Nelson Mandela Center for Reconciliation

Waterberg, South Africa

The Nelson Mandela Center for Reconciliation was Madiba's private bush home; now an exclusive private house perfect for families or groups seeking a magical safari experience in a malaria free, big five game reserve only three hours from Johannesburg.

At a Glance

  • Nelson Mandela's private bush home

  • Shambala is a private, 10,000 hectare big five reserve

  • Five double en-suite bedrooms and a presidential suite provide comfortable accommodation for twelve adults

  • Game drives, walking safaris, boat trips and elephant back safaris

  • Non-malarial safari area, just three hours drive from Johannesburg or a 45-minute helicopter flight

Family, Wildlife, Food & wine, Teenagers

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Set within the 10,000 hectare Shambala Private Game Reserve, The Nelson Mandela Center for Reconciliation is an unique property in a non-malarial, big five safari area, easily accessible from Johannesburg by road or by air.

The house was built for Nelson Mandela as his bush home, a place to rest and welcome friends and visiting dignitaries following his departure from an official political role in 1999, and was intended as somewhere he could both spend time with his family and host visitors in supreme comfort, surrounded by a beautiful area of the African bush.

The Nelson Mandela Center for Reconciliation (NMCR) consists of five double en-suite bedrooms in one wing with a master suite, Mandela's private apartment, completing the accommodation options. There are also a number of other bedrooms for staff situated in another section of the house. Together the NMCR offers an exclusive and luxurious option for families and groups seeking a private safari retreat in a beautiful bushveld setting.

Activities on the Shambala Reserve include game viewing in adapted safari vehicles early in the morning, in the cooler afternoon and evening hours and at night in the light of spotlights. Walking safaris on the reserve give visitors an opportunity for a different perspective on safari. The huge dam offers boat safaris and fishing trips.


There are five double suites and a five bedroom presidential suite providing comfortable accommodation for 12 people in the house. Some of the rooms have space for a child's bed, just ask for more details of this. There is a separate unit of accommodation for staff, guides and security which can also be used to accommodate larger groups.


There are no specific child care facilities at NMCR, but the staff here go above an beyond to make everyone's stay memorable and have lots of experience working with children. As an exclusive use property there is no age limit, but guides and lodge management have final decision on who can join in safari activities. Guest and guide safety is always the most important consideration.


Accommodation at NMCR is on an all inclusive basis. Delicious meals are prepared fresh each day on site by the excellent team and can be served in a number of different settings. Just ask in advance if there are any special requests or dietary requirements so that the chef can tailor his menu accordingly.


Shambala Private Game Reserve offers visitors a wide variety of different safari activities: game drives, walking safaris, elephant back safaris, boat trips and fishing among them. Educational experiences with the conservation team are fascinating and there are opportunities to visit local schools and communities in the area. Just ask your consultant for more information.

Location & Directions

Waterberg, South Africa

The Nelson Madela House is positioned in the malaria free Shambala Reserve. Covering almost 10,000 hectares of private land within the Limpopo Province it is home to a rich diversity of wildlife.

When to go

Summer (November to March) days can get quite warm (up to 28-32 degrees on average) but it is a dry heat. Summer rainfall, normally in the form of thunder storms are usually in the evening, however, the African climate is still always unpredictable. Fall (April to May) days can still be warm but the evenings cool down. Average day time temperature 22-28 degrees. Evenings 10-15 degrees. Winter (June to August) days are warm (temperatures in the mid-twenties) evenings and early mornings very cold with average early morning temperatures 5-12 degrees. It very rarely rains at this time when the bush is golden and dry.

Spring (September, October) days start getting hotter, evenings and mornings could still be crisp but not as cold. A very slim chance of rain.

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