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Groot Drakenstein Prison (Victor Verster Prison)

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Address: R301, Paarl, South Africa
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Description:

Home to Nelson Mandela for the last fourteen months of his long political...

Home to Nelson Mandela for the last fourteen months of his long political imprisonment, this surprisingly idyllic minimum security prison is now a registered historic site.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 31 reviews
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A must visit.

So glad we went to visit even though it was difficult to find...lack on signs. But to see the statue of Mandela and the Detention Centre he walked free from was important to the... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed December 5, 2015
DTULeeds
,
Leeds
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31 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Leeds
Level Contributor
94 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 5, 2015

So glad we went to visit even though it was difficult to find...lack on signs. But to see the statue of Mandela and the Detention Centre he walked free from was important to the history of South Africa

Helpful?
Thank DTULeeds
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level Contributor
35 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 15, 2015

We had our driver swing through for a photo and that was plenty. Neat to see and read the story but not much else to do there as it's a working prison.

Helpful?
Thank Traveler634
Essex, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
31 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 28, 2015

During one of our many visits to the Western Cape we were fortunate enough to be invited to go on a guided tour to this prison. It's situated between Paarl and Franschoek. We walked around the house and garden where Mandela had meetings with De Klerk and where they finalised their thoughts on ceasing apartied. Truly historic and very emotional... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank travelswithken
Southampton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
151 reviews
42 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2015

This is where Nelson Mandela spent the last 14 months of his confinement after his 24 years imprisonment in Robben Island and then Pollsmoor Prison. His autobiography ‘The Long Walk to Freedom’ derives its title from Mandela’s long walk down the avenue from Drakenstein Prison to the guarded barrier on 11 February 1990, where cheering crowds and the world’s press... More 

Helpful?
Thank Retired_Gentleman
Utrecht, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
256 reviews
67 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 83 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2015

We took a very small detour to beable to have a look here. This is where Nelson Mandela was actually released 25 years ago. The only thing to remind of that is the large Nelson Mandela statue. There is also a museum in the actual prison grounds but that can only be visited by appointment. I have to admit that... More 

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Thank PaulArts
Level Contributor
16 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2015

We were totally blown away by the Drakenstein Prison visit and had lots of photos under the Nelson Mandela Statue. A very moving visit

Helpful?
Thank Ian J
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level Contributor
246 reviews
51 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 97 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2015

We were fortunate enough to be with a guide who knew Mr. Fisher, one of the guards and PR personnel for the prison. He not only told us about the work of the prison and its residents--both juvenile and adult offenders but allowed us to visit the farm house on the prison grounds where Nelson Mandela spent his final months... More 

Helpful?
Thank fififlies
Aberdeen, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
374 reviews
116 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 213 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2015 via mobile

It was a privilege to be able to stand at the end of the infamous "Long Walk to Freedom" and see where Mandela was freed before the world's media. The statue is very fitting and a permanent reminder of the important world event that took place here. Worth stopping to see.

Helpful?
Thank DC1190
Carefree, Arizona, Usa
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2015

We felt fortunate to have a remarkable tour by Mr. Fisher at the Home on the prison property where Madeba lived the last 18 months before his release was negotiated. We went the day before, to hear that we would need to come back the following day to speak with Mr. fisher, one of two prison guards at the gate... More 

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Thank Gary & Pat C
Repentigny, Canada
Level Contributor
61 reviews
37 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 11, 2015

Going to Robben Island to see Mandela's cell is one thing, but visiting the exact spot of the Long Walk to Freedom is also a big highlight. Although the prison is still active in Paarl, you can easily make a detour to take a look at the statue if you are in town for wine tasting. Again, an amazing feeling... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank Tommy T

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