3.5 km from the Hyde to Dock Station - Once “home” to some of South Africa’s most famous political prisoners, including Nelson Mandela, Robben Island is one of South Africa’s most visited tourist attractions, and rightly so. Do not leave Cape Town without visiting the island – it is likely to be one of the highlights of your trip. Robben Island is situated some 9km (5.5mi) offshore from Cape Town.
A tour of the Robben Island Museum begins at the Nelson Mandela Gateway at the V&A Waterfront (+27 (0)21 408 7600), where you can look through multimedia exhibitions, visit the museum shop and enjoy a meal at the restaurant while you wait for your ferry. Ferries depart regularly from the gateway, and each tour takes approximately 3.5 hours. You will be guided around the island by a former political prisoner who will relay the history of the island, together with first-hand accounts of prison life, ensuring a personal and poignant tour. The tour takes you to the maximum security prison, and to Mandela’s cell in particular, which has been left in its original state. A bus takes you to the lime quarry where Mandela and his fellow prisoners did hard labour.