Robben Island
Culture & history

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Our most recommended Robben Island Culture & history

Cape Town: Robben Island Ferry Ticket and Guided Prison Tour

1. Cape Town: Robben Island Ferry Ticket and Guided Prison Tour

Prepare for a memorable journey into South Africa's recent past with a trip to Robben Island. Waste no time waiting to buy tickets by pre-booking your ferry and guided tour entry. Upon arrival on Robben Island, meet up with a former inmate for a guided tour of the notorious prison. After heading to the meeting point, go straight to the boarding area to take a roughly 30-minute shared boat trip to Robben Island. Embark on a journey across the sea and dock at the Robben Island Museum upon arrival. Once on the island, meet up with an ex-political prisoner to begin your exploration of the island. Board a bus to tour the premises, and hear first-hand accounts of what it was like to be a prisoner there. Find out about the rich history of the island, and then reach the highlight of the tour: Nelson Mandela's prison cell. Get a sense of his fight for freedom as you discover the prison cell where he was incarcerated for more than 25 years. Afterward, take the return trip back to Cape Town. Kindly note that this offer is for International travellers. (Non South Africans) We encourage SA citizens to purchase their tickets from Robben Island directly. Please also note that this is not a private tour and you will join others on the boat trip and on the guided bus and land tour. You will skip the ticketing line but will still have to queue to board the ferry boat. This tour excludes hotel pick up and drop off. The tour starts and ends at the Nelson Mandela Gateway to Robben Island.

Cape Town: Tandem Paragliding Adventure

2. Cape Town: Tandem Paragliding Adventure

Enjoy an spectacular paragliding adventure in Cape Town and marvel at the incredible views of the Atlantic Coastline, Lions Head, Signal Hill, Camps Bay, Clifton Beaches and more. Fly up into the sky with your experienced instructor and create unforgettable memories of a lifetime. Meet your pilot and other fun seekers at Signal Hill to begin your adventure. First, get an induction brief from your Instructor before you take off from a mountain slope under a canopy that resembles a parachute.  Get ready for liftoff; take a few steps or a short run to take off from the gentle slope, the wind will catch the canopy, and you will be airborne. Seated comfortably in front of your instructor you will feel the exhilaration and incredible sensation of free flying. A natural high as you experience a paragliding flight that you won't forget. Get hooked on the freedom and breathtaking views of Lions Head, Signal Hill, Camps Bay, Clifton Beaches, Waterfront, and Robben Island, that you won't forget.

Cape Town: Waterfront and Sunset Champagne Cruise

3. Cape Town: Waterfront and Sunset Champagne Cruise

Enjoy a unique view of the coast of Cape Town from the sea while relaxing and sipping on local sparkling wine on this sunset cruise. Admire the sunset over the Atlantic Ocean that stretches away from the majestic Table Mountain range. The sailboats Esperance and Serenity One follow the wind for this cruise, and therefore the destination is dependent on the weather at the time of the cruise. Your captain will let you know before departure your expected direction, but a typical Cape Town summer wind blows from the southeast. First, you'll leave the harbor and sail across Table Bay towards Milnerton Lighthouse, returning to the protection of the Granger Bay in the lee of Table Mountain to watch the sun set, and then motor back to the waterfront. In the winter months, with the Northwester prevalent, the direction will likely be towards the Clifton coastline or the Robben Island Coastline. This cruise will also return to Granger Bay and the Waterfront. On some occasions the weather may require the use of a motorboat, in which case the boat will cruise slowly along the Atlantic seaboard towards Clifton beach and then return. On all trips your skipper and crew will do their best, weather dependent, to give you the best view of the spectacular sunset over the sea - you won't believe the beauty of this sight until you experience it yourself! For all the vessels, when the seas are running too high or the wind is unpleasantly strong, instead of heading into Table Bay the destination is the Cape Town Harbor; a perfect alternative offering magical views of Table Mountain and the lights of Cape Town and the harbor in the evening. In extreme conditions the skipper will take every aspect into account, and even stay dockside to ensure the safety of the passengers.

Cape Town: Robben Island Ferry Tour with 1-Way Hotel Pickup

4. Cape Town: Robben Island Ferry Tour with 1-Way Hotel Pickup

Take the ferry to Robben Island and tour the prison where Nelson Mandela was confined. Learn about South Africa's history of Apartheid and life in the prison from a former prisoner. Depart from Cape Town on a shared bus to the V&A Waterfront. Collect your ticket and make your way to the Nelson Mandela Gateway to Robben Island. Sail out to the island on a 45-minute journey. On arrival, embark on a bus tour of the island before visiting the prison and the cell where Nelson Mandela was kept for 18 of his 27 prison years. Gain an insight into the history and conditions of the prison from a former prisoner. After the tour, return to Cape Town and be dropped off at the V&A Waterfront. Here you will be free to return to your accommodation independently or continue touring the beautiful city.

Cape Town: Marine Wildlife Tour from the V&A Waterfront

5. Cape Town: Marine Wildlife Tour from the V&A Waterfront

Climb aboard and look for marine life in the ecosystem of Table Bay on a 1.5-hour eco-cruise from Cape Town. See species in their natural surroundings, such as humpback and southern right whales, depending on the season. Get the chance to watch pods of dolphins breaching close to the boat and marvel at their acrobatic displays. Be enchanted by Cape fur seals lounging on the jetties and get close to unusual species, such as sunfish. Watch African penguins diving for fish to take back to their breeding colony on Robben Island.  Encounter birdlife, such as terns, gannets, cormorants and mighty black-browed albatross.

Cape Town: Table Mountain, Robben Island, and Aquarium Tour

6. Cape Town: Table Mountain, Robben Island, and Aquarium Tour

Join a guided tour and visit Cape Town's top attractions, including Table Mountain, Robben Island, the V&A Waterfront, and the Two Oceans Aquarium. Enjoy the convenience of a hotel pickup and travel in the comfort of an air-conditioned vehicle. Start your day of exploring Cape Town with an early pickup directly from your accommodation and set out to see the city's most iconic attraction, Table Mountain. Purchase your tickets and hop into one of the cable cars to make your way to the top of the mountain. Spend some time soaking in the breathtaking views of the City of Cape Town, Signal Hill, and Lion's Head. Then, join your guide as you walk to another lookout point and be rewarded with sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean, Camps Bay, and the Twelve Apostles Mountains. Ride the cable car back down the mountain and head to the V&A Waterfront where you'll board a ferry to Robben Island. Disembark at Murray's Bay Harbor on the east coast of the island and board a bus that will take you to all the historic sites. Get a guided tour of the prison while learning about South Africa's history, the struggle against oppression, and the thousands of freedom fighters who were imprisoned on Robben Island, including former president Nelson Mandela. Return by ferry to the V&A Waterfront and enjoy some free time to do some shopping or grab a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants (cost not included). End your day with a visit to the Two Oceans Aquarium. Explore the wonders of the ocean up close as you visit the penguin exhibit, shark exhibit, ocean exhibit, and much more. Finally, hop back into your air-conditioned vehicle and enjoy a comfortable ride back to your accommodation.

Cape Town: Penguin Watching at Boulders Beach Half Day Tour

7. Cape Town: Penguin Watching at Boulders Beach Half Day Tour

The tour departs Cape Town and heads to the first stop of the day, Maidens Cove. From here, admire the stunning views across the Atlantic seaboard as well as marveling at the imposing Twelve Apostles Mountain range. The tour continues along Chapmans Peak Drive, rated one of the best mountain drives in the world. Along the way, stop at a selection of lookouts that provide unspoiled views of Hout Bay Harbour and Noordhoek beach. Arrive at Boulders Beach and learn about the friendly African Jackass Penguins that call the beach their home. Although the penguins roam freely on the beach and are comfortable being near humans, they are protected animals and visitors are not permitted to touch or feed them. Admire the penguins from a designated viewing point, and observe these creatures as they go about their day. Enjoy some free time to relax on the beach, take a swim with the penguins in the refreshing waters, or explore the surrounding landscpaes. The tour ends with a visit to Boyes Drive, a spectacular mountain road overlooking the stunning view of False Bay coast before dropping you back at your hotel (accommodation).

Cape Town: Robben Island Ferry Ticket and Townships Tour

8. Cape Town: Robben Island Ferry Ticket and Townships Tour

Discover some of Cape Town's most famous townships on a guided tour in an air-conditioned minivan. Visit District Six, take a walking tour in Langa, and learn about Bonteheuwel as you drive through it. After, explore Robben Island on your own with an included ferry ticket. Explore District Six, where 60,000 inhabitants were forcibly removed during the 1970s by the apartheid regime. Drive to Langa and learn the history of the oldest township at sites like the Old Pass Office and the monument to Robert Sobukwe. Learn about life during apartheid on a walking tour of the hostels and shacks. Visit a shebeen (pub), try some homemade beer, and see a traditional healer in action Then, drive through the Bonteheuwel township, reserved for the "colored" community during the days of apartheid. Hear about the division of people and its impact on the communities today. See the Gugulethu 7 Memorial to the members of an anti-apartheid group killed by the South African Police in 1986, and the memorial to the American student Amy Biehl, murdered by PAC supporters in 1993. Afterward, get dropped off at the V&A Waterfront to take your ferry to Robben Island.

Township and Robben Island Combination Tour

9. Township and Robben Island Combination Tour

Discover some of the most notable townships of Cape Town, learning about the struggle against Apartheid. Then visit the infamous Robben Island to see where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for much of his 27-year incarceration. Start the tour at the historical site of District Six, where inhabitants were forcibly removed according to the Group Areas Act of 1950 during the Apartheid era. From there move on to Langa, the oldest township in Cape Town. Travel to Bonteheuwel, a township developed from the forcibly removed District Six residents classified as colored. Learn about the rules in these townships and how they affected everyday life. Make your way to Gugulethu, home to more than 300,000 residents. Here your guide will explain how this township has developed after the fall of Apartheid. Break for lunch at the V&A Waterfront, one of the top tourist destinations in Cape Town with breathtaking views of Table Mountain. After lunch, hop on the ferry to Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was incarcerated for 18 of his 27 prison years. Here you take a guided tour of the infamous maximum-s.ecurity prison and see Nelson Mandela's cell. After exploring the island you will be taken back to the V&A Waterfront by ferry, where the tour ends

Cape Town Ocean Safari: Speed Boat Adventure in Table Bay

10. Cape Town Ocean Safari: Speed Boat Adventure in Table Bay

Our trips departing from Quay 5 in the Waterfront. With a bit of luck you will have a chance to see Cape Fur Seals, Dolphins, Whales, Penguins and Sun Fish and potentially much more as we search the bay for sea life. The destination of the tour is not always the same as this trip is really about spending time on the water and looking for the rich sea life that can be found in the proximity of Cape Town. However you can be assured that you will have amazing views of the Table Bay and will be able to see some of Cape Town most amazing landmarks from the water: Table Mountain, Signal Hill, Lion's Head, Camps Bay and Clifton Beaches, Robben Island. You will of course be able to take pictures when the speedboat occasionally stops to make sure you have memory of such incredible experience. The trip starts with a safety briefing by the skipper, the fitting of life jackets and the signing of the indemnity in our offices on Quay 5. Children are welcome as long as they are under the supervision of adults. Our expeditions are weather-dependent and routing will depend on the expected weather conditions for the day.

Cape Town

Cape Town

Our most recommended Robben Island Culture & history

Cape Town: Robben Island Ferry Ticket and Guided Prison Tour

Cape Town: Robben Island Ferry Ticket and Guided Prison Tour

Prepare for a memorable journey into South Africa's recent past with a trip to Robben Island. Waste no time waiting to buy tickets by pre-booking your ferry and guided tour entry. Upon arrival on Robben Island, meet up with a former inmate for a guided tour of the notorious prison. After heading to the meeting point, go straight to the boarding area to take a roughly 30-minute shared boat trip to Robben Island. Embark on a journey across the sea and dock at the Robben Island Museum upon arrival. Once on the island, meet up with an ex-political prisoner to begin your exploration of the island. Board a bus to tour the premises, and hear first-hand accounts of what it was like to be a prisoner there. Find out about the rich history of the island, and then reach the highlight of the tour: Nelson Mandela's prison cell. Get a sense of his fight for freedom as you discover the prison cell where he was incarcerated for more than 25 years. Afterward, take the return trip back to Cape Town. Kindly note that this offer is for International travellers. (Non South Africans) We encourage SA citizens to purchase their tickets from Robben Island directly. Please also note that this is not a private tour and you will join others on the boat trip and on the guided bus and land tour. You will skip the ticketing line but will still have to queue to board the ferry boat. This tour excludes hotel pick up and drop off. The tour starts and ends at the Nelson Mandela Gateway to Robben Island.

Cape Town: Tandem Paragliding Adventure

Cape Town: Tandem Paragliding Adventure

Enjoy an spectacular paragliding adventure in Cape Town and marvel at the incredible views of the Atlantic Coastline, Lions Head, Signal Hill, Camps Bay, Clifton Beaches and more. Fly up into the sky with your experienced instructor and create unforgettable memories of a lifetime. Meet your pilot and other fun seekers at Signal Hill to begin your adventure. First, get an induction brief from your Instructor before you take off from a mountain slope under a canopy that resembles a parachute.  Get ready for liftoff; take a few steps or a short run to take off from the gentle slope, the wind will catch the canopy, and you will be airborne. Seated comfortably in front of your instructor you will feel the exhilaration and incredible sensation of free flying. A natural high as you experience a paragliding flight that you won't forget. Get hooked on the freedom and breathtaking views of Lions Head, Signal Hill, Camps Bay, Clifton Beaches, Waterfront, and Robben Island, that you won't forget.

Cape Town: Waterfront and Sunset Champagne Cruise

Cape Town: Waterfront and Sunset Champagne Cruise

Enjoy a unique view of the coast of Cape Town from the sea while relaxing and sipping on local sparkling wine on this sunset cruise. Admire the sunset over the Atlantic Ocean that stretches away from the majestic Table Mountain range. The sailboats Esperance and Serenity One follow the wind for this cruise, and therefore the destination is dependent on the weather at the time of the cruise. Your captain will let you know before departure your expected direction, but a typical Cape Town summer wind blows from the southeast. First, you'll leave the harbor and sail across Table Bay towards Milnerton Lighthouse, returning to the protection of the Granger Bay in the lee of Table Mountain to watch the sun set, and then motor back to the waterfront. In the winter months, with the Northwester prevalent, the direction will likely be towards the Clifton coastline or the Robben Island Coastline. This cruise will also return to Granger Bay and the Waterfront. On some occasions the weather may require the use of a motorboat, in which case the boat will cruise slowly along the Atlantic seaboard towards Clifton beach and then return. On all trips your skipper and crew will do their best, weather dependent, to give you the best view of the spectacular sunset over the sea - you won't believe the beauty of this sight until you experience it yourself! For all the vessels, when the seas are running too high or the wind is unpleasantly strong, instead of heading into Table Bay the destination is the Cape Town Harbor; a perfect alternative offering magical views of Table Mountain and the lights of Cape Town and the harbor in the evening. In extreme conditions the skipper will take every aspect into account, and even stay dockside to ensure the safety of the passengers.

Cape Town: Robben Island Ferry Tour with 1-Way Hotel Pickup

Cape Town: Robben Island Ferry Tour with 1-Way Hotel Pickup

Take the ferry to Robben Island and tour the prison where Nelson Mandela was confined. Learn about South Africa's history of Apartheid and life in the prison from a former prisoner. Depart from Cape Town on a shared bus to the V&A Waterfront. Collect your ticket and make your way to the Nelson Mandela Gateway to Robben Island. Sail out to the island on a 45-minute journey. On arrival, embark on a bus tour of the island before visiting the prison and the cell where Nelson Mandela was kept for 18 of his 27 prison years. Gain an insight into the history and conditions of the prison from a former prisoner. After the tour, return to Cape Town and be dropped off at the V&A Waterfront. Here you will be free to return to your accommodation independently or continue touring the beautiful city.

Cape Town: Marine Wildlife Tour from the V&A Waterfront

Cape Town: Marine Wildlife Tour from the V&A Waterfront

Climb aboard and look for marine life in the ecosystem of Table Bay on a 1.5-hour eco-cruise from Cape Town. See species in their natural surroundings, such as humpback and southern right whales, depending on the season. Get the chance to watch pods of dolphins breaching close to the boat and marvel at their acrobatic displays. Be enchanted by Cape fur seals lounging on the jetties and get close to unusual species, such as sunfish. Watch African penguins diving for fish to take back to their breeding colony on Robben Island.  Encounter birdlife, such as terns, gannets, cormorants and mighty black-browed albatross.

Cape Town: Table Mountain, Robben Island, and Aquarium Tour

Cape Town: Table Mountain, Robben Island, and Aquarium Tour

Join a guided tour and visit Cape Town's top attractions, including Table Mountain, Robben Island, the V&A Waterfront, and the Two Oceans Aquarium. Enjoy the convenience of a hotel pickup and travel in the comfort of an air-conditioned vehicle. Start your day of exploring Cape Town with an early pickup directly from your accommodation and set out to see the city's most iconic attraction, Table Mountain. Purchase your tickets and hop into one of the cable cars to make your way to the top of the mountain. Spend some time soaking in the breathtaking views of the City of Cape Town, Signal Hill, and Lion's Head. Then, join your guide as you walk to another lookout point and be rewarded with sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean, Camps Bay, and the Twelve Apostles Mountains. Ride the cable car back down the mountain and head to the V&A Waterfront where you'll board a ferry to Robben Island. Disembark at Murray's Bay Harbor on the east coast of the island and board a bus that will take you to all the historic sites. Get a guided tour of the prison while learning about South Africa's history, the struggle against oppression, and the thousands of freedom fighters who were imprisoned on Robben Island, including former president Nelson Mandela. Return by ferry to the V&A Waterfront and enjoy some free time to do some shopping or grab a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants (cost not included). End your day with a visit to the Two Oceans Aquarium. Explore the wonders of the ocean up close as you visit the penguin exhibit, shark exhibit, ocean exhibit, and much more. Finally, hop back into your air-conditioned vehicle and enjoy a comfortable ride back to your accommodation.

Cape Town: Penguin Watching at Boulders Beach Half Day Tour

Cape Town: Penguin Watching at Boulders Beach Half Day Tour

The tour departs Cape Town and heads to the first stop of the day, Maidens Cove. From here, admire the stunning views across the Atlantic seaboard as well as marveling at the imposing Twelve Apostles Mountain range. The tour continues along Chapmans Peak Drive, rated one of the best mountain drives in the world. Along the way, stop at a selection of lookouts that provide unspoiled views of Hout Bay Harbour and Noordhoek beach. Arrive at Boulders Beach and learn about the friendly African Jackass Penguins that call the beach their home. Although the penguins roam freely on the beach and are comfortable being near humans, they are protected animals and visitors are not permitted to touch or feed them. Admire the penguins from a designated viewing point, and observe these creatures as they go about their day. Enjoy some free time to relax on the beach, take a swim with the penguins in the refreshing waters, or explore the surrounding landscpaes. The tour ends with a visit to Boyes Drive, a spectacular mountain road overlooking the stunning view of False Bay coast before dropping you back at your hotel (accommodation).

Cape Town: Robben Island Ferry Ticket and Townships Tour

Cape Town: Robben Island Ferry Ticket and Townships Tour

Discover some of Cape Town's most famous townships on a guided tour in an air-conditioned minivan. Visit District Six, take a walking tour in Langa, and learn about Bonteheuwel as you drive through it. After, explore Robben Island on your own with an included ferry ticket. Explore District Six, where 60,000 inhabitants were forcibly removed during the 1970s by the apartheid regime. Drive to Langa and learn the history of the oldest township at sites like the Old Pass Office and the monument to Robert Sobukwe. Learn about life during apartheid on a walking tour of the hostels and shacks. Visit a shebeen (pub), try some homemade beer, and see a traditional healer in action Then, drive through the Bonteheuwel township, reserved for the "colored" community during the days of apartheid. Hear about the division of people and its impact on the communities today. See the Gugulethu 7 Memorial to the members of an anti-apartheid group killed by the South African Police in 1986, and the memorial to the American student Amy Biehl, murdered by PAC supporters in 1993. Afterward, get dropped off at the V&A Waterfront to take your ferry to Robben Island.

Township and Robben Island Combination Tour

Township and Robben Island Combination Tour

Discover some of the most notable townships of Cape Town, learning about the struggle against Apartheid. Then visit the infamous Robben Island to see where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for much of his 27-year incarceration. Start the tour at the historical site of District Six, where inhabitants were forcibly removed according to the Group Areas Act of 1950 during the Apartheid era. From there move on to Langa, the oldest township in Cape Town. Travel to Bonteheuwel, a township developed from the forcibly removed District Six residents classified as colored. Learn about the rules in these townships and how they affected everyday life. Make your way to Gugulethu, home to more than 300,000 residents. Here your guide will explain how this township has developed after the fall of Apartheid. Break for lunch at the V&A Waterfront, one of the top tourist destinations in Cape Town with breathtaking views of Table Mountain. After lunch, hop on the ferry to Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was incarcerated for 18 of his 27 prison years. Here you take a guided tour of the infamous maximum-s.ecurity prison and see Nelson Mandela's cell. After exploring the island you will be taken back to the V&A Waterfront by ferry, where the tour ends

Cape Town Ocean Safari: Speed Boat Adventure in Table Bay

Cape Town Ocean Safari: Speed Boat Adventure in Table Bay

Our trips departing from Quay 5 in the Waterfront. With a bit of luck you will have a chance to see Cape Fur Seals, Dolphins, Whales, Penguins and Sun Fish and potentially much more as we search the bay for sea life. The destination of the tour is not always the same as this trip is really about spending time on the water and looking for the rich sea life that can be found in the proximity of Cape Town. However you can be assured that you will have amazing views of the Table Bay and will be able to see some of Cape Town most amazing landmarks from the water: Table Mountain, Signal Hill, Lion's Head, Camps Bay and Clifton Beaches, Robben Island. You will of course be able to take pictures when the speedboat occasionally stops to make sure you have memory of such incredible experience. The trip starts with a safety briefing by the skipper, the fitting of life jackets and the signing of the indemnity in our offices on Quay 5. Children are welcome as long as they are under the supervision of adults. Our expeditions are weather-dependent and routing will depend on the expected weather conditions for the day.

Frequently asked questions about Robben Island Culture & history

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What people are saying about Robben Island

Overall rating

4.6
(756 reviews)

Ayanda was AMAZING and was very knowledgeable of the Maboneng neighborhood and what PRIDE he has for the people in the area. I especially enjoyed his perspectives and how he was open to other's interpretations. He is an asset to your organization and you should be happy to have him.

Fantastic, interesting, humbling. Our X prisoner guide was wonderful, helpful and answered every question asked by the group. I thought provoking experience which made me feel the need to find out more.

The tour was very informative and educational. Not many people know what happened at the Island nor it’s history but our guides were both very knowledgeable and it was quite the experience!!

We had a guide called Max - an ex inmate. His description of his time was a performance worthy of the stage. Really amazing.

The tour was amazing but the price is much more higher than if you book directly in the robben island website