Robben Island

Robben Island

Robben Island

Robben Island (Cape Town) – located off the coast of Cape Town, this was the once-notorious prison where anti-Apartheid activities (including Nelson Mandela) were kept, until 1990, when Mandela and other ANC activists were freed (which led to the country’s transition to democracy). This site has been declared a South African National Monument in 1996 and a UNESCO world heritage site in 1999.


The island was converted to a museum in 1997, and tours are provided to visitors. The standard tour to Robben Island is 3.5 hours long, including the two half-hour ferry rides. Ferries depart at 9am, 11am, 1pm and 3pm, weather permitting, from the V & A Waterfront in Cape Town. The Robben Island Tour includes:


A return boat trip across Table Bay

A visit to the infamous Maximum Security Prison

Interaction with an ex-political prisoner

A 45-minute bus ride with a guide providing commentary

The opportunity to explore the Murray’s Bay Harbour precinct attractions, such as the Muslim shrine, or kramat, and the Museum Shop.


To secure a place for yourself or your group on the ferry during the busy summer season, we recommend you book early. Concession rates to schools and disadvantaged groups are also considered on application to the concessions and complimentary ticket administrator. See the Robben Island website for more details: