First Lady Michelle Obama with her daughters Sasha (left) and Malia visited former president Nelson Mandela at his home in Houghton.

*First Lady Michelle Obama paid a visit to Nelson Mandela Tuesday on the first day of her visit to Africa, the Nelson Mandela Foundation and the White House announced.

Obama, accompanied by her mother and two daughters, visited the 92-year-old former South African President and anti-apartheid icon at his home in Johannesburg’s Houghton suburb, reports the Associated Press.

Mandela hasn’t been seen in public since he was hospitalized in January. He paid a visit to his home village in May, the first since he spent several days in hospital in January for a respiratory disease. Since then he has received medical care at home.

Michelle Obama and South Africa's former president Nelson Mandela view his newest book titled Nelson Mandela by Himself

Mrs. Obama earlier visited the foundation offices, viewing a display of archival items including Mandela’s prison desk, calendars and notebooks.

The foundation quoted Obama as saying after viewing the display: “You are doing very important work.”

The first lady arrived in South Africa late Monday and earlier met Nompumelelo Zuma, one of President Jacob Zuma’s wives, in the capital Pretoria. [Scroll down to watch footage of her arrival.]

Michelle Obama, far left, and her mother Marian Robinson, right, look on as daughters Malia, second from right, and Sasha, black jacket, are given blankets as they land in Pretoria en route to Johannesburg, South Africa, Monday, June 20, 2011

As previously reported, the visit by Mrs. Obama to South Africa and Botswana is her second official solo journey abroad with a goal of advancing U.S. policies on education, health, and democracy.