A company founded by an ex-journalist has started offering an innovative tour that delves beneath the surface of South Africa and lets travelers who are passionate about international affairs and politics learn about the challenges facing the country and its people.
The 10-day trip, which examines the legacy of Mandela and South Africa’s struggle with poverty and corruption, aims to offer visitors interactive insight and analysis by having them meet with villagers, dine with local families, speak with local leaders, and hear talks by expert analysts. Led by Peter Sullivan, former editor of The Star newspaper, it includes visits to Soweto, the South African Stock Exchange, the battlefields of the Anglo-Zulu wars, a gold mine, and an afternoon with a local family. Distinguished speakers include Don Ncube, chair of the ANC’s Sandton branch, official opposition leader Mike Moriarty, radio personality/diplomat/commentator Peter Soal, and former Constitutional Court judge and Deputy Chief Justice Kate O’Regan. Guests are encouraged to ask questions and participate rather than just passively observe.
The tour is not all serious though – guests also get to eat in fine restaurants, stay in some of South Africa’s best hotels, and go wine tasting in the Cape Town-area winelands, among other activities.
Political Tours, which was the brainchild of former New York Times Balkans correspondent Nicholas Wood, also offers an inside look at the politics and problems faced by other politically charged countries such as North Korea, Palestine, Bosnia, and Northern Ireland.