Robben Island Museum Tour Experience

Robben Island Museum Tour Experience

This is a bucket list item that must be ticked off if you come to Cape Town and especially if you are a person of colour. To see and hear of the experiences that many, including our beloved late President Nelson Mandela, had to endure is not only eye opening but excruciating to imagine. It is one thing to learn of our history in a classroom or a textbook, its a whole different experience to hear it first hand from someone who lived the experience themselves.

Jayme learnt about Nelson Mandela in term 2 of grade 4. This sparked his interest in Robben Island and wanting to see what was there. We took him for his birthday on the tour. The tour costs R400 for adults from South Africa and R600 for foreign adults. We paid R210 for Jayme’s ticket which is also slightly less than the foreign kids tickets. Under 2 year olds are allowed on the tour free of charge. I would not recommend taking a toddler. You need to take along your ID for them to verify nationality and age for kids.

A couple of things to keep in mind: The tour is 4 hours long, pack snacks or food to take along. There is a small tuckshop on the island which will appreciate your support however they only sell chips, chocolates and cold drinks. Wear walking shoes and comfortable clothing. The walking part of the tour is not strenuous at all but you will be walking. The boat ride itself is about 30mins there and 30mins back.

We got to hear about the meetings that were being held in secret as the political prisoners were not allowed to have these conversations but made it happen and get messages anyway. We were taken to the different sections of the prison, the leaders of the political parties were separated from the general prisoners but still managed to get messages across to each other. It was crazy to see how they needed to sleep and what they needed to sacrifice in order to get there basic human rights met.

One of the highlights was hearing of the life of Robert Sobukwe and how he was kept in isolation on Robben Island, seeing the road he walked, where he stayed and hearing what he had to endure is heart-breaking and infuriating. Its a story you need to hear while being on the island.

There are currently still residence on the island which work for the Robben Island Museum, the children on the island usually travel back to Cape Town or live with family while they are at school if they aren’t doing online school due to covid.

The views of Cape Town and Table mountain while on the island and on the boat are unmatched!

Do yourself a favour and go on this tour, support our tourism industry and give yourself a chance to hear the stories first hand. Its really something else.

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