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.

THE TOUR EXPERIENCE

Currently; RIM has tours that runs as follows; 09h00, 11h00, 13h00 and 15h00. The ferries depart from the Nelson Mandela Gateway at the V & A Waterfront. The tour takes 3.5 hours including the ferry trip to and from the Island (Depending on the boat used as they have different travel times).

You will disembark at Murray’s Bay Harbour situated on the east coast of the Island and take a short walk to buses that will transport you to all the historical sites around the Island. On the way to the buses, you will pass buildings and a high wall built by prisoners during the 1960s. The buildings were used for family and lawyer visits to prisoners.

You will meet your Tour Guide when you have boarded the busses. The prison tour will be conducted by a Robben Island Tour Guide. This is part of our integrated tour model. They are fully conversant and knowledgeable about the Island’s multi-layered 500-year-old history. The tour route includes the graveyard of people who died from leprosy, the Lime Quarry, Robert Sobukwe’s house, the Bluestone quarry, the army and navy bunkers and the Maximum Security Prison where thousands of South Africa’s freedom fighters were incarcerated for years. The tour culminates with a viewing of Nelson Mandela’s cell.

EDUCATIONAL TOURS

The Robben Island Museum Tour has a dedicated Education Department.
Among its many activities is the facilitation of subsidised school tours.

These tours are from Monday to Friday during the concession period (2 May to 31 October), but can change at the discretion of management. Visitors are transported to the Island via Ferries which depart from the Nelson Mandela Gateway at the V & A Waterfront. Learners may be transported on ferries that are part of the general tours, and at the times of those ferries or a dedicated ferry departing at a specific alternate time may be arranged.

This tour targets learners in primary and secondary schools from across the country. It is designed to educate, inform and expose young people to elements of South Africa’s rich heritage that is embodied in Robben Island’s multi-layered history. The tour provides information and experiences of the Island that are more in-depth than the general visitor tour and focuses on inculcating an understanding of, and commitment to human rights and development.

The learners also get to visit all the various heritage sites that reflect the Island’s longstanding multi-layered history, such as the graveyard of people who died from leprosy, the Lime Quarry, Robert Sobukwe’s house, the Bluestone quarry, the army and navy bunkers and the Maximum Security Prison where thousands of South Africa’s freedom fighters were incarcerated for years. The tour culminates with a viewing of Nelson Mandela’s cell.

The tours are implemented in partnership with individual schools as and when requested.

SPECIALISED TOURS

Specialized Tours include Private Tours, VIP Tours and Protocol Tours. Private tours are for individuals or small groups.
VIP Tours are for ‘famous’ personalities. Protocol Tours are for Heads of State.

These tours can be arranged for any day of the week. The duration of these tours range from 3.5 hours to about 8 hours. Visitors are transported to the Island via Ferries which depart from the Nelson Mandela Gateway at the V & A Waterfront. Groups may be transported on ferries that are part of the general tours, and at the times of those ferries. Alternatively, a dedicated ferry departing at a specific alternate time may be arranged. Flights are used for some of the tours such as the Protocol Tours.

These tours include all the various heritage sites that reflect the Island’s longstanding multi-layered history, such as the graveyard of people who died from leprosy, the Lime Quarry, Robert Sobukwe’s house, the Bluestone quarry, the army and navy bunkers and the Maximum Security Prison where thousands of South Africa’s freedom fighters were incarcerated for years. The tour culminates with a viewing of Nelson Mandela’s cell.

OPERATING HOURS

Monday to Sunday – 08:00 to 17:00
Public Holidays – 08:00 to 17:00
Workers’ Day (01 May) – Closed
Christmas Day (25 December) – Closed
Family Day (26 December) – 08:00 to 12:00
New Year’s Day (01 January) – 08:00 to 12:00

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