The president spoke by telephone with the wife of Mandela, Mrs. Graça Machel, who remained by her husband's side in the hospital in Pretoria.
Out of deference to Nelson Mandela’s peace and comfort and the family’s wishes, they did not visit the hospital where the 94 year old icon is still in critical condition.
Instead, the Obamas met with the Mandela family at the Nelson Mandela Foundation in Johannesburg, South Africa where he expressed his heartfelt support for the entire family.
"It is my hope that Madiba draws peace and comfort from the time that he is spending with loved ones", said Obama.
The president also reaffirmed the profound impact that Nelson Mandela's legacy has had in building a free South Africa, and in inspiring people around the world.
"Including me", the president said. "That's a legacy that we must all honor in our own lives, including this July on Mandela Day."
Members of the Mandela family meeting with President Obama included Mr. Mandela's daughters, Makaziwe (Maki) Mandela and Zindzi Mandela Hlongwane, and eight of his grandchildren.
The president continues his visit to the continent to encourage economic investment in Africa and in its youth.
President Obama's Speeches While in Africa
Keeping Up With the Obamas In Africa
Goree Island Tour
A First Lady in Dakar