For over four centuries, Robben Island has been a place of punishment for exiles and prisoners as well as a place of confinement for lepers, lunatics and the sick. Since 1960, it has become synonymous with the political struggle against apartheid in South Africa. Political prisoners of the past have included Nelson Mandela and poet Dennis Brutus. The last political prisoners were released in 1991 and on January 1, 1997, the Robben Island Museum opened its doors to the public, with quite a number of the former political prisoners becoming island guides. In 1999, Robben Island was declared a Word Heritage Site.
Upon arrival at Roben Island, you will board a bus for a 45-minute orientation drive. Along the way, you will see the old leper colony, a Muslim shrine and a shipwreck before visiting the limestone quarry where political prisoners performed backbreaking labor. Afterward, a former political prisoner will lead you on a guided walking tour through the maximum-security block. A visit to Nelson Mandela's former cell is also included.
After your approximately 1.5 hour visit to the island, you will embark the ferry for the return ride to the mainland and return to the pier by coach.
Please note: This tour is not suitable for guests in wheelchairs or with walking difficulties as it involves quite a substantial amount of walking. Comfortable, closed-toe walking shoes are recommended. The ferry-ride is approximately 30 minutes in each direction. The ferry is strictly weather permitting. Robben Island is a protected conservation area.