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Robben Island Museum

Cape Town, Western Cape
World Heritage 

Robben Island, once described by Nelson Mandela as “the harshest, most iron-fisted outpost in the South African penal system,” has become a pivotal international symbol of the triumph of the human spirit.

Over the years, the 574-hectare island has been put to a variety of uses. The island has been used as a pantry, hospital, whaling station, mental asylum, leprosy colony, military camp and maximum security prison to house anti-apartheid activists. For centuries outcasts banished to the Island included Muslim leaders from the East, West African slaves, leprosy sufferers, mentally disturbed persons and political opponents to the apartheid regime.

Today Robben Island is a living museum and World Heritage Site, a tangible reminder of the past and a symbol of hope for the future. The Island captures the essence of the South African liberation struggle in a cultural showcase of visual, oral and emotive memories.


Nelson Mandela Gateway, V&A Waterfront

Opening & Closing Times:

9am–5pm Daily. Ferries depart 9am, 11am, 1pm [&] 3pm.