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Robben Island

South AfricaCape Town & Cape Peninsula


Robben Island 

Robben Island needs no introduction with regards to the significance of its place in South Africa’s and indeed the world’s history. As "home" to one of the world's most famous prisoners, statesmen and leaders Nelson Mandela, Robben Island is possibly the most well known island-prison on the planet.

This island is a World Heritage Site and situated approximately 9km offshore from Cape Town. It was named "Robben" (the Dutch word for seal) Island by early settlers because of the seal population at the time. Over the centuries, the island has housed a prison, hospital, mental institution as well as a leper colony and even was once a military base.

Today the island can be visited on a tour which is guided by former political prisoners of the island, offering the visitor a truly unique insight into the history and personal accounts of prison life. The ferries to Robben Island depart from the Nelson Mandela Gateway at the V & A Waterfront in Cape Town. 


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