It is most famous for being a political prison during the apartheid era, when many of South Africa’s most prominent freedom fighters spent time here. Nelson Mandela spent 18 years of the 27 years he was imprisoned on the island. Robben Island is one of the country’s most visited tourist attractions. Not to be missed, Robben Island is likely to be a tour that will haunt your memory for years to come.
Robben Island is situated about 10km offshore from Cape Town. The name “Robben Island” was given by Dutch settlers and roughly translated means “Island of seals”. Declared a World Heritage Site in 1999, over the centuries Robben Island has been used as a prison, a hospital, a mental institution, and a military base.
ROBBEN ISLAND TOUR
The Robben Island Museum tour starts at the Nelson Mandela Gateway at the V & A Waterfront (+27 (0)21 408 7600), here you can look enjoy the multimedia exhibitions, visit the museum shop for souvenirs grab a bite at the. You will then take a Ferry from the gateway, each tour takes approximately 3.5 hours.
You’ll be guided around the island by one of the former political prisoners, who will relay the history of the island, and firsthand accounts of prison life. The tour takes you to the maximum security prison, and to Mandela’s cell in particular, which has been left in its original state. A bus will transport you to the lime quarry where the prisoners did hard labour.
EXTRA INFO Opening times: 07h00 to 21h00 every day Ferry departure times: 09h00, 11h00, 13h00 and 15h00