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“One of the sights you must see, but once is probably enough” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Robben Island

Robben Island
Book In Advance
More Info
USD 103.25*
and up
Full-Day Robben Island and Cape Town City Tour
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: During the apartheid years Robben Island served as a prison for political activists.
Thames Ditton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
291 reviews
132 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 107 helpful votes
“One of the sights you must see, but once is probably enough”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 March 2012

we pre-booked the first sailing while the day was still fresh. Fantastic views of CT and Table Bay. Having ex-inmates as tour guides both on the coaches and round the prison adds a personal feeling of what the experience must have been although some visitors may have difficulty understanding.
One has a sense of being rather uncomfortable hearing what went on here and its notoriety which has been brought out by Mandela's presence. Also that it was once a leper colony is often overlooked.
Certainly one of the visits one has to make when in CT.

Visited January 2012
Thank stanmansurrey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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5,126 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Cape Town
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Very disapointing”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 March 2012

Took a group of students from overseas on numerous occassions and they all say the same thing boring. The guide waffled on and on and they could understand one word he said as his accent was very strong. All feel would be better with audio visuals in there own languages like the Huguenot museum in Franshoek. They only enjoyed the boat trip

1 Thank Marcelle B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level Contributor
16 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Not what I expected”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 March 2012

The biggest drawcard of this place of course is Nelson Mandela's prison cell. Well I have heard that this cell has been pointed out in different locations to different people before. My experience there left me with a bitter taste in my mouth. I went there to see what it was all about. Experience and see the history behind what made a great man like him what he is today. In stead I got a very one sided bitter tour from an ex inmate of the prison which constantly focused on the brutality of the time (Which I do not deny) and all the wrongdoing. In stead of it being factual, historical and informative. Maybe ex inmates are not the best choice for tour guides.

Robber Island has a lot to offer in a spectacular view of Table Bay harbor and wildlife on the island, and this is the part I enjoyed most.

Thank martinhavinga
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Greater London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
105 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
“Terrible guides - unintelligeble and arrogant”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 March 2012

The tour was ruined by the terrible tour guides on the Island. The one guide kept talking about himself, and droned on about about irrelevant details and name dropped all the time and didnt give us enough information about the history and Mandela. He was really arrogant and strutted around like a celebrity. When he finished off a number of other tourists sighed with relief and when he kept talking about how important he was a lot of us were rolling our eyes at each other. The other guide in the prison was hard to understand and virtually unintelligible. This was so disappointing as the tour guides in SA were pretty awesome everywhere else. We read in the papers that the tour guides based on Robben Island have been striking for more pay - but unless they smarten up their narrative they shouldnt be rewarded at all. Terrible ambassadors for SA and Robben Island !

Visited February 2012
Thank LeanneStefans
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cookham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
430 reviews
151 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 358 helpful votes
“Struggled to understand the on-site local guides!”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 March 2012

This attraction could benefit from the investment of Audio Guides for foreign tourists as the SA locals they use as guides are sometimes difficult to understand (and as a Brit, my first language is English!). Despite this, a visit to Robben Island (where Nelson Mandela was incarcerated for 27 years) should NOT be missed.

Visited March 2012
Thank H1CAJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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