Robben Island Museum, Cape Town

World heritage site · Island · Historic Site
Visit the World Heritage Site of Robben Island Museum, a spit of land just off the Cape Town coast. The island's main claim to fame is rather unfortunate--it includes the prison in which Nelson Mandela served much of his sentence. Used for isolating political prisoners since the 17th century, the island also housed as a leper colony and a World War II fortress during its history. Take a boat ride to the island to delve into the history of the anti-apartheid movement and see where numerous activists, three of which later became presidents, served out their prison sentences. On a tour of the maximum-security prison, you'll most likely be guided by a former inmate who can offer a glimpse into the grueling experience many suffered here. To visit Robben Island Museum and get the most from your holiday in Cape Town, create itinerary details personal to you using our Cape Town trip itinerary site.
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  • It was very emotional listening to a former political prisoner describe his years in Robbin Island Prison. It is an important part of the history of South Africa. We must all remember the evil of...  more »
  • I have to say, the reality of the history of island is truly shocking and so are you going to expect a day full of talks and thoughts. Apart from the boat tour which was quite nice -and lively- as.....  more »
  • This is a must see for history buffs! We learned a lot and it was incredible that our tour guide was a former inmate.  more »
  • A trip to Robben Island is a bittersweet experience, but it is one of those essential activities for anyone visiting Cape Town. Robben Island has reinvented itself many times over the years, once a leper colony, mental hospital and defence training base. It is one of the world's most important cultural heritage destinations, both in its tragic aspect and its corresponding triumph. It is a testament to the true spirit and history of the South African people and will never leave you unmoved as it offers a good insight into what this meant.
  • Very interesting to visit. The ferry ride can be a bit much for those who are prone to seasickness but ultimately it's worth it. Knowledgeable tour guides that are friendly and helpful. They take you on a bus tour all over the island so it's more than just visiting a prison cell.
  • It is surreal to be walking the same yards and corridors that the apartheid activists walked on themselves. The grounds and the prison are kept well. Hearing from former prisoners and being given very person tours makes this visit all the more special. Leper Cemetary has stories, the quarry, the school, the post office, the various ship wrecks. Fascinating place really.
  • Tour around the island was great, lots of renovations done and greater coverage of outside of the prison. The tour guide for inside the prison was not so great, they could atleast get the tor guides to do a presentation to ensure suitability.
  • A World Heritage Site, which by default makes it a place that one should visit. The Ferry Ride was great and well organised. The museum tour I found interesting to a point, but that was it. I found the tour disappointing and disjointed. The planning and execution could be far better. Nevertheless I'm glad I've done it. But unlike other museums I won't be rushing back.

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