Robben Island

Author: · March 3. 2009 · Cape Town

If you are interested in the polical history of South Africa, Robben Island is the place to go. This is the prison where, during the apartheid era, political prisoners such as, Nelson Mandela, were held captive.

The trip starts from the V&A Waterfront where you will take a ferry, which during the apartheid era was also used to transport the prisoners to the Island. On the way you have a beautiful view of Table Mountain. The boat ride takes about 30/40 minutes and can get a bit rough, depending on how the ocean is feeling that day.

Once having arrived on the island everybody from the boat gets on a tour bus and you set of on an interesting tour of the island. You will only be taken to see round and about 20% of the island, because the other part is a nature reserve and the bus can not get there. You will see the different prisons, churches and even a school, where children still go to this day.

After the tour, you will be brought to the political prison, where you join a tour through the prison, guided by a former political prisoner. He starts with telling his story, about his conviction and the time he served, and then continues with the way life was during years of incarceration in the apartheid era. You will learn about what the policies were, how the guards treated prisoners and the way they fought against and resisted these policies.

It is definitely worth a visit Robben Island, because you will get a sense of the history of South Africa in a captivating way.

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