Robben Island Things to Do

  • Pod at Robben island museum.
    Pod at Robben island museum.
    by Pod
  • Robben island.
    Robben island.
    by Pod
  • picture at Robben island.
    picture at Robben island.
    by Pod

Best Rated Things to Do in Robben Island

  • jumpingnorman's Profile Photo

    See Animals on Robben Island as well!

    by jumpingnorman Updated Feb 15, 2009

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    A turtle on Robben Island, Cape Town, South Africa

    So you set off to Robben Island, intent on seeing the prison cell of Mandela, but also remember that animals do inhabit the island as well...

    During the bus tour, we stopped at several points just to look at ostriches (by the bay) and also stop for a turtle that was crossing the road!

    Get your cameras ready as there also several birds flying around and waiting to be photograped. There's even a penguin sanctuary near the dock!

    This island has also been reportedly colonized by about 4000 rabbits that became an infestation problem, affecting the penguins and rare birds.

    Also, Robben Island actually has its own population of people. People really do live on the island and some of them work at cape Town, and so they ride the ferry everyday...

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Birdwatching

    Was this review helpful?

  • jumpingnorman's Profile Photo

    See the Lighthouse of Robben Island

    by jumpingnorman Updated Feb 15, 2009

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Lighthouse on Robben island, Cape Town

    I love lighthouses and wanted a collection for myself but my study/library at home is already filled up with things I have collected from around the world...so I have decided not to buy too much stuff anymore.......But alas, the lighthouse on Robben Island is a beauty.

    I saw it during the bus tour and there was a little fog and it looked eerie from the distance. It was built in 1864 on the highest point Minto Hill, about 59ft (18 meters) and is the only lighthouse that apparently uses a flashing light instead of a revolving light - a light that can be seen from 24 nautical miles.

    Rocks surround the island and this lighthouse must have saved many boats from wreckage. So, pay homage to this great lighthouse, and take home a picture! See how nice mine is, hehehe...

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • jumpingnorman's Profile Photo

    Peek into Prison No. 7 -- Mandela's Prison Cell!

    by jumpingnorman Written Feb 15, 2009

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Prison No. 7 of Mandela, Robben Island, Cape Town

    Mandela's prison cell on Robben island is No. 7 and has been repainted and looks very clean and small ---- you can peek through it and take picstures as people behind you are waiting to take a peerk as well....So you have to take your pics quick! You will have a shot of the blankets and bowls he used while there and the actual bucket he used as a toilet and that he had to empty every single day during his 18 years of imprisonment on this island (although his total incarceration time is 27 years).

    Trivia: Mandela's prison number: 46664

    Robben Island used to be a leper colony but changed into the notorious prison that it was in 1961. Anti-apartheid prisoners were placed here, including as mentioned, Nelson Mandela who later became the first President of the new democratic South Africa.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • jumpingnorman's Profile Photo

    Visit a little penguin sanctuary on Robben Island

    by jumpingnorman Written Feb 15, 2009

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    On Penguin Sanctuary, Robben Island, South Africa

    After the 2-3 hour bus/prison tour on Robben Island, you are brought back to the docks and told to wait for your boat --- You are not supposed to miss that boat, specially mine was the last one for the day!

    But there is a nearby penguin sanctuary just near the docks, and so I ran towards it and spent about 10 minutes taking pictures and looking at the penguins. The penguins are hiding under the wooden bridge/ramp trail, and you can see them going about their daily routine. This might be an interesting tip for bird lovers...

    I. on the other hand, love all living things -=- and besides I just didn't want to miss a penguin sanctuary too! Hehehe...

    Related to:
    • Zoo

    Was this review helpful?

  • jumpingnorman's Profile Photo

    Robben Island - a World Heritage Site!

    by jumpingnorman Written Feb 15, 2009

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Cave where prisoners rested during work, Robben Is

    Now a World Heritage Site, Robben Island can be easily reached from cape Town by a 30 minute ferry ride. The Island is where black prisoners were incarcerated at during the Apartheid Era. The prisoners are now free and some of them have met again on the island, and they have decided not to see punishment for the guards --- but instead, "reconsciliation" was the goal for the good of the country.

    Our tour guide was a prisoner himself and it was very interesting to hear his very own stories of life on the island. A bus tour awaits people on the island, and you can go and buy souvenirs and refresehments at the dock while waiting for your bus.

    The picture I have here is that of a cave which is beside a digging pit, which according to our bus driver is where prisoners took a break from the intense sun while working during the day...

    You have to set aside about 4 hours for this whole ferry experience. Ferries do leave at regular intervals throughout the day from the Clock Tower precint at the V&A Waterfront.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Acirfa's Profile Photo

    Robben Island

    by Acirfa Updated Nov 6, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Robben Island
    1 more image

    Robben Island sits 12Kl off of the coast of Cape Town and served as a prison for 400 years. It's most famous political prisoner Nelson Mandela spent 18 years here, surviving cruelty and hardships and digging in the quarries that left him and many others partially blind from the glare of the stone.

    The Island in it's time has served not only as a prison but also as a hospital and a military base.

    Today a visit here is to touch on just exactly what these people experienced here. There are ex prisoners, some who served their time with Nelson Mandela, who take you on your tour of Robben Island, these people are able to give you a personal insight into the life and times spent on the island enprisoned.

    You will be shown the place where once a lepper colony existed.

    Take a look at the quarries and see the cell where Mandela served his time. How he excercised daily, studied and kept to a routine which kept his mind, spirit and body in shape well enough to become a superb President.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Pod's Profile Photo

    Guard dog kennels and solitary confinement.

    by Pod Written Dec 3, 2013
    Guard dog kennels, Robben island.
    2 more images

    The guard dog kennels are next to the solitary confinement hut. A bloke down the pub told me that when some prisoners (Robert Sobukwe) where about to be released. Prime Minister BJ Vorster introduced a General Laws Amendment Bill which would permit the detention in solitary confinement without trial for 90 days of anybody. So Robert spent 6 years in 24 hour solitary confinement.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • 1gorams's Profile Photo

    robben island tour bus seating

    by 1gorams Updated Mar 21, 2007
    I can't hear you!

    if you can, try to sit as close to the front of the bus as possible. the guide speaks from the front and it is alot easier to hear when your up-front. I was sitting in the back of the bus and it was hard to hear through the engine noise and road gravel! also easier to ask questions.

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • National/State Park
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Pod's Profile Photo

    Visit a museum.

    by Pod Written Dec 3, 2013

    2 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Pod at Robben island museum.
    4 more images

    The museum tour at Robben Island is 2.5 hours long, The ferry from Cape town is 30 minutes and the same going back. Tickets from Nelson Mandela Gateway, at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town.

    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Birdwatching
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: Robben Island

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

115 travelers online now

Comments

Robben Island Things to Do

Reviews and photos of Robben Island things to do posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Robben Island sightseeing.

View all Robben Island hotels