The Robben Island tour is a 3.5-hour journey, beginning with a ferry ride to the island. The ferry ride itself is quite scenic, with the stunning blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean surrounding you. The island comes into view slowly, and as you draw near, the feeling of history begins to wash over you.
On arrival, you are met by an experienced guide. The tour begins with a visit to the maximum-security prison, where your guide will show you around the cell blocks and recount the prison’s history. Here, you’ll also see Nelson Mandela’s cell, which remains preserved to this day, serving as a poignant reminder of the incredible struggle against apartheid in South Africa’s past.
The tour then proceeds to the limestone quarry, where Mandela and his fellow inmates were forced to work tirelessly for hours on end. Here, you’ll learn about how they used this time to educate themselves and plan their fight against oppression.
Next, you’ll visit the Robben Island Museum, which houses exhibitions and displays of photos and artifacts. This museum adds depth and context to what you’ve already learned on the tour, giving you insight into how the island’s history fits into the broader history of South Africa.
Finally, the tour concludes with lunch at the Robben Island canteen, where you’ll get a chance to meet and interact with some of the former prisoners. Hearing their stories, the struggle, and eventual freedom they achieved gives a feeling of hope, that with patience and perseverance, it is possible to overcome adversity.