Robben Island is an island located in Table Bay, about 6.9 kilometers (4.3 miles) off the coast of Cape Town, South Africa. When visiting the Island, you will be able to go on a tour around the Robben Island Museum, where you will be able to learn about Nelson Mandela’s time there, allowing you to actually visit the cell in which he spent his time on the island, and the history of South Africa. Measuring 1.9-kilometres wide and 3.3-kilometres long, Robben Island was used as place to banish prisoner in the late 17th Century, prior to which it was a leper colony where people were voluntarily quarantined.
Robben Island is renowned as a dangerous sailing area, with many shipwrecks resting upon the ocean floors surrounding the island, as well a history checkered with many ships report missing from the area. As a result, Jan van Riebeck started the first navigational fire on Robben Island, which has since evolved to the Island hosting the only working flashing lighthouse in the country. When visiting Robben Island during your South African safari, you may be lucky to come across the many different animals that call the Island their home. These include rabbits, seals, birds, penguins and buck. The best time to visit this famous Island is in the summer season when the warm weather makes the ferry trip, Museum tour and amazing scenery all that little bit more enjoyable.
We are happy to tailor-make a Robben Island tour that will meet your intended departure dates and budget, so please feel free to contact us with any enquiries that you might have. We also encourage you to read about the many other South African attractions listed beneath that you may wish to include on your safari to South Africa.
Helicopter Flights to Robben Island
You can take a helicopter tour to Robben Island, which offers a unique and scenic perspective of the island and its surroundings. Helicopter tours depart from the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town. While this option provides stunning aerial views, it typically doesn’t include a guided tour of the island itself.
Ferry Ride to Robben Island
The most common way to visit Robben Island is by taking a ferry. The ferry departs from the Nelson Mandela Gateway at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town. This option includes a guided tour of the island’s historical sites, including the former prison facilities and other points of interest.
Boat Cruises to Robben Island
Some boat cruises in Cape Town offer trips that pass by Robben Island without stopping. While you won’t disembark on the island, these cruises provide an opportunity to view Robben Island from the water, take photos, and enjoy the scenic beauty of the area.
When planning your visit to Robben Island, consider the experience you’re looking for and your schedule. The ferry ride is the most common and comprehensive way to explore the island’s history, while helicopter flights offer a different perspective, and boat cruises provide a more casual way to admire the island from a distance.