Pollsmoor Prison

Steenberg Rd, Tokai, Cape Town, 7945, South Africa

Some of Cape Town’s wealthiest residents and some of South Africa’s most dangerous criminals both live in the leafy green suburbs of Tokai. Pollsmoor Maximum Security Prison, the place where Nelson Mandela was transferred after 18 years of imprisonment on Robben Island. He describes it in his book, Long Walk to Freedom, as “the truth of Oscar Wilde’s haunting line about the tent of blue that prisoners call the sky.” Idlanathi (“Eat with Us”) is a small restaurant at Pollsmoor which serves breakfast and lunch for visitors and staff. By learning to cook and prepare basic dishes (think bacon & egg sandwiches, fish & chips and beef burgers) inmates nearing release are provided with the opportunity to develop work experience and skills. Please note: Pollsmoor Maximum Security Prison is a working prison and is not open for tours. Only those who are very open minded and seriously interested in an authentic cultural connection should visit.

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Inside Cape Town's Maximum Security Prison

Some of Cape Town’s wealthiest residents and some of South Africa’s most dangerous criminals both live in the leafy green suburbs of Tokai. Pollsmoor Maximum Security Prison, the place where Nelson Mandela was transferred after 18 years of imprisonment on Robben Island. He describes it in his book, Long Walk to Freedom, as “the truth of Oscar Wilde’s haunting line about the tent of blue that prisoners call the sky.” Idlanathi (“Eat with Us”) is a small restaurant at Pollsmoor which serves breakfast and lunch for visitors and staff. By learning to cook and prepare basic dishes (think bacon & egg sandwiches, fish & chips and beef burgers) inmates nearing release are provided with the opportunity to develop work experience and skills. Please note: Pollsmoor Maximum Security Prison is a working prison and is not open for tours. Only those who are very open minded and seriously interested in an authentic cultural connection should visit.

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