s father, Lokomane Mzimeli Tambo.

He was sent abroad by the ANC, after the South African government served him with a five-year ban, where he settled in Muswell Hill, north London, until he could return to South Africa in 1990. He died from a stroke just a year before the country's first democratic election, at the age of 75.

Nelson Mandela is quoted as saying in his eulogy to Olive Tambo, "Oliver lived not because he could breathe. He lived not because blood flowed through his veins. Oliver lived not because he did all the things that all of us as ordinary men and women do. Oliver lived because he had surrendered his very being to the people."

Johannesburg International Airport is named after him, a bust of him lies in Albert Road Recreation Ground in Muswell Hill, and just outside his home village of Bizana in the Eastern Cape is a Garden of Remembrance in his honour.

To visit the garden follow the signs to Nkantolo Village along T113, from the south of Bizana (Mbizana). The garden lies in the shadow of the Ngeli Mountains. His ancestral home, is also part of the memorial.

It includes his father's home, where he was born and lived during his primary school years. The site includes the graves of OR Tambo's father and two of his wives, including Oliver Tambo's mother.

The OR Tambo Memorial site (collective name for the garden of remembrance and the ancestral homes) is one of four sites on the OR Tambo Heritage Route on the Wild Coast. The other three are his home at Mdikiso, and two sites associated with the Pondo Revolt of the early 1960s.

On the same route one can also visit the Pondo Theme Park on the Mtamvuna River and Mbongweni, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela's home (she was Nelson Mandela's former wife).

The views from the OR Tambo Memorial Site across the Ngeli Mountains are beautiful – rolling grasslands with the mountains in the background. The two rondavels, at the Garden of Remembrance, was notoriously set alight in October 2014 by protesters.

Need to Know

WhereOR Tambo Garden of Remembrance, KwaMzimeli close to the village of Nkantolo, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa

WhenDaylight hours.

OvernightStay in Port Edward Accommodation, KwaZulu Natal


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