Robben Island – Mandela’s Prison
Take a Tour to Robben Island
Robben Island was a high security prison between 1961 and 1991 and is infamous for the incarceration of Nelson Mandela.
Nelson Mandela is the most famous past prisoner of Robben Island but others include prominent figures such as Govan Mbeki, Walter Sisulu and Jacob Zuma.
Today the prison is a museum and a poignant reminder to the newly democratic South Africa of the price they paid for freedom.
How to get there
Enter the V&A waterfront via the main entrance (Hans Strydom Ave) and ferries depart from the Nelson Mandela Gateway near the Clock Tower at the V&A Waterfront.
What to expect
One disembarks the ferry at Murray’s Bay on the Eastern side of the Island and you will then be escorted by your (ex political prisoner) guide. You will see the high security prison where Nelson Mandela and other struggle heroes were held. You will also see the limestone quarry where they worked and the rest of the tour around the island includes the lighthouse built in 1863 and the Moturu Kramat which is a holy site for muslims.
The facts & figures
Ferries depart at 9am, 11am and 1pm, weather permitting. The standard tour to Robben Island is 3.5 hours long, including the two half-hour ferry rides. Tickets cost R220 for adults and R110 for all children under the age of 18.
Book in advance especially in high season and take warm windproof clothing with you. It can get choppy, so if you get seasick, come prepared with sea legs!
Tel +27 21 413 4220/1 (Nelson Mandela Gateway)
Tel +27 21 409 5169 (Robben Island)
Tel +27 21 413 4233 / 37
The ticket sales office is located at the Nelson Mandela Gateway at the V&A Waterfront, Cape Town.
(For example special subsidized educational school tours)
Tel +27 21 411 1037