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Robben Island Museum Activities You Probably Didn’t Know About

robben island stranded ship

One of Cape Town’s most visited attractions, Robben Island Museum, offers more than just a prison tour and striking views of Table Mountain. The World Heritage site, a short ferry ride from the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town, provides a range of personalised day and overnight experiences.

Here’s everything you didn’t know you could do at Robben Island Museum:

A Private Robben Island Museum Tour

If you want to delve deeper into the history of Robben Island, its political prisoners, and the compelling and quirky tales without the crowds, a private tour can be arranged. You will travel by ferry or helicopter to the island, where a tour guide will whisk you away in a private shuttle.

Experience life on Robben Island through the eyes of a former political prisoner, who will share in-depth information on how they overcame many adversities, their journey to the island, and insights about former president, Nelson Mandela.

The tour is tailored to your needs, allowing you to decide how you would like to structure it.

Robben Island offers visitors a journey into the legacy of resistance and liberation through a wide range of significant sights to see, some of which include Jetty 1 (Mainland), The Visitor’s Centre, Robert Sobukwe Complex, The Village Precinct, The Banishment fields, The Ou Tronk, The Kramat, Garrison Church, and World War II Relics.

Guided Walking Tours

Explore the UNESCO World Heritage Sites by foot during a guided walking tour and walk on the footprints of those who came before us in liberating South Africa

Start the tour at the Nelson Mandela Gateway at the V&A Waterfront with a 38-minute ferry ride there (and back) where you get to soak in breathtaking views of Table Mountain and the Mother City Bowl.

The tour takes you to eight historic sites, including the Murray’s Bay Harbour Exhibition, the Visitor Centre Complex, the Land of Banishment for Xhosa Chiefs, the Ou Tronk Exhibition, the Blue Stone Quarry, the World War II Precinct, the Agricultural Precinct, the Limestone Quarry, and the Maximum Security Prison.

As you explore these different sites, stop and take in the scenery around you, and a few selfies.

Overnight Accommodation

Become a VIP guest when you stay at Robben Island’s Guest House, where VIPs and statesmen usually stay when they visit during the island’s political prison era. The Guest House can accommodate 15 guests, with rooms featuring classic furniture, wooden floors, a kitchen, a dining room, bathroom facilities, and a bar area.

While there is no on-site restaurant or kitchen, meals can be arranged depending on the length of your stay. The accommodation also has a conference room, ideal for meetings, birthday parties, workshops, or teambuilding.

robben island accommodation

Host A Birthday Party…

You can now tick celebrating your birthday on a historical island/former maximum-security prison off your bucket list. Robben Island offers a few unique venues for your birthday bash: the charming Guest House and the spacious John Craig Hall (JC Hall). Each venue can accommodate 70-80 people respectively and is bound to be truly unforgettable.

…Or Tie The Knot

Ditch the wedding venues in the city and opt to wed at Garrison Church on the island. The Anglican Church can take up to 80 guests and provides the best backdrop for photos.

Multi-Purpose Learning Centre and Sleep-over Camps

Dating back to World War II and later used in the late 1960s for common law prisoners, the venue now serves as a Multi-Purpose Learning Centre. It features conference and lecture rooms, an art studio, and accommodation for team-building events or sleep-over camps. You can choose from dormitories, single, or twin rooms, accommodating up to 102 guests in total. There is also a braai area available for your use. This facility is popular for school groups and youth leadership camps.

Robben Island Museum Info

Tours: General tours to Robben Island depart Monday to Sunday. These tours are weather and demand permitting. Tour times are 9am, 11am, 1pm, 3pm.

Standard tour ticket price: South Africans: R400 per adult, R210 per child under 18-years

Non-South Africans: R600 per adult, R310 per child under 18-years

Walking tour ticket price: South Africans: R1 000 per adult, R620 per child. Non-South Africans: R1 400 per adult, R820 per Child

Private tours, accommodation and venue hire prices are available on request.

Transport: A ferry departs from the Nelson Mandela Gateway at the V&A Waterfront. The tour takes 3.5 hours, including the two legs of a 38-minute ferry trip to and from the island.

Contact: Email infow@robben-island.org.za or call 021 413 4200

About Us

Cape Town Tourism is the city of Cape Town's official Regional Tourism Organisation, responsible for tourism marketing, visitor and industry services.

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