Robben Island is an island in Table Bay, 6.9 km west of the coast of Bloubergstrand, Cape Town, South Africa. The name is Dutch for “seal island.” Robben Island is roughly oval in shape, 3.3 km long north-south, and 1.9 km wide, with an area of 5.07 km². It is flat and only a few metres above sea level, as a result of an ancient erosion event. Nobel Laureate and former President of South Africa Nelson Mandela was imprisoned there for 18 of the 27 years he served behind bars before the fall of apartheid. To date, three of the former inmates of Robben Island have gone on to become President of South Africa: Nelson Mandela, Kgalema Motlanthe, and current President Jacob Zuma!

Today the island is a popular tourist destination and was declared a World Heritage Site in 1999. It is reached by ferry from the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront in Cape Town and is open throughout the year, weather permitting, and tours of the island and prison are led by guides who were formerly prisoners there. Robben Island Museum (RIM) operates as a site or living museum. All the land on the island is owned by the State, with the exception of the island church.

Robben Island is both a South African National Heritage Site as well as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Opening Hours

Monday

7:30am-7:00pm

Tuesday

7:30am-7:00pm

Wednesday

7:30am-7:00pm

Thursday

7:30am-7:00pm

Friday

7:30am-7:00pm

Saturday

7:30am-7:00pm

Sunday

7:30am-7:00pm

Closed on 1 May. Ferries depart 9am, 11am, 1pm, 3pm daily, weather permitting; book in advance!

Address

Our Address:

robben island museum

GPS:

-33.79929720017486, 18.373091751441848

Telephone:

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Email: