Cape Town Tour of Robben Island
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Departs from ticket office: Nelson Mandela Gateway, V&A Waterfront, Portswood Close, Portswood Ridge, Cape Town, 8002
  • Since September is declared Heritage month in South Africa and I found myself in Cape Town with a few coins to spare, I decided to visit one of the most talked about world heritage sites, the Robben Island, were the great Nelson Mandela was once held prisoner of politics
  • For R101 ($14) I felt as if I got a lifetime of knowledge through a visual intake of the very surroundings some very important history took place in, narrated by someone who had first-hand experience of the on goings thereof, and I could feel some chills down my spine when the sun started to set slowly and he told us that by this time they would have been back in their sells, referring us to a streak of sunlight that he always stood with his back to as it reminded him of the warmth of the days when he was free to roam the sunny streets of his homelands

    • by dubej66
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      Since September is declared Heritage month in South Africa and I found myself in Cape Town with a few coins to spare, I decided to visit one of the most talked about world heritage sites, the Robben Island, were the great Nelson Mandela was once held prisoner of politics.

      I had set aside a budget of not more than R700 (about $100) to go alone but had the luxury of the option of bringing up to six of my friends along for that amount, since I was quoted a price of R101 (about $14) for an apparently unpopular late Sunday afternoon time slot of three o’clock to half past six. Most people apparently go during the earlier departure times so I had to find two other people to bring the total up to at least three, otherwise the trip in that time slot would be canceled, and I did because it was my last day in Cape Town and I really wanted to go and see Robben Island.

      We departed from the V & A Waterfront on a small ferryboat and were lucky to have great


      weather conditions to contend with, so the plus-or-minus thirty-minute boat ride to the island and back was quite enjoyable, on which we got to do some extra sight seeing.

      Quite a funny thing happened on the way there though, the tour guide revealed to us that he had not been on the job very long and was in actual fact an ex-prisoner of the Apartheid regime on that very island he was going to give us a tour of, and when he quoted something from Nelson Mandela, “There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered”, I immediately knew that this was going to be something very special and in that very moment there was no other place on earth I would have rather been.

      It turned out to be a special tour as we were experiencing it through the eyes of someone who knows the history of the place and experienced it first hand, so much so that the one lady who was with us got emotional and shed some tears and, being ...


      • a group in the last time slot, the tour guide as well as the boatman didn’t mind extending the return time to about forty minutes beyond half past six.

        For R101 ($14) I felt as if I got a lifetime of knowledge through a visual intake of the very surroundings some very important history took place in, narrated by someone who had first-hand experience of the on goings thereof, and I could feel some chills down my spine when the sun started to set slowly and he told us that by this time they would have been back in their sells, referring us to a streak of sunlight that he always stood with his back to as it reminded him of the warmth of the days when he was free to roam the sunny streets of his homelands.

        There is no other moment in my life as moving as what this tour did to me and it was quite nice to spot some abundant wild life on the more natural side of the island, giving me a chance to take over the tour for a while

        and tell everybody about some of the birds we spotted.

        Part of the tour was a forty-five minute drive in a bus but we preferred to walk most of the way, so as to really take in the scenery and it really created a lifetime of history and knowledge for me and I’ll never forget that captivating experience.

        When we got to see the cell where Nelson Mandela was held it felt a bit familiar for me because I had seen it a number of times on various television programs. Being their physically was something else though and the long streak of light that partially illuminated the polished corridor made me feel a bit poetic.

        It was a rather sad return back to the mainland of Cape Town, although the beautiful scenery of the city under the fast-fading light of the setting sun spoke volumes on behalf of our otherwise quiet ride, and I knew the silence shown by the fellow tourists was for the exact same reason I was keeping quiet. We were all absorbing the powerful tour we just had and letting it all sink in.




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    The review was published as it's written by reviewer in September, 2011. The reviewer certified that no compensation was received from the reviewed item producer, trademark owner or any other institution, related with the item reviewed. The site is not responsible for the mistakes made. 3814091531610430/k2311a0914/9.14.11
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