Robben Island Full Day Tour
08h30 pick from hotel – 16h30 drop off at hotel
- Short city orientation tour.
- Table Mountain- weather permitting
- Parliament, Cape Town Gardens.
- 12h30 drop off at The Mandela Gateway to board the ferry for Robben Island- CT’s most visited heritage site.
- Visit Nelson Mandela’s cell, guided bus tour of the island.
- Rate excludes lunch.
*rate includes Table Mountain and Robben Island Tickets.
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Robben Island tour
South Africa has made great strides in becoming a free and democratic country with a focus on the equality of all its citizens. It has been a long and hard journey though, and while reading about it does give a glimpse into the suffering felt by people of colour, the reality is heart breaking. One of the foremost landmarks to learn about this suffering is at Robben Island. The small island, just off the coast of Cape Town is an infamous maximum security prison which held high profile struggle leaders. While several prolific leaders spent time here it was former president, Nelson Mandela who had become a global icon after he was released in 1990. It was at Robben Island that he spent the majority of his 27 years in prison. The iconic leader has been admired the world over, for his forgiveness of the people who imprisoned him for speaking out against the injustices of apartheid.
Nowadays, the island serves as a monumental site and is one of the most requested Cape Town tours. Its importance has earned it the status of being a UNESCO World Heritage Site. One can argue that a tour to South Africa is incomplete without a visit to Robben Island. The Robben Island tour is one of the most popular in Cape Town. Airport Hoppers Robben Island tour comprises of several other factors as well, making for a well-rounded day trip. With Airport Hopper you get a guide to introduce you to a bit of Cape Town before going to Robben Island. Our tours are for (the) smaller groups and those who value that kind of intimacy. A Robben Island tour can be done that much more efficiently when it is a known group of people who are on the same page. There is no need to waste time waiting around for other people. Our guides have been carefully selected and are excellent drivers, an amazing weatlh of knowledge on our Cape Town tours and there to make your trip effortless. You do not have to worry about routes, just sit back, relax and let them take care of the rest. Our tours are so much more than driving guests around. We want our guests to get in on the full experience, whether the trip is of historical significance at Robben Island or a nature based whale watching tour. Our vehicles are spacious and comfortable and air conditioned. If you would be bringing a baby or toddler along, please let us know and we will arrange for the correct seating type to be bought along for the day. All of our Cape Town tours need to be booked in advance. This can be done over the phone or through the internet. Payment is also done in advance so there is no need to bother with this on the day of the Robben Island tour. The price of the Robben Island tour includes the cost of getting entry into Table Mountain and Robben Island. Please omit, changes all the time
For the Robben Island tour, guests will be picked up from their hotel to get going on the trip. This is done at around 8:30 in the morning. The first part of the tour comprises a short sightseeing of some of Cape Town’s famed spots and the stories behind them. If the weather is good, then it is off to Table Mountain. The journey to the top is done by cable car so for safety reasons, if it is too windy, it will not be operational. The top of the mountain offers panoramic views of the city bowl, Lions Head and Signal Hill. Brunch can be enjoyed at the restaurant situated at the top. The next stop on the Robben Island tour is the Bo-Kaap area. The area is well known for its colourful houses but it is the local cuisine that stays in the memories of guests forever. One last stop before the Robben Island tour is at the Cape Town gardens and Parliament buildings.
Around midday, is when our Robben Island tour guests will be dropped off to board a boat to the island? As a fitting tribute, the ferry departs from the Nelson Mandela Gateway. There is a monument dedicated to the former leader here, along with F.W DE Klerk, Albert Luthuli and the Archbishop Desmond Tutu. It is around a 45 minute journey to get to the island. On the island itself, there are many aspects to the Robben Island tour. A bus takes guests around the island. An interesting fact is that some of the guides that lead the tours on the island have been prisoners there themselves, which gives an even more enlightening view of life on the island. The bus tour takes guests through many points on the island where the guide will talk about the history of the island along with the hard labour endured at the lime quarry. Once the bus tour of the Robben Island (tour) ends, guests will begin to enter the prison itself. It is here that the guide will recount the daily lives of the prisoners, take questions from the group and then guests will get to visit Nelson Mandela’s cell. It is the pinnacle point of the Robben Island tour with guests being in the same space that he was in for most of his incarceration. Another interesting factor of the island is its rich flora and bird life. Some of the bird species are even endangered and it is the goal of the island to conserve this as well. Through the Robben Island tour, guests learn first-hand, the price of freedom.
The journey to the Island and back is around 3 and a half hours. There is a museum on the island if you wish to leave with some mementos. Once the ferry gets back to the Nelson Mandela Gateway, guests will be driven back to their hotel. Our tour ends around 4:30 in the afternoon. This is sure to be one of the most fascinating and thought provoking journeys a person can take.