Robben Island Travel Guide

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Freedom Sign

Freedom Sign

Jacqui Byrne

Robben Island lies 12 kilometers off the coast of Cape Town, South Africa in Table Bay. For hundreds of years, the island has been used to house prisoners, though it has also served as a naval base and as a hospital for lepers and the mentally ill.

The island is most famous for being the site of the prison that housed Nelson Mandela for 27 years of his inprisonment during the apartheid regime of South Africa. Today, tours of the island depart from Cape Town's V&A Waterfront Clocktower. Visitors will see the main prison, the isolation house of Robert Sobukwe, Mandela's cell, the quarry where political prisoners were made to work, and several other sites on the island. Furthermore, there are former prisoners working on the island, telling the visitors about the conditions they had to endure during their imprisonment.

A trip to South Africa is not complete without touring this emotionally stirring site.


April 13, 2007 change by iloenchen

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