4.5 star rating: Recommended 32 Reviews

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  • Location:Cape Town, South Africa
  • Duration:9 hours (approx.)

Cape Town Townships Tour including Robben Island

Experience a thought-provoking guided tour of Cape Town and Robben Island, where the late Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 18 years. Learn the sobering history of apartheid at the District Six Museum and observe the lasting effects of this history on the townships of Langa, Gugulethu and Khayelitsha. See the residents’ inspiring efforts to improve their livelihoods and local infrastructure, and then ferry over to Robben Island, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and tour the former maximum-security prison for political prisoners.


  • Full-day guided tour of Cape Town and Robben Island
  • Visit District Six Museum and learn about apartheid history
  • Travel to nearby townships, including Langa and Khayelitsha, and meet their inhabitants
  • Ferry to Robben Island and visit Nelson Mandela’s cell
  • Small group limited to 12 people to ensure a unique and intimate experience

What You Can Expect

Cape Town Townships Tour including Robben Island

Tour one of the oldest apartheid housing schemes in the Cape

Start your day with a hotel pickup, and then travel with your guide to the District Six Museum. Here, learn how segregationist laws beginning in 1950 forcibly removed more than 60,000 black South Africans from the district after it was declared ‘a white area.’

Then, travel to Langa, Cape Town’s oldest township. During the apartheid era, living areas known as townships were set up in undesirable locations to house the country’s ‘non-whites.’ With your guide, drop by a shebeen (nightlife establishment), meet the locals at a market, talk to the owners of a guesthouse and a daycare center, and visit a traditional healer. Then, head to Guga S’thebe Arts & Culture Centre, the site of many community and cultural activities dedicated to improving the socio-economic status of Langa residents, the majority of whom are from the Xhosa tribe.

Continue on to Khayelitsha, located on the Cape Flats. Meaning ‘new home’, Khayelitsha is the largest township. Pass by houses of brick and mortar, as well as the unsettling sight of makeshift shacks. See from the infrastructure that this township is focused on the future: shopping malls, large-scale building development, housing and clinics abound.

Travel west back toward Cape Town to reach Gugulethu, originally established to house migrant workers from the agrarian Transkei region in the Eastern Cape province. Witness examples of poverty and development alike, including shanty towns, guesthouses, restaurants and jazz clubs.

In the afternoon, enjoy free time for lunch at one of the many restaurants along the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront (own expense). Then, ferry north from Cape Town across Table Bay to the rocky outcrop of Robben Island, a UNESCO World Heritage site, where Nelson Mandela spent the first 18 years of his 27-year prison sentence in a maximum-security facility for political prisoners.

On arrival, view his cell, which is approximately seven square feet (0.6 sq m) wide and located around a concrete courtyard. Listen to your guide share details of how Mandela’s leadership surfacing during a rebellion over forced digging in a quarry under harsh conditions.

Pay a silent moment of respect as you imagine Nelson Mandela emerging from the prison gates, one step closer to beginning his long walk to freedom. Your tour then concludes with a drop-off back at your Cape Town hotel.

Customer Reviews

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

One of the best tours of my trip!! So much information on that area,don't miss it

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

This was an excellent tour, we were not disappointed and would recommend it. The best tour we have done in South africa

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

It was interesting and humbling, as well as sobering. The hope is that the townships will continue rebuilding and getting families out of the shacks they now live in. The visit to Robben Island was one of the highlights of our entire trip to Africa. Meeting a man who was jailed on this island for 7 years and his experiences as well as his knowledge of Mandela was sobering and informational. This was a great trip and the 11 of us who took the trip were all filled with knowledge and awe of those who survived this horrendous ordeal on this isldand.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

We both really enjoyed the tour. It gives you a good idea of Cape Town and the areas around it. Guide was fantastic - on time and very friendly. Really enjoyed the visit to the Township and the fact that we got to meet and visit with a resident. Real eye opener. Great idea if you only have a limited time in Cape Town.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2015

The tour was great! We got a chance to not Only see the beautiful tourist area of Cape Town, but also the life of people who actually live in the township. This tour gave us a new appreciation for what we've been blessed with. It's a "must do" if visiting Cape Town!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2015

Highly recommend this tour, our guide was fantastic, full of information and very genuine. He ensured that the whole group enjoyed their tour and got everything out of it that they had hoped for.
trip to Robben Island was cancelled due to bad weather but automatically refunded without asking.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2015

Great transportation, views, and history. Could have been more time to shop, but you can't have everything. Thanks.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2015

Excellent tour, especially the townships. A thought provoking and thoroughly interesting day. Excellent guides. Recommended.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended May 2015

Tour was very informative and interesting

5 star rating: Highly Recommended May 2015

This was wonderful tour. We got to se the children's rural school. It was a heart-warming experience.

From USD $ 63.88

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Tour code: 6173CITYROB


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