If you’re someone with a deep interest in politics, a visit to the former political prison on Robben Island should top your list of “must-dos in and around Cape Town”


Robben Island is famous, or rather infamous, as the place where South Africa’s anti-apartheid revolutionary and politician Nelson Mandela was imprisoned.

Nelson Mandela served 18 of his 27 years in prison here. His autobiography, Long Walk To Freedom, was authored in the prison at Robben Island.

Learn first-hand about the legendary black president from a former inmate who personally guides you around.

It is both heart-wrenching and inspiring to sit in the same cells where prisoners were locked away for years, know all about their struggle and triumph, the food they ate, their ways of spending time in the prison, the letters they wrote to their loved ones and hear their stories. Tours depart from the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, and you’re shuttled across the bay to the island via ferry (R320). Ferries depart at set times, so make sure you buy your tickets in advance and reach in time.

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