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Robben Island

Table Bay Harbor, Cape Town 8002 South Africa
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  • 98%
    History Buffs
  • 82%
    Local Culture

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  • Robben Island
    Georgina Mathew
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    + 6
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    5 Jan 03, 2014

    One of the most moving places to visit, the tour guides are former prisoners, who can offer true insight into the experience.

    Recommended for:History BuffsLocal Culture
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  • Robben IslandPro 2014
    D'Maris Coffman
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    + 7
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    2 Jun 12, 2013

    This is an important and moving national monument to the barbarity of apartheid, but it is very badly run. You get less than two hours on the island and the tour is a frogmarch with 20 minutes spent buying ice cream. Plus while ex-prisoners running tours had value, the emphasis on resistance rather than how the prison functioned gave the impression of the notting hill carnival in a confined space. Several you g kids thought being a political prisoner sounded FUN!

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  • Robben Island
    Patrizia Iantorno
    5 May 13, 2013

    you can not come to south africa, and miss robben island. the prison where nelson mandela stayed ...very impressive

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  • Robben IslandPro 2014
    Jaak Treiman
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    4 Jan 13, 2013

    Robben Island should be visited simply because of what it is - the place where male political prisoners were isolated. Johannesburg's Apartheid Museum and the women's prison on Constitution Hills are better administered and leave a greater impact. A tour of Robben Island feels more like a Sunday family outing to view the Cape Town skyline.

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  • Robben Island
    Laura Clarke
    5 Jul 24, 2012

    Robben Island should be visited by everybody at least once. I have been three times, with various different relatives. The island is accessed by a boat trip from V&A Waterfront. Please book in advance as it is extremely popular and you'd be lucky to get tickets by just showing up, even in low season. Once on the island there is a bus tour around the historic sites and then a walk around tour of the island. When I have visited all parts of the tour have been led by former inmates. I found their commentaries both informative and very moving. It is a thought provoking experience which will stay with you forever.

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  • Robben Island
    Charmaine Sweetman
    5 Jul 06, 2012

    I lived there and it is the most beautiful place to live there are rear animals there and the fishing is fantastic.

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  • Robben Island
    Miriam Mannak
    5 Jul 05, 2012

    Robben Island is one of Cape Town's Big Five (Table Mountain, Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, the V&A Waterfront, Cape Point / Cape of Good Hope), and deserves a visit - especially if you are interested in South Africa's history.

    Ferries depart from the Nelson Mandela Gateway at the back of the V&A Waterfront every hour or so. Bear in mind that ferries are weather and ocean swell dependent.

    After a 30-minute boat trip, you will arrive on the prison island which also used to be a leprosy colony. After a bus tour, which will lead you through the village and along the lime stone mine (where Nelson Mandela and other were confined to forced labour), you will visit the prison. here, a former prisoner will take you for a walk and explain about what went on here, how prisoners coped, how Apartheid influenced prison life, etc. If you are interest in football: ask the guide about Makana FA - Robben island football / soccer association. The club was established in the late 1970s and only low risk prisoners were allowed to play football once a week. To many prisoners, that 90 minutes of sport per week helped them cope.

    All in all, a Robben Island experience takes about 3 hours.

    Recommended for:History Buffs
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  • Robben Island
    Yellonero
    4 Jul 05, 2012

    Nelson Mandela was imprisoned in this island prison for 27 years. The island itself is quite scenic, with penguins sightings most days.

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  • Robben Island
    Heather Prime
    3 Jul 05, 2012

    Our tour guide was an actual ex-prisoner of Robben Island and his stories were quite amazing. If you're interested in South African history it is especially informative and enlightening. The ferry out there also provides great photo opportunities for good shots of Cape Town.

    Recommended for:History Buffs
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  • Robben Island
    Holly Tout
    4 Oct 25, 2012

    Amazing bring out the true history of south africa!!!

    Recommended for:History Buffs
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  • Robben Island
    Charmaine Carstens
    5 Jul 31, 2012
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  • Robben Island
    Kyreena Hay
    3 Jul 04, 2012

    mostly seals

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  • Robben Island
    Philipp S
    5 Feb 01, 2012
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  • Robben Island
    Juliana Costa
    5 Sep 18, 2012
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  • Robben Island
    Mina K
    4 Feb 05, 2013
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  • Robben Island
    Andy Webb
    3 Jun 15, 2011
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  • Robben Island
    Erika Seifert
    1 Jun 28, 2012
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  • Robben IslandAmbassadorPro 2014
    Nally
    3 Nov 11, 2013
    Recommended for:History BuffsLocal Culture
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OverviewEdit

4.0 out of 5
18 member's reviews
371 people visited Robben Island

Description

Ferry tickets this World Heritage Site are often sold out days in advance. This was not always the case. At one time, taking a boat to his Table Bay island meant you were unlikely to be leaving any time soon; this was the place they sent the apartheid-era freedom fighters, the lepers, and the mentally ill. The island is most often noted as the place that Nelson Mandela, current South African ... read more
president Jacob Zuma, and other political activists were jailed by the ruling minority. Some of the men who lived for decades in the prison have chosen to come back. When you tour the island prison, you will be guided by someone who knows the place intimately: a former inmate.

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