Robben Island

One of Cape Town’s Most Fascinating Attractions – A Symbol of Hope

A Robben Island Tour showcases the 500-year-old history of this remarkable prison located off the coast of Cape Town.

It’s a must-visit destination when visiting Cape Town, providing powerful insights into the heritage of the country today. Robben Island’s so remarkable that it’s recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site as well as a South African National Heritage Site.

About Robben Island

Thousands of years ago, Robben Island was joined to the mainland by a strip of land and was inhabited by ancient folk. However, since the Dutch discovered the Cape, it’s been a place of a banishment and exile reserved for the diseased, mentally ill, and other social outcasts.

More recently it’s held many notable political figures from the apartheid struggle. Many of them, most notably Nelson Mandela, rose victorious at the dawn of democracy in South Africa.

Today, Robben Island embodies the power of hope and perseverance in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds, a symbol of triumph in the face of adversity and injustice.

When you visit Robben Island, you’ll soon realize that a sense of triumph has replaced the depressing prison vibe one would expect in this isolated place.

You can still see reminders of these historic, albeit dark, times in the form of:

  • The maximum security prison
  • The Lepers Graveyard
  • Robert Sobukwe’s House
  • The Prison Museum
  • The Kramat Muslim Shrine

There’s also a penguin colony onsite.

As such, Robben Island is a don’t miss attraction for insights into the characters that shaped the South Africa of today and can impact your entire experience of the country.

Take a Robben Island Tour

You can visit Robben Island on a three-hour tour which departs every two hours from the Nelson Mandela Gateway via ferry.

During this insightful trip, you’ll learn all about the prisoners who were once incarcerated here, including Nelson Mandela, and get to explore some of their old haunts.

A well-informed guide brings the entire experience to life.

For a unique view of the island, you can take a helicopter flip around the island or head to the top of Table Mountain or Lion’s Head.

Experience Cape Town’s Best Attractions

A Robben Island Tour is only one of the many activities and attractions on offer at the V&A Waterfront, which is one of South Africa’s most prominent tourist attractions.

You’ll also find plenty of galleries, museums, restaurants, shops, and markets at the V&A. Do you need assistance planning your trip to South Africa? Browse our platform for more information or get in touch.

Please Note: The details shared herein around products and services, are correct at the time of publishing. However, with time some of this information may change. We recommend confirming information with suppliers prior to making final travel arrangements. If you do happen to find an issue with any information we’ve shared here, please feel free to contact us so that we can make the relevant changes.

Robben Island


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