Critically ill humanitarian icon Nelson Mandela has opened his eyes for the first time in days after learning U.S. President Barack Obama is planning to visit him in hospital during his tour of Africa this week (begs24Jun13).

The civil rights icon's daughter, Zindzi, reveals her ailing father responded on Tuesday (25Jun13) after she told him of the politician's visit.

She says, "(I told him), 'Obama is coming.' He opened his eyes and gave me a smile."

Obama and his wife Michelle are scheduled to arrive in Africa on Wednesday (26Jun13), stopping in Senegal before heading to South Africa to visit the former South African president on Friday (28Jun13).

Mandela was hospitalised in Pretoria on 8 June (13) for treatment relating to a recurring lung infection.

His condition deteriorated last weekend (22-23Jun13), when current President Jacob Zuma revealed his health was critical but stable.