Robben Island Museum, Cape Town

#1 of 164 in Historic Sites in South Africa
World heritage site · Island · Historic Site
Visit the World Heritage Site of Robben Island Museum, a spit of land just off the Cape Town coast. The island's main claim to fame is rather unfortunate--it includes the prison in which Nelson Mandela served much of his sentence. Used for isolating political prisoners since the 17th century, the island also housed as a leper colony and a World War II fortress during its history. Take a boat ride to the island to delve into the history of the anti-apartheid movement and see where numerous activists, three of which later became presidents, served out their prison sentences. On a tour of the maximum-security prison, you'll most likely be guided by a former inmate who can offer a glimpse into the grueling experience many suffered here. To visit Robben Island Museum and get the most from your holiday in Cape Town, create itinerary details personal to you using our Cape Town trip itinerary site.
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  • Robben Island is one of those places that leave you feeling awkward, sad, angry and humble. The island itself is beautiful from a conservation perspective however do t be expecting prestige lush...  more »
  • To see the prison where Mandela spent most of his prison time and have a tour through part of it from a former prisoner, was a very moving experience. It can only increase one's admiration for this.....  more »
  • A trip to Robben Island is a bittersweet experience, but it is one of those essential activities for anyone visiting Cape Town. Robben Island has reinvented itself many times over the years, once a leper colony, mental hospital and defence training base. It is one of the world's most important cultural heritage destinations, both in its tragic aspect and its corresponding triumph. It is a testament to the true spirit and history of the South African people and will never leave you unmoved as it offers a good insight into what this meant.
  • Very interesting to visit. The ferry ride can be a bit much for those who are prone to seasickness but ultimately it's worth it. Knowledgeable tour guides that are friendly and helpful. They take you on a bus tour all over the island so it's more than just visiting a prison cell.

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