South Africa marks its annual Freedom Day each year on 27 April in recognition of the country’s first democratic elections in 1994 which were, for the very first time, non-racial. And 27 April 2014 heralds the 20th anniversary of this historic event.
The elections were particularly significant as they marked the end to more than 300 years of segregation and colonialism within South Africa. The majority of the population voted and a new democratic government was sworn in which was headed up by the ANC (African National Congress). The new constitution was led by the very first black president – Nelson Mandela. This year’s anniversary is all the more moving as Nelson Mandela passed away on 5 December 2013.
Whether you plan on visiting South Africa this year or not, Freedom Day is the perfect opportunity to learn more about the culture and heritage of this mesmerising country. Learn more about the fearless leader Nelson Mandela in the film starring Idris Elba in the lead ‘Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom’ and catch the BBC documentary series ‘Death of Apartheid’.
If you do get the opportunity to visit South Africa this year, you’ll discover plenty going on. Cape Town is hosting the year-long World Design Capital 2014 accolade with its theme based on ‘Future Capital of Design. It’s also one of the most desirable safari locations, with its oldest National Park, the world-renowned Kruger National Park, home to both the Big 5 animals, as well as the Big 6 birds! In fact, South Africa is often dubbed ‘A World in One Country’ thanks to the rich diversity of flora, fauna and breathtaking landscapes. Don’t miss the awesome Table Mountain National Park, which along with the Kruger National Park, make up the country’s two most visited tourist destinations. Sample the delicious wares of the Winelands, bike through the pristine woodlands of Knysna and head to the coast to spot penguins, seals and whales.