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Robben Island Tours

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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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Cultural Tours

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Robben Island transfer/hotel, . Robben Island confirmed 24 hours prior

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  
USD115.36
From  
USD115.36
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  • 4 hours

Bus & Minivan Tours

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Half Day Robben Island

“Robben Island, the unique symbol of “the triumph of the human spirit over adversity, suffering and injustice” with a rich 500 year old multi-layered history, is visited every year by thousands of people eager to understand and honour the important aspects of South Africa’s history that the Island represents.”
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
USD83.83
From  
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Attraction Tickets

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

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  
USD188.78
From  
USD188.78
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  • 8 hours

Cultural Tours

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Robben Island, Bo-kaap,Mandela Glasses . Robben Island confirmed 24 hours prior

* Pickup from various hotels* Stop at Bo-Kaap Malay quarter and learn about slavery in the Cape* Visit to the famous Nelson Mandela's glasses hear stories of Madiba's visit to this spot* Arrive at the Nelson Mandela Gateway, watch a short story about the Island * See the many posters of an era gone by, the struggle of Apartheid* Say bye to your driver/guide then wait in the queue to board the boat* 30 Minute boat ride to the island * disembark walk to the buses/ a guided tour with Robben Island guide around the island on the bus* Walk to the prison / meet an ex prisoner who will share his stories * see Nelson Mandela's cell 46664 * Return to the boat for 30 minute boat ride back to the mainland * meet your driver/guide for a return to the hotel or stay in the Waterfront for lunch
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  • 5 to 6 hours
From  
USD122.35
From  
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  • 5 to 6 hours

Cultural Tours

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Robben Island trf frm hotel. Robben Island, to be confirmed 24 hours prior

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
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USD115.36
From  
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  • 4 hours

Half-day Tours

Half-Day Robben Island Tour from Cape Town

Explore the most famous island prison in the world, Robben Island, on this half-day tour from Cape Town. Go deep into the history of Nelson Mandela's history and impact on the world through your guide's commentary as you have a look around the historic site. Round-trip ferry ticket from the Victoria and Albert Waterfront and admission to Robben Island are included to make for a seamless experience.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
USD335.60
From  
USD335.60
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Historical & Heritage Tours

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Robben Island Tour

We offer Hotel pickup to ferry at the V & A Waterfront. All tickets for the ferry and admission are catered for in our price
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
USD195.77
From  
USD195.77
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Cultural Tours

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Cape Town: Private Tour, Robben Islands & Table Mountain Car

CATCH A FERRY TO SOUTH AFRICA’S HISTORIC ROBBEN ISLANDThese days, a trip to Robben Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a must-do on the itinerary of any tourist to Cape Town. For centuries, however, the trip was one to be feared.Forget palm trees and sun-kissed beaches; Robben Island’s allure lies in its rich and wretched history. South Africa’s first democratically elected president – Nelson Mandela – spent 18 years of his 27 years in prison on Robben Island. Easily the most famous of the island’s political prisoners, Mandela was by no means the island’s only notable inmate – South African presidents Kgalema Motlanthe and Jacob Zuma also spent time there.The Apartheid government wasn’t the first to use the island as a prison. In the 17th and 18th centuries, the Dutch sent political prisoners from the Dutch East Indies to the island. There is a Kramat (holy shrine) on the island dedicated to the Prince of Madura – Pangeran Chakra Deningrat – who died on t
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
USD190.00
From  
USD190.00
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Cultural Tours

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Robben Islandn transfer from htl. . Robben Island confirmed 24 hours prior

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  
USD115.36
From  
USD115.36
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  • 4 hours

Cultural Tours

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Group Robben Island 10 guests incl return transfers. Robben Island 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  
USD1,083.71
From  
USD1,083.71
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  • 4 hours

Cultural Tours

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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
  • Free Cancellation
From  
USD349.58
From  
USD349.58
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Cultural Tours

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Port - District 6 museum - Langa township - Robben Island - Drop off at Airport

Transfer to Hotel District 6 museum Langa Robben Island Transfer to collect luggage Airport transfer in air conditioned coach
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  • 9 to 10 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
USD276.17
From  
USD276.17
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  • 9 to 10 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Cultural Tours

Cape Town Townships Tour including Robben Island

Take a fascinating trip through South Africa’s difficult past with 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  
USD102.36
From  
USD102.36
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  • 9 hours

Cultural Tours

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Township tour District 6 museum & Tickets confirmed 24hrs prior for last minute

Embark on a journey that will tug on your heart strings. * Hotel pickups * Visit to District Six Museum - learn about Apartheid, Segregation Laws, Immorality Act etc* Visit Langa, visit a Shebeen, buy handmade ceramics, bead work & local crafts * Township guides who grew up in township is doing the guiding on the tour * See how people used to live and how they have been upgraded with new homes * Return to the Waterfront for quick lunch * Robben Island tour * Back to hotel or stay for dinner at waterfront NOTE:District Six Museum is closed on a Sunday Visit a local community with Church service on a Sunday
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  • 9 hours
From  
USD125.85
From  
USD125.85
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  • 9 hours

Private Sightseeing Tours

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

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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  • 10 hours
From  
USD185.28
From  
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  • 10 hours

Private Sightseeing Tours

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

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
  • Free Cancellation
From  
USD66.42
From  
USD66.42
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  • 4 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation

Cultural Tours

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ROBBEN ISLAND AND LANGA TOWNSHIP FULL DAY TOUR

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
  • Free Cancellation
From  
USD115.36
From  
USD115.36
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Helicopter Tours

Cape Town Helicopter Tour: Atlantic Coast

Climb aboard a private helicopter for an unforgettable flight over Cape Town! During this 18-minute helicopter tour, see the majestic Table Mountain from all sides and the natural amphitheater of Cape Town’s City Bowl. Soar over the beautiful Atlantic coastline. Enjoy a bird’s eye view of area attractions like the Twelve Apostles, Lion’s Head, and maybe even Robben Island. It’s a thrilling tour of Cape Town.
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  • 20 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From  
USD153.82
From  
USD153.82
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  • 20 minutes
  • Free Cancellation

Day Trips

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Robben Island Cape of Goodhope and Penguin Boulders Beach

This is a unique tour that gives you a rich history insight of South Africa in the midst of beautiful sightseeing and loads of fun!
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  • 4 to 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
USD244.71
From  
USD244.71
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  • 4 to 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation

4WD, ATV & Off-Road Tours

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
From  
USD215.34
From  
USD215.34
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  • 8 hours

Cultural Tours

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Cape Town Private, Robben Island and Cape point Tour

Peninsula Tour Full Day Itinerary:Clifton & Camps BayTwelve Apostles mountainsHout BayChapman’s Peak DriveNoordhoekOstrich-viewing drive byCape of Good Hope Nature ReserveCape PointFalse BayPenguin Colony (optional)Simon's TownMuizenbergConstantia
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  • 8 hours 10 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From  
USD205.20
From  
USD205.20
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  • 8 hours 10 minutes
  • Free Cancellation

Cultural Tours

SPECIAL OFFER

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

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  
USD155.49
USD194.37
USD38.88 savings
From  
USD155.49
USD194.37
USD38.88 savings
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  • 9 hours

Cultural Tours

Half-Day Small-Group Township Tour South Africa from Cape Town

Immerse yourself in Cape Town's apartheid-era history on this half-day tour that includes visits to District Six, a local preschool, a local shebeen (pub), and meet a traditional healer. Learn about apartheid and its legacy in South Africa through a guide's enlightening commentary. Enjoy the intimate atmosphere that comes with traveling in a small group of 15 people fewer. Upgrade your tour with an additional excursion to Robben Island.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
USD42.30
From  
USD42.30
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation

4WD, ATV & Off-Road Tours

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Full Day Walk to Freedom

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
  • Free Cancellation
From  
USD89.07
From  
USD89.07
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  • 10 minutes
  • Free Cancellation


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(888) 651-9785
(888) 651-9785