Fast Facts

  • Location:12 km off Cape Town
  • Best Time to Visit: All year round
  • Preferred timings: Daytime
  • How to reach: By ferry from Nelson Mandela Gateway in Cape Town V & A Waterfront
  • Entrance fees: Adults — Rand 180; Children (under 18 years) — Rand 90
  • Nearest railway station: Cape Town
  • Nearest International Airport: Cape Town International Airport
  • Time required for sightseeing: 3 ½ hours

Walacedene is developing as a popular new destination in the Robben Island, alongside the usual attractions like Kyalitsha and Langa townships. Ghughuletu, Khayalitsha is also a new hot destination in this historic and beautiful island. Robben Island is a place which acknowledges the triumph of human spirit over the forces of evil. It is a place which celebrates the victory of people against brutality, oppression and segregation. This island was used as a prison for people who fought for equal rights, equal privileges, and equal opportunities. It is a place synonymous with the struggle for freedom of the subjugated section of the populace in South Africa. Robben Island in Cape Town has a great significance in the history of Republic of South Africa. It was here, that Nelson Mandela spent 27 years in imprisonment. In 1961, the most secured of all prisons in South Africa was set up in Cape Town Robben Island. It held all political prisoners together with the most dangerous criminals. Nelson Mandela, the first President of Republic of South Africa was the most prominent inmate of this prison for 27 years. He spent his term in a cell of just five square meters. The history of Robben Island in South Africa is grim and painful. From 17th to 20th centuries the island served as a place of banishment, isolation and imprisonment for convicts from Indonesia, and East Indies brought in chains. From the 1960s to 1991 Robben Island served as a prison for political prisoners. The island is cold, damp and without any source of fresh water. The surrounding sea is cold, stormy and filled with sharks. Many a prisoner who were successful in escaping from the prison walls succumbed to either the icy conditions of the sea or the teeth of sharks.

Robben Island of an estimated area of 500 hectares is located 12 kilometers off the coast of Cape Town. It is presently a museum which is accessed by ferries departing from Nelson Mandela Gateway at VSA Waterfront in Cape Town.

This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a monument dedicated to the indomitable strength of human will to fight against oppression, a monument dedicated to real life heroism and a source of inspiration to all.

Related Links : Check out the history and development of Robben Islands in this short clip! This is another great travel video on a tour to the Robben Islands. Check it out! For an interesting travel account to Robben Island, click on this link.

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