Nelson Mandela tourism booming in South Africa
Attractions like Nelson Mandela's house in Soweto and the cell where he was imprisoned on Robben Island are a big draw for travellers.
A trip to Robben Island is likely to be on the travel itinerary of anyone planning South Africa overland tours.
As the location of the prison where anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela was held for 18 of his 27 years in incarceration, it is a major draw for tourists.
Now a UNESCO World Heritage site, the jail was used to house a number of political prisoners during the apartheid era.
The island, which lies off the coast of Cape Town, has also served as a leper colony and an animal quarantine station.
But Robben Island isn't the only attraction with links to the former South African president. There's also his house in Soweto, the ruins of his primary school and numerous museums dedicated to his life and work.
According to Laura Vercueil, a spokesperson for the Johannesburg tourism office, visitor numbers to these and other Mandela sites are booming.
"The most wanted attractions are linked to Nelson Mandela," she told the AFP news agency. "The most popular request is to go to Soweto, in order to have a township experience and see Mandela's house."
The Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg is another must-see for those on Mandela-themed trips to South Africa.
Curator Amelia Potenza said the exhibition was set up temporarily to mark the now 93-year-old's 90th birthday in 2008.
However, she told AFP there are no plans to remove it in the foreseeable future, as it has proven so popular among visitors to the country.
"It's magnetic," she remarked. "People are drawn to the figure of Mandela."
Other attractions include the room Mandela once rented in Alexandra, the building where his law offices were housed in the 1950s and the farm where he hid prior to his arrest in 1962.
Freed from captivity in February 1990, the legendary figure became the first black president of South Africa in April 1994. He served until June 1999.