This day tour from Cape
Town journeys you through the darkest phase of the South African past. A UNESCO
World Heritage Site, Robben Island is a historic attraction layered with the
harrowing tales of grief and torment, being once completely isolated and served
as the site of a leper colony, military base, and most of all the infamous
prison for more than 350 years. Many eminent leaders including Autshumato,
Robert Sobukwe, and Nelson Mandela were imprisoned here.
Tranquilly placed in
the center of Table Bay, it is now a living museum which evokes an influential sense
of the country’s tortuous history and apartheid era. To begin your Robben
Island exploration, board a ferry from Nelson Mandela Gateway at Victoria and
Alfred Waterfront. Watch out for dolphins and take in the astonishing views of Table
Mountain and Cape Town Stadium during your 30-minute sail. After you disembark,
head straight to the iconic Robben Island Prison Museum.
As you wander around
the prison, your guide who is mostly a former political prisoner will provide an
insight into how grueling the life used to be for its residents. Know about Censor’s
Office where letters to and from prisoners were censored; read diet chart that
was designed according to the prisoners’ skin color; and go through the list of
those unfortunate prisoners who were never able to make out of the prison. Further,
see Prison No. 7 in B-section where the greatest anti-apartheid activist,
Nelson Mandela, was held for 18 years of total 27 years of his imprisonment.
There are also many
attractions to explore on this tour, from Leper Cemetery and Limestone Quarry
which witnessed the hard labor of political prisoners to the green-domed mosque
known as Kramat and the Church of the Good Shepherd erected by the lepers. So
come step back in time and return with long-lasting memories.