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“What a shame”
Review of Robben Island

Robben Island
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$113.14*
and up
Full-Day Robben Island and Cape Town City Tour
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$83.29*
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Cape Town Townships Tour including Robben Island
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$95.98*
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Full-Day Walk to Freedom Tour in Cape Town Including Robben Island
Certificate of Excellence
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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.
Reviewed December 8, 2012

There is so much potential here, but it is lost with so little effort. The gardens are shoddy, the entrance is in desperate need of a coat of paint. The guides are interesting in that they were inmates at some stage. Unfortunately they can relate their experience, but they are not trained in public speaking - (well the guide we had). luckily I understood the enunciation so was able to translate. You are not allowed off the bus. It can be so much more! A pity

1  Thank DevineWard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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4,535 - 4,539 of 6,314 reviews

Reviewed December 4, 2012

Went over to Robben Island one afternoon (3pm ferry, return at 6pm). It's about 25 minutes on the ferry - a bit choppy coming back. You are picked up on arrival by bus and taken around some parts of the island (which is quite large) and given the history of Robben Island vis a vis apartheid etc. Then taken to prison where ex-political prisoner takes you through the regime he experienced and finally to cells where Mandela was held. Vey interesting piece of history told by people who clearly know what they are talking about and show a great amount of passion on the apartheid issue. Glad we went.

1  Thank pillhill
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 4, 2012

The trip to Robben Island is made up of two parts - the tour of the prison by an ex inmate and a bus tour of the island. The prison tour is excellent, the guide very informative and the museum is well done. The bus tour of the island was conducted by a very bored sounding guide who spoke to us as if to children and repeated everything at least twice. Only one stop was made - at a tuck shop, and we had to stay in the bus for the remainder of the tour. The bus tour part can definitely be improved. Robben island is such an important part of our history, i hope the tour can be improved.

Thank dianainspace
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 2, 2012

A trip to Robben Island was on our 'must do' list when we visited Cape Town because of the respect that we both have for Nelson Mandela. I am suprised with other reviews saying they did not learn anything about the history of the Island or Nelson Mandela because our guide around the island and our guide for the prison tour did give us plenty of history and insight and on the prison tour there was ample opportunity to ask questions of the guide who had been a political prisoner himself which he was happy to answer. It left us both feeling humble at the conditions that these prisoners survived for numerous years and we both want to reread 'The Long Walk to Freedom' again.
The only small negative for me was due to the numbers of visitors that want to go each day the bus tour part is quite crowded and not everyone has an opportunity to see the relevant points of interest. A good tip is to get to the departure gate early so that you can sit on the top deck of the boat as the view is fantastic and we did see seals on route.

Thank Team P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 2, 2012

We were late arriving at the Island due to boat problems which meant we basically had to whizz around with our guide (who was very good) on the bus and take photographs from onboard, rather than keep getting off, so that we'd have enough time in the maximum security (walking) part of the visit.

The section where we were shown around the secure area by an ex-political prisoner was the highlight and the story he told was both moving and captivating.

All in all, a good trip if a little curtailed.

Thank Chris R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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