Robben Island Museum (RIM) is thrilled to announce the resumption of tours from Monday, 14 September 2020.

Based on the current circumstances, Robben Island Museum will only operate two tours on a weekly basis – Mondays and Saturdays at 11:00. Tour capacity and frequency will be gradually increased based on the domestic demand and reopening of international travel.

“The effect of the COVID-19 resulted in numerous resource challenges facing the institution and the tourism industry as a whole. Reopening will give all of us an opportunity to gradually come back stronger and rebuild the tourism industry together,” says Morongoa Ramaboa, Robben Island Museum Spokesperson.

Covid-19 Tour Protocols

Stringent health protocols will be followed throughout the visitor experience value chain to ensure that facilities are compliant and meet all safety minimum standards for visitors and employees.

These include, but not limited to the following measures:

– No person will be permitted to enter the premises or participate in a tour without wearing a mask.
– Compulsory COVID-19 screening and testing is conducted at the main entrance of all premises.
– Several COVID-19 procedures have been developed to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus, including a screening and testing procedure for dealing with suspected, and confirmed COVID-19 cases.
– RIM has appointed a hygiene service company to decontaminate and disinfect all affected areas in an event of a confirmed COVID-19 case.
– Employees, including all operational staff, are receiving training on all COVID 19 procedures.
– Hand sanitiser dispensers have been installed at various locations.
– Social distancing markings, and other COVID-19 signage have been installed at various locations to remind people of the health and safety protocols.
– The ferries and vehicles will be cleaned and disinfected before, and after every tour.
–  Additionally, RIM is in the process of applying for the WTTC Safe Travels stamp as an additional visitor safety measure.

Catering for the local market

One of RIM’s core essences is to make the Island more accessible to domestic visitors (South Africans), especially the communities surrounding RIM, with access to Robben Island as a National resource and World Heritage Site.

RIM acknowledge consumers’ plea for reduced rates in accessing the Island. As such, RIM has always had a Concessions and Complimentary Visits Policy that caters for the domestic market and special groups such as pensioners, schools, cultural organisations, NGO’s, churches and etc.

In 2019, RIM introduced a two-tier pricing model introducing a domestic and an international rate. This year, RIM’s pricing model will be further scrutinised to explore alternative possibilities for the domestic market. However, no ticket increase will be implemented for this financial year.

With the current pandemic, it is highly likely that demand may be reduced – however RIM will use the month of September as a process to test the market and used as a benchmark for the coming months.

“At this stage, we can only rely on meaningful collaborations with tourism partners within the City, such as the Cape Town Big 6 and tour operators, in order for all of us to see a meaningful recovery whilst being mindful on the financial impact the pandemic has had on the ordinary South African citizen and their ability to afford leisure experiences,” shares Ramaboa.

Operational Capacity

RIM has determined numbers for operations based on the minimum social distancing requirement of 1.5 metres, and in line with the 70%-100% occupancy for public transport. Therefore, as a precaution, each ferry will carry a maximum of 70% passengers for now while buses will load 50% of its capacity. However, the group will be divided into smaller groups of 25 upon arrival to the island.

Sites that will be prioritised are:
– Maximum Security Prison
– Visitor Centre
– Lime Quarry
– Robert Sobukwe Complex

Ticket prices and booking procedure

Ticket sales are available at Nelson Mandela Gateway, but visitors are encouraged to buy tickets at the user-friendly online ticketing system or at Pick ‘n Pay.

– South African Adult rate: R400 | Non South African Adult rate: R600
– South African Child (under 18) rate: R210 | Non South African Child (under 18) rate: R310
– Book online: webtickets.co.za
– Rescheduling of tickets: reschedule@robben-island.org.za