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Robben Island

Robben Island, Cape Town, 7400, South Africa
| +27 21 409 5100
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Robben Island Cape Town  South Africa
Robben Island Cape Town  South Africa
Table Mountain As Seen From Robben Island Cape Town  South Africa
Perspective from Robben Island Cape Town  South Africa
History Cape Town  South Africa
Robben Island Cape Town  South Africa
Robben Island Cape Town  South Africa
Table Mountain As Seen From Robben Island Cape Town  South Africa
Perspective from Robben Island Cape Town  South Africa
History Cape Town  South Africa

Robben Island

One of South Africa’s most famous sights is Robben Island, located seven kilometers (four miles) to the west of Cape Town. Its history as a prison is almost as old as the first Dutch settlement on the cape—dating back to the 17th century. Today it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and museum. The tour guides are all former prisoners, and after touring the island’s graveyard and its maximum-security facility, your visit will conclude with a stop at the cell of the island’s most famous prisoner, Nelson Mandela. The half-hour ferry ride to and from the island includes breathtaking views of Cape Town and Table Mountain. Note that there are only three departures daily, from the V&A Waterfront, in low season—at 9 a.m., 11 a.m., and 1 p.m. (In the spring and summer, there is an additional departure at 3 p.m.) You should book your ferry tickets far in advance.

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AFAR Local Expert
over 4 years ago

Table Mountain As Seen From Robben Island

This shot was taken at one of the rest stops along the tour route. It seems like freedom is so far away... The thought of trying to escape that place by many of the inmates must have been dashed whenever they looked out to the mainland. Just knowing what lay ahead would be enough to put any attempts to flee at bay. Robben Island is an island in Table Bay, and means "seal island" in Dutch. Initially as a place for the restocking of passing ships, it eventually became a prison (similar to Alcatraz Island) at the end of the 17th century. It's probably best known as the place where Nelson Mandela spent 18 of his 27 years of imprisonment during the Apartheid regime. Today the island is a World Heritage site and museum, which serves as a poignant reminder to democratic South Africa of the price paid for freedom. With daily tours departing from the Nelson Mandela Gateway at the V & A Waterfront, the ferry will take you on a bumpy ride out to the island where guided tour busses will take you around and regale you with stories of the hardships that prisoners were subjected to on the island.
AFAR Local Expert
over 4 years ago

Perspective from Robben Island

No trip to South Africa is complete without the pilgrimage out to Robben Island. Robben Island served as a place of isolation and imprisonment for over four centuries, but today it is a World Heritage Site and museum. As the museum entrance reads, it's also 'a poignant reminder to the newly democratic South Africa of the price paid for freedom.' One of the added highlights of this morning or afternoon trip to Robben Island and back, is the breathtaking view of Cape Town and Table Mountain that you have aboard the ferry, each way. It's glorious. Be sure to book your tickets for the ferry far in advance and know that there are limited departures only at 9am, 11am, 1pm and 3pm, (weather permitting), from Nelson Mandela Gateway, at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town. You'll be moved by the stories of forgiveness and reconciliation told by the tour guides that are all former prisoners, and have renewed hope in the resiliency of the human spirit. What a perfect backdrop to study on your return trip back to the mainland, while pondering just how lucky we are to have this freedom called travel and the chance to learn from the history before us, in hope of not repeating the struggle.
over 3 years ago

History

It brings goose bumps to your arms. Take the trip get on the fast ferry. Start your day early first boat our by 8:30-9:00am. Had the amazing opportunity to go inside Nelson Mandela's cell in a private tour. I wanted to see the inside of it. EPIC and gives you tons of history to the island. Send a poster card Robben Island has there own mail. Pretty cool. Picture taken with a wide angle lens. 1/125 f/13
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