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“Disappointing & Disorganized” 1 of 5 bubbles
Review of Robben Island

Robben Island
Book In Advance
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$106.93*
and up
Full-Day Robben Island and Cape Town City Tour
Certificate of Excellence
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.
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
11 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Disappointing & Disorganized”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 19, 2014

I came to Cape Town and Robben Island was at the top of my list. I thought it would be an inspiring and emotional tour that really went into the history of apartheid and the struggles the men went through there. However, what I actually discovered was a tour that was poorly organized (everything ran consistently late, then as a result needed to be rushed in terms of guides) and gave little historical narrative or message that gave much background.

Much of the tour was pointing to a building saying "lepers were held here" or "this is Mandela's cell. Take a picture and then move along" without much of a story about him or what he went through. The guides need more training on building a narrative for the tours...it loses the power without it. I felt way more emotional at Alcatraz than Robben Island, which shouldn't happen!

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
Thank mattzkidd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Avignon
Level Contributor
35 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“A must”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 18, 2014

Impressive visit, our guide was himself an inmate. Must be done for remembering what happend there.
The boat trip to go there is very enjoyable.
Book in advance

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
Thank Ludovic C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Must do if you are in Cape Town”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 17, 2014

This is where Mandela was held for over a decade and is well worth the trip - We were taken around by an ex prisoner which was both incredibly informative and moving for all involved.

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
Thank AdamANDChristine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“A complete waste of 4.5 hours!”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 17, 2014

I was sorely disappointed with our Robben Island experience. It started badly with the boat leaving 45 minutes late (no explanation was provided by the tour operators) Once we eventually got there we found the tour to be exceptionally slow and poorly organized. We found the content of the tour to be poorly lacking in interesting historical facts (of which I am sure there are plenty) Both my husband & I came away from the tour not having learnt anything new. The returning boat trip was particularly unpleasant due to the choppy seas which would not have been an issue if the experience had been great. Unfortunately this wasn’t the case. If someone looked into the content & organization of this tour it could be one of South Africa’s top attractions. Until then – don’t waste your time.

Visited December 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Lisa_Teebs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stafford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
72 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Very interesting but takes time”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 17, 2014

Did not know what to expect but found the visit interesting.
Try to go on the catamarran as the trip over takes half the time.
We were taken round as a bus party so it is difficult to take your time. We found the bus guide to be very good.
However once you enter the prison the guides are all ex inmates and although they have an intereting story to tell the size of the party gave little time for questions as we had to keep moving so that the next group could be accommodated. I

Visited December 2013
Helpful?
Thank alf653
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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