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Robben Island Tours

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146 Reviews

In 1964, an anti-apartheid revolutionary named Nelson Mandela was arrested and brought to South Africa’s Robben Island, just west of Cape Town. He would spend the next 18 years imprisoned in an 8x7-foot cell, forced to do hard labor, and permitted only one visitor a year. Even so, Mandela went on to become his country’s first black president, a Nobel Peace Prize recipient, and known globally for his significant contributions to human rights and social justice.


Robben Island—where most of Mandela’s 27-year prison sentence was served—was a place of isolation for nearly 300 years, housing many political prisoners and serving as both a lunatic asylum and leper colony. Today, the island remains a tangible symbol of political freedom and a reminder of the difficult road to South African democracy. Read on to learn more about how to visit this UNESCO World Heritage Site.


The Basics

Most tours depart from Cape Town and include transport from city hotels, the boat trip to the island, and time at the former maximum security prison. Upon arrival on Robben Island, general tours start aboard a bus. Oftentimes, island tour guides are former political prisoners who can share information about South Africa’s history, as well as their own firsthand experiences. Custom and private tours are also available, while others combine a trip to the island with a Cape Town city tour or Table Mountain visit.


Best Things to Do When Visiting Robben Island

Once on the island, you’ll be able to see human rights activist and former prisoner Robert Sobukwe’s house; a 17th-century limestone quarry where Mandela and others were put to work; a leper colony cemetery; and the Robben Island Museum, dedicated to preserving the memory and contributions of the freedom fighters once held within its walls. Some tours also include access to Mandela’s cell.


Insider Tips

  • The 30-minute boat or ferry rides to the island can be choppy at times depending on the weather. If you’re prone to motion sickness, it’s a smart idea to come prepared.

  • If you need a snack, food and drink are available for purchase on the island.

How to Get There

Robben Island is set in Table Bay at the northern end of the Cape Peninsula on the Atlantic Coast about 5.5 miles (9km) off the coast of Cape Town. Ferries for general island tours depart from the Nelson Mandela Gateway at the V&A Waterfront. Departure times are generally at 9am, 11am, and 1pm. Try and arrive at least 45 minutes early to ensure you make the ferry, as crowds can be large.
Address: Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa
Hours: Daily
Admission: R200
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90 Tours and Activities to Experience Robben Island

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Robben Island Ferry and Prison Tour for Non-SA Citizens Pre-Booked TicketAttraction Tickets

Robben Island Ferry and Prison Tour for Non-SA Citizens Pre-Booked Ticket

star-3
Skip the line to buy the Robben Island Ticket. Take a shared boat trip to Robben Island Museum and explore the island where former South African President Nelson Mandela was held as a political prisoner for 18-years. View his prison cell, learn about the dramatic history of the island and South Africa from a former political Robben Island prisoner. Take a historical walk in the footsteps of Nelson Mandela on the Long Walk to Freedom pathway. This is one of the most significant historic tours you will experience on your journey to Cape Town, South Africa. South African Citizens are welcome to purchase this ticket as there is limited availability.
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  • 4 hours
From  
$39.69 
From  
$39.69 
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  • 4 hours

Robben Island & Table Mountain Pre Booked Tickets With Hotel Pick Up & Drop OffAttraction Tickets

Robben Island & Table Mountain Pre Booked Tickets With Hotel Pick Up & Drop Off

star-4
Visit the Nelson Mandela Gateway to Robben Island to learn about apartheid and see where Mandela and other activists and politicians were incarcerated during the regime. After lunch (own expense), visit Table Mountain and enjoy free time at Bo-Kaap, a neighborhood known for its colorful houses and Cape Malay culture.
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  • 8 hours
From  
$109.90 
From  
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  • 8 hours

Robben Island & transfers/hotel, We visit additional famous spots in the City!!Half-day Tours

Robben Island & transfers/hotel, We visit additional famous spots in the City!!

star-4.5
Tours to Robben Island typically sell out early every day. Ensure your visit by booking this early-morning guided tour that transfers you from your hotel to the Robben Island Gateway at the V&A Waterfront, and then onto the boat to the island.
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  • 4 hours
From  
$122.11 
From  
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  • 4 hours

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Cape Town Townships Tour including Robben IslandDay Trips

Cape Town Townships Tour including Robben Island

star-4
Take a fascinating trip through South Africa’s difficult past on a tour of Cape Town and Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela spent 18 of his 27 years in prison. Visit the District Six Museum to get an in-depth look at the troubling history of apartheid in South Africa, and see how that system still impacts modern life in townships like Langa and Gugulethu. See how residents of these townships work to improve their lives and communities. Take a ferry to UNESCO-listed Robben Island for a tour of the former prison for political prisoners.
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  • 9 hours
From  
$94.46 
Price varies by group size
From  
$94.46 
Price varies by group size
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  • 9 hours

Robben Island Tour transfers from & to hotel. We stop at surprising locations!Half-day Tours

Robben Island Tour transfers from & to hotel. We stop at surprising locations!

star-5
Visit Robben Island, known for its maximum security prison and for being a home to socially unacceptable groups over the past 500 years, for a tour of the manmade facilities. Learn how the island was used to seclude freedom fighters and South African presidents such as Nelson Mandela, Kgalema Motlanthe and Jacob Zuma. The island is also home to many species of birds including the African penguin.
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  • 4 hours
From  
$122.11 
From  
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  • 4 hours

Robben Island return transfers PLUS additional stops at famous spots!!Half-day Tours

Robben Island return transfers PLUS additional stops at famous spots!!

star-5
Make a visit to the must-see Robben Island easy and convenient with an included ticket and pickup at your Cape Town CBD hotel. You'll be escorted on the ferry to the island, then climb aboard a bus for a tour. Learn about famous ex-prisoner Nelson Mandela and others sharing stories about their apartheid-era imprisonment via an audio guide. After the boat trip back to the mainland, you're welcome to explore the waterfront on your own.
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  • 4 hours
From  
$89.82 
From  
$89.82 
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  • 4 hours

Robben Island, Table Mountain and Cape Town City Private Day TourDay Trips

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Robben Island, Table Mountain and Cape Town City Private Day Tour

star-4.5
This full-day Cape Town excursion offers two tours wrapped into one. With round-trip transportation from your hotel, part 1 takes you via ferry to Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 18 years. A bus tour of the island, delivered with intimate detail by a former political prisoner, includes a viewing of Mandela's jail cell. Part 2 returns to Cape Town for a guided city bus tour highlighting all its major monuments and places of interest including a cable car ride to the top of Table Mountain.
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  • 8 hours
From  
$77.88 
$91.62
$13.74 savings
From  
$77.88 
$91.62
$13.74 savings
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  • 8 hours

Table Mountain, City & PM Robben Island incl TM Ticket/Robben Island TicketDay Trips

Table Mountain, City & PM Robben Island incl TM Ticket/Robben Island Ticket

star-5
This tour includes Table Mountain tickets no need to stand in a queue to buy a ticket only wait in 1 queue to board the cable car which has a rotating floor Includes Robben Island tickets which are scarce as hen's teeth in high season! we re=confirm this at 5pm day before the tour Hear many exciting & sometimes sad stories of Apartheid Era * Table Mountain (Ticket Included weather permitting, ticket is valued for 7 days) * See Parliament Buildings, Castle of Good Hope, City Hall and the Company Gardens * Walk the cobbled stones streets of the colorful Bo-Kaap *Malay Quarters) * Robben Island (Tickets included) tickets are confirmed 24 hours prior to start of the tour * Hotel Pickups and Drop offs
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  • 9 hours
From  
$180.34 
From  
$180.34 
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  • 9 hours

Robben Island and Table MountainDay Trips

Robben Island and Table Mountain

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This tour covers 3 of the biggest tourist attractions on offer, called the fairest Cape in the World by none other then that intrepid sailor Sir Francis Drake
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  • 9 to 11 hours
From  
$172.78 
Price varies by group size
From  
$172.78 
Price varies by group size
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  • 9 to 11 hours

Robben Island Tickets, Penguins & Cape of Good Hope Private TourDay Trips

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Robben Island Tickets, Penguins & Cape of Good Hope Private Tour

star-5
Benefit from personalized attention and the ability to travel at your own pace on this full-day tour that includes the Cape of Good Hope, the Boulders Penguin Colony, and Robben Island. Your guide will tailor their commentary on South Africa's heritage to your interests as you travel, and you'll have plenty of time to ask questions. Tickets to Robben Island will be booked in advance to ensure your preferred day and time.
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  • 8 hours
From  
$102.08 
$116.00
$13.92 savings
From  
$102.08 
$116.00
$13.92 savings
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  • 8 hours

Half day Robben Island Tour.Day Trips

Half day Robben Island Tour.

Robben Island boat trip and museum tour is one of the most popular tourist attractions in South Africa and is likely to sell out in advance. Secure your shared boat trip and museum tour tickets and skip the ticketing line by booking this tour and receiving return transfers between your hotel and the Nelson Mandela Gateway to Robben Island. Embark on a unique opportunity to take the Long March to Freedom in the historical footsteps of former President of South Africa - Nelson Mandela. See the prison cell that held Nelson Mandela incarcerated for 18 years of his 27 year imprisonment. Listen to the true life experiences on the island as told by ex-political prisoners who will give you a live guided tour of the island. This is one of the most enlightening tours you will ever experience in South Africa.
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  • 5 hours
  • Reserve Now & Pay Later
  • Free Cancellation
From  
$82.42 
From  
$82.42 
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  • 5 hours
  • Reserve Now & Pay Later
  • Free Cancellation

Robben Island Boat Trip & Museum Half Day Tour with pick up and drop off - GroupHalf-day Tours

Robben Island Boat Trip & Museum Half Day Tour with pick up and drop off - Group

Robben Island boat trip and museum tour is one of the most popular tourist attractions in South Africa and is likely to sell out in advance. Secure your shared boat trip and museum tour tickets and skip the ticketing line by booking this tour and receiving return transfers between your hotel and the Nelson Mandela Gateway to Robben Island. Embark on a unique opportunity to take the Long March to Freedom in the historical footsteps of former President of South Africa - Nelson Mandela. See the prison cell that held Nelson Mandela incarcerated for 18 years of his 27 year imprisonment. Listen to the true life experiences on the island as told by ex-political prisoners who will give you a live guided tour of the island. This is one of the most enlightening tours you will ever experience in South Africa.
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  • 4 hours 30 minutes
From  
$78.28 
From  
$78.28 
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  • 4 hours 30 minutes

Robben Island Half Day Tour with Diamond Museum experienceDay Trips

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Robben Island Half Day Tour with Diamond Museum experience

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Robben island boat trip and museum tour is one of the most popular tourist attractions in South Africa. Visitors can take advantage of return ferry boat trips to and from the V&A Waterfront; Experience a guided tour of Robben Island Maximum Security Prison with an ex-political prisoner and take the Long March to Freedom in the historical footsteps of former president Nelson Mandela;
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  • 5 hours
From  
$76.95 
$96.18
$19.23 savings
From  
$76.95 
$96.18
$19.23 savings
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  • 5 hours

Full Day Robben Island & CityDay Trips

Full Day Robben Island & City

star-4
Including all the `must-sees` of any Cape Town day tour, this option is a geographical and cultural extravaganza, showing you Cape Town, from its historical beginnings to its dark days of apartheid and present day spirit of triumph and hope in a democratic South Africa.
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  • 10 hours
  • Reserve Now & Pay Later
  • Free Cancellation
From  
$98.69 
From  
$98.69 
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  • 10 hours
  • Reserve Now & Pay Later
  • Free Cancellation

Cape Town Private, Robben Island and Cape point TourFull-day Tours

Cape Town Private, Robben Island and Cape point Tour

star-5
Peninsula Tour Full Day Itinerary: Clifton & Camps Bay Twelve Apostles mountains Hout Bay Chapman’s Peak Drive Noordhoek Ostrich-viewing drive by Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve Cape Point False Bay Penguin Colony (optional) Simon's Town Muizenberg Constantia
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  • 8 hours 10 minutes
  • Reserve Now & Pay Later
  • Free Cancellation
From  
$210.47 
From  
$210.47 
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  • 8 hours 10 minutes
  • Reserve Now & Pay Later
  • Free Cancellation

Cape town ,Robben Island and Cape Town City Tour with Table Mountain Cable CarDay Trips

Cape town ,Robben Island and Cape Town City Tour with Table Mountain Cable Car

This package condenses two popular Cape Town tours into just one day, making it ideal for travelers on a time budget. You'll explore Robben Island, the prison where Nelson Mandela was incarcerated, and benefit from the insider knowledge of a former political prisoner. Plus, a bus tour of Cape Town and cable car ride to Table Mountain provides a safe and easy way to orient yourself in one of South Africa's three capital cities.
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  • 8 hours
  • Reserve Now & Pay Later
  • Free Cancellation
From  
$227.49 
From  
$227.49 
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  • 8 hours
  • Reserve Now & Pay Later
  • Free Cancellation

Robben Island prison tour and Langa Township Shared Full Day TourDay Trips

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Robben Island prison tour and Langa Township Shared Full Day Tour

UNESCO–listed Robben Island and the Langa township offer unrivalled insight into South African’s past, with stories of apartheid hardship and success in the face of adversity—but visiting without a guide means missing out on the hidden history. With round-trip travel from your Cape Town hotel included, discover sites of interest including Nelson Mandela’s prison cell and mingle with the locals in the Langa township. Along the way, see how educational programs are bringing new skills to the youth.
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  • 8 hours
From  
$136.49 
$160.58
$24.09 savings
From  
$136.49 
$160.58
$24.09 savings
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  • 8 hours

Robben Island and city highlightsFull-day Tours

Robben Island and city highlights

Take a boat trip to Robben Island (accompanied by your guide) weather permitting. Robben Island, a World Heritage Site, celebrates the triumph of the human spirit over great adversity. The island is synonymous with our former President, Nelson Mandela, who was incarcerated here for 18 years for his unwavering stance and struggle against the apartheid regime. Your tour will comprise of two facets – a guided scenic tour of the island and a walk through the maximum security prison, including a visit to Nelson Mandela’s prison cell. Cape Town is the oldest city in South Africa and was established in 1652 by the Dutch East Indian Company as a replenishing station for the passing ships that were plying their trade on the notorious sea spice route between Europe and the East. A true “Rainbow Nation” as our beloved Nelson Mandela had wished for. There is literally so much to do in and around this amazing city and we’ll guarantee you an amazing day out!
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  • 8 hours
  • Reserve Now & Pay Later
  • Free Cancellation
From  
$313.10 
per group
From  
$313.10 
per group
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  • 8 hours
  • Reserve Now & Pay Later
  • Free Cancellation

Township & Robben Island Full Day TourDay Trips

Township & Robben Island Full Day Tour

star-4
A Township tour is a unique experience, a must see when in South Africa. Visitors get the opportunity to experience the culture, social issues and the lifestyle of the Township. Book your Township tour now to receive guaranteed Robben Island tickets!
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  • 7 hours
From  
$112.72 
From  
$112.72 
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  • 7 hours

Path to Freedom Private Tour: District Six, Gugulethu with Robben Island Add-onHalf-day Tours

Path to Freedom Private Tour: District Six, Gugulethu with Robben Island Add-on

star-5
Although Cape Town is now a modern metropolis, it is impossible to separate this city from its storied past. Learn about the fight for freedom during apartheid, and the injustices that accompanied that journey, on this private half-day tour of District Six and Gugulethu — the neighborhoods at the epicenter of the fight.
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  • 4 hours 30 minutes
  • Reserve Now & Pay Later
  • Free Cancellation
From  
$170.95 
Price varies by group size
From  
$170.95 
Price varies by group size
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  • 4 hours 30 minutes
  • Reserve Now & Pay Later
  • Free Cancellation

Group Robben Island 10 guests incl return transfers. late bookings conf 24hrsHalf-day Tours

Group Robben Island 10 guests incl return transfers. late bookings conf 24hrs

Time permitting, before the Boat Ride to the Island, we take a detour to a famous spot where Madiba used to stand and reflect on his time in prison. Robben Island See Nelson Mandela's cell 46664
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  • 4 hours
From  
$1,095.84 
From  
$1,095.84 
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  • 4 hours

Table Mountain, Bo-Kaap (The Malay Quarter) and Robben Island - Private TourWalking Tours

Table Mountain, Bo-Kaap (The Malay Quarter) and Robben Island - Private Tour

star-5
The best private tour for travelers with limited time in Cape Town. Save time and pack your sightseeing into one day by visiting the top heritage sights of Cape Town including Table Mountain, Bo-Kaap slave houses (The Malay Quarter), and Robben Island. The places we visit will ensure spectacular photo opportunities. After the Table Mountain visit we drive via Lion’s Head to Signal Hill where you will enjoy a spectacular postcard view of Table Mountain. We will point out the most important places to visit in Cape Town City as we drive past the St George's Cathedral, the Company Gardens, the Slave Lodge and many more. We stop for lunch at the V&A Waterfront wherafter the 13h00 Ferry will depart to Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned. The perfect tour for travelers with limited time. Travel between sites in a private vehicle. No transport to organize. We also specialize in tours of the Peninsula (The Cape of Good Hope and Boulders Penguins) as well as Wine Tours.
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  • 8 hours
  • Reserve Now & Pay Later
  • Free Cancellation
From  
$97.69 
Price varies by group size
From  
$97.69 
Price varies by group size
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  • 8 hours
  • Reserve Now & Pay Later
  • Free Cancellation

Full Day Walk to Freedom & Robben IslandBus Tours

Full Day Walk to Freedom & Robben Island

star-5
Cape Town’s history and culture are inextricably linked with that of South Africa. From the days of the Khoisan to the arrival of Jan van Riebeeck, from the dark days of apartheid to the democratic freedoms enjoyed today, Cape Town has been at the forefront of it all. This tour provides invaluable insight into the issues of human rights in South Africa combined with a tour to Robben Island.
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  • 10 minutes
  • Reserve Now & Pay Later
  • Free Cancellation
From  
$83.79 
From  
$83.79 
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  • 10 minutes
  • Reserve Now & Pay Later
  • Free Cancellation

Robben Island And Langa Township Full Day TourDay Trips

Robben Island And Langa Township Full Day Tour

star-4
This full day tour takes you to two important sites in Cape Town history. Tour Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was held prisoner, and Langa Township, an area of town desginated for Black and migrant workers during apartheid. You’ll also tour the District Six Museum, which tells the devastating story of the forced removal of Black residents when it was declared a “whites only zone.”
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  • 8 hours
  • Reserve Now & Pay Later
  • Free Cancellation
From  
$109.78 
From  
$109.78 
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  • 8 hours
  • Reserve Now & Pay Later
  • Free Cancellation

Private Cultural & Robben Island TourDay Trips

Private Cultural & Robben Island Tour

star-5
Benefit from the attention of a private guide on this private tour of Robben Island. Immerse yourself in South Africa's 11 national languages and the Mzansi culture, learning about both through your guide's insightful commentary. Listen to tales of Nelson Mandela's imprisonment there and its importance to South Africa's history; you'll learn much more by traveling with a guide than you would exploring on your own.
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  • 8 hours
  • Reserve Now & Pay Later
  • Free Cancellation
From  
$142.50 
Price varies by group size
From  
$142.50 
Price varies by group size
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  • 8 hours
  • Reserve Now & Pay Later
  • Free Cancellation

Robben Island tour Return transfers PLUS famous stops before or after tourHalf-day Tours

Robben Island tour Return transfers PLUS famous stops before or after tour

Return Transfers included from Cape Town City Centre hotels or Sea Point hotels Robben Island Ticket is included ( your guide who will escort you to the boat) * Board the boat to Robben Island wait in a long queue as there are up to 250 persons on board boat * Disembark at Robben island & walk to buses. * There is a Robben Island guide on the bus who will guide on bus for a tour around the Island * See Nelson Mandela's prison / some shrines of ex Java/Indonesian political prisoners * Time to listen to ex prisoner sharing stories of time in prison during apartheid era *** Boat trip back to Mainland **** Please put on sun screen Take a jacket as it gets windy sometimes Sea sick tablets is advised if guests are prone to being sea sick Wear comfortable clothing and shoes 15 maximum on minibus 250 maximum on boat We ALSO take our travellers to unique spots either before the tour or after the Robben Island tour, this is a surprise! :) and an extra value to the guests
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  • 4 hours 30 minutes
From  
$122.11 
From  
$122.11 
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  • 4 hours 30 minutes

Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What are Robben Island hours of operation?
A:
Robben Island hours of operation: Daily. Buy tickets in advance on Viator. If you book with Viator, you can cancel at least 24 hours before the start date of your tour for a full refund.
Q:
Should I book Robben Island tickets in advance?
A:
We recommend booking e-tickets ahead of time to secure your spot since Robben Island can get crowded. If you book with Viator, you can cancel at least 24 hours before the start date of your tour for a full refund. See all 90 Robben Island tickets and tours on Viator.
Q:
How much does it cost to visit Robben Island 2020?
A:
Currently, an entrance ticket to Robben Island costs USD 39.69. Guided Robben Island tours start around USD 39.69 per person. See all 90 Robben Island tickets and tours on Viator.
Q:
What's the best way to experience Robben Island?

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