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Nelson Mandela Villa, Shambala Private Game Reserve, South Africa

By Elite Traveler

After a 45-minute helicopter journey from Johannesburg, you’ll land on Shambala Private Game Reserve’s private helicopter pad. The eight-chalet Zulu Camp is set within a 24,700-acre reserve, where you’ll more than likely spot at least one of the Big Five before you’ve even unpacked, and the chalets have charming leather-bound notebooks so you can log what you see. The Nelson Mandela Villa is set away from the chalets and has five bedrooms, one Presidential Suite with a private dining area and living room, a dining room with a 14-seat table, two studies, two lounges (one with a working fireplace), a business center with boardroom, and a spectacular heated indoor/ outdoor swimming pool. The villa was built by owner Douw Steyn for Nelson Mandela, his close friend, as a respite from public life and a place to hold pivotal meetings with political and business leaders in his continued quest to promote peace. It is here that Mandela wrote his memoirs, and he spent a great deal of time at the villa until his death.

From $5,700 per night. Contact, +27 (0)11 292 6000,

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