After an official state funeral in Pretoria, his body will be flown to the Eastern Cape province, the hilly rural area where he was born and grew up.
He will be buried in a private ceremony in Qunu, next to the remains of his family, including three deceased children.
The children's graves were the subject of a bitter court feud between Mandela's grandson Mandla and other relatives, including his current wife Graca Machel and ex-wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.
Mandla had moved the remains without his relatives' consent in 2011, in what they called an effort to force his grandfather's last resting place from his childhood village Qunu to his birthplace Mvezo around 30 kilometres away.
The court ordered the remains to be returned to Qunu. In recent years authorities rushed to renovate the nearby Mthatha airport and roads leading to Qunu as Mandela's health deteriorated and the prospect of large funeral proceedings loomed. -- AFP
Pic: A woman places a candle at the base of a statue of Nelson Mandela. Reuters/Toby Melville