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“Interesting Stories, but Lengthy Tour” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Robben Island

Robben Island
Private Bag, Robben Island, Cape Town Central 7400, South Africa
27 021 409 5100
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Top Rated
$76*
and up
Cape Town Townships Tour including Robben Island
Type: Historic Sites, Islands, Outdoors
More attraction details
Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: During the apartheid years Robben Island served as a prison for political activists.
Muscatine, Iowa
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
11 attraction reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Interesting Stories, but Lengthy Tour”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2013

We unfortunately got stuck with a slow boat, and it took us one hour to get to Robben Island, and another hour on the way back. The tour of the island was interesting, but getting to hear stories from the ex-political prisoner was the most interesting part. You get to walk by Nelson Mandela's cell and then walk by other cells that include personal stories and artifacts inside. Don't waste your time looking for the "3rd largest penguin colony in Africa" because we only saw two of them, and it was quite a disappointment. Our boat left at 9am and didn't return until about 1:30pm (but again, we had a slow boat), so I thought that was entirely too long. Although there are interesting stories and I would recommend one visit, I certainly wouldn't plan on returning.

Visited July 2013
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Brisbane, Australia
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Robben Island - A historical must see”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2013

Visiting Robben Island must be a top priority whilst visiting Cape Town. The tour surpassed my expectations -which were already set high to begin with. The tour is an interactive, engaging and sobering experience which will defiantly educate people of all age. The price to visit the island is relatively low considering it includes the boat ride to and from the island, a bus tour around the island and walk through the prison cells. I highlight for me was how each tour guide was an ex prisoner on the island. Perhaps that is one of the many reasons why the whole tour captured and retained my full attention. I 100% recommend everyone to witness the trials and triumphs of the infamous Robben Island.

Visited December 2012
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Sydney
Top Contributor
85 reviews 85 reviews
28 attraction reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
58 helpful votes 58 helpful votes
“Robben Island - sobering and special”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2013

Visiting Robben Island, we were lucky to have one of the ex-political prisoners as our guide. A dignified and measured man, he led us throughout the prison explaining how the prisoners lived and existed. Their day to day life was horrific. Nelson Mandela, and the men who were imprisoned over the time Robben Island was used and are now guides, are very special people to have come out and been able to forge a life moving forward. They could have all been very bitter and defeated. The tour around the island is also very interesting as the island itself has at times had large populations on it for varying reasons and uses.

The trip out to Robben Island was delayed considerably by the breakdown of the ferry which we believe is a regular occurance. There was another ferry at the dock but it too was not working due to mechanical issues. The boats we then took were slow and the return caused us connection issues because of the extended time getting to and from. Whilst the time on the island was excellent, the trip out and back could have been better.

Visited May 2013
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delhi
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Robben Island”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 25, 2013

Total tour takes about 4 hrs..30 minute boat ride..45minutes on bus...45 minutes seeing the cell blocks. Our tour guide (who had been a prisoner there) did not really explain the day to day living they went through. Was hard to get him to talk about his daily life. Interesting but would not go back.

Visited June 2013
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Ankara, Turkey
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Makes you think”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 21, 2013

From water front clock tower with boat, you go to the island. Then the tour starts. It is in 2 parts. First part you're taken to the various important locations around the island with a guide. Then you arrive at the gates of maximum security prison, where you get of the bus and you meet your second guide which is one of the ex political prisoners. He tells you how things were back then. Depending on you much stuff you read here and go into detail, ask questions, it might get quite emotionally draining experience...

Visited June 2013
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