About Samora Machel Monument

Finding accommodation in Mpumalanga opens up a world of discovery and adventure to travellers in South Africa. This province has so much in the way of history, culture and natural beauty. But, monuments like the one to Samora Machel are touching reminders too, and are an important part of the South African heritage.

This monument was erected in memory of the late Mozambican president, Samora Machel, who died when his aeroplane crashed nearby, in the Lebombo Mountains, in 1986. He was accompanied by staff members and other prominent politicians, and 35 of them lost their lives in this disaster on their way back to Mozambique. The cause for the crash remains unknown.

Samora Machel was an activist and revolutionary. He fought hard for the rights of black people and dedicated his time and effort to promote equality. He served as the president of Mozambique from 1975 until his death.

The monument was designed by Jose Forjaz, an architect from Mozambique that really grasped the sensitivity and scale of this important project. It consists of 35 steel pillars – one to represent each life lost in the crash. The pillars have incisions, which allow the wind to create a soulful tune as it moves through and between them. The shadows cast by the beams change through the day, creating a monument that is dynamic and engaging.

The Samora Machel Monument was unveiled by late South African president, Nelson Mandela, and Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique in January 1999. The memorial was upgraded and a museum added in 2009, when it was opened to the public. The exhibition includes remnants of the aeroplane, photographs, audio and video presentations, and some pieces of art.

The Samora Machel Monument is close to Barberton and just over two hours from Nelspruit and about six hours from Johannesburg.

Need to Know

WhereNear Barberton, Mpumalanga, South Africa

WhenBest during daylight hours

How muchFree

TelephoneNot applicable.

OvernightStay nearby in Barberton, in Mpumalanga


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