Today, we join South Africa and the entire world in celebrating the life of the great Nelson Mandela, who passed away yesterday, Thursday, December 5 at the age of 95.  Throughout his long life, Mr. Mandela influenced the world profoundly both as president of South Africa and as a proponent for human rights, equality and peace.  In his 1994 inaugural address, President Mandela shared his vision of transforming South Africa into a Rainbow Nation in which all South Africans would be seen and treated equally, re-forming the nation into one at peace with itself, as well as with the world.

Mr. Mandela spent 27 years in prison following his conviction for treason by the white minority South African government.  He went on to forge a peaceful end to white rule and apartheid, negotiating with those who had imprisoned him following his release in 1990.  He led the African National Congress, a long-banned liberation movement, to a resounding electoral victory in 1994, marking the first fully democratic election with universal suffrage in the country’s history.

As quoted yesterday by actor Idris Elba, who plays Nelson Mandela in the recently released biopic Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, “What an honor it was to step into the shoes of Nelson Mandela and portray a man who defied odds, broke down barriers and championed human rights before the eyes of the world.”  Nelson Mandela will forever live on as a symbol of peace, equality, generosity and forgiveness.  While we do all mourn his passing, we reflect with great admiration on his surviving legacy of universal love and compassion.

If you are interested in learning more about Nelson Mandela’s lasting impact on South Africa, as well as exploring the history of apartheid and Mr. Mandela’s journey to help end it, please contact Rothschild Safaris at (800) 405-9463.  We can plan an enriching trip for you that includes visits to museums and historical landmarks, such as the Apartheid Museum, Hector Pieterson Museum, Constitution Hill, the Market Theatre and Soweto’s Mandela Museum in Johannesburg and Robben Island in Cape Town.

The world lost an incredible leader yesterday — we honor the memory of Nelson Mandela today and every day for his life-long efforts to make our world a more peaceful and accepting place.