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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

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A True Honor

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... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed August 12, 2015
fififlies
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Minneapolis, Minnesota
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22 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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English first
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level Contributor
240 reviews
49 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 85 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 

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Aberdeen, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
321 reviews
93 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 187 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2015

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.

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Carefree, Arizona, Usa
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 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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Repentigny, Canada
Level Contributor
48 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 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 

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Houston, Texas
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339 reviews
92 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 122 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2015

Part of our private tour - where Mandela was last imprisoned and released. Our guide was here at the release and that was a fantastic story. Otherwise it is a quick stop as it is a working prison.

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Hout Bay, South Africa
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204 reviews
100 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 179 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2015

After 27 years this is where the journey to the new South Africa began . The statue is easily accessible and the staff at the prison are friendly and happy to explain the history and the workings of the prison . Remember that this remains a working prison . If you are out doing the wine lands this is a... More 

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Cape Town Central, South Africa
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211 reviews
163 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 87 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 14, 2014

One has to take in mind that the Drakenstein Correctional Center is an active medium security prison, it is not a museum. Once you expect that you will be less likely to be disappointed at the expectations of a museum. The statue of Mr Nelson Mandela meets visitors at the entrance of the facility. It is an impressive statue and... More 

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Greater Manchester, United Kingdom
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3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2014

One would expect a little bit more of a fuss made about the place Nelson Mandela spent so much time and walked out of a free African freedom fighter.

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Lymington, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
104 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 99 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 28, 2014 via mobile

We had a very interesting tour by Manfred. Having met Mandela on three occasions he was able to intersperse factual information with personal anecdotes. Interesting tour of the Mandela cottage where he was held on house arrest and an interesting drive through the rest of the prison which is situated in Paarl ringed by the Boland mountains. Well worth a... More 

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San Luis Obispo, California
Level Contributor
16 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 27, 2014

Cristo, our guide brought us to see this place & the statue of Nelson Mandela where he spent the last 18 months of his imprisonment before he began his Long Walk to Freedom. It is so beautiful all around the prison & the prison itself is not a terrible place. Very simple looking. For those interested in the history of... More 

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