Robben Island South Africa UNESCO World Heritage Site
Robben Island is a small island located in South Africa, 6.9 km away from the coast of Cape Town. Famous for its historical significance, Robben Island has been used for centuries as a prison where political prisoners – such as Nelson Mandela and many other anti-apartheid activists – were incarcerated. It is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a major tourist destination.
Robben Island South Africa UNESCO World Heritage Site Summary
- Attraction Name: Robben Island
- Country: South Africa
- Continent: African
- Capital Name: Pretoria, Cape Town, Bloemfontein
- Language: English, Afrikaans, Zulu, Xhosa, Sepedi, Tswana, Southern Sotho, Tsonga, Swazi, Venda, Southern Ndebele, Khoekhoegowab
- Currency: South African Rand
- Nationality: South African
Robben Island is an important part of South Africa’s history and a major tourist attraction. It is best known as the place where Nelson Mandela spent 18 of his 27 years of imprisonment during the apartheid era. Visiting Robben Island will give you an insight into the struggle of South Africa’s people and the impact of that struggle on the nation’s history.
The island is a powerful reminder of the freedom and justice that South Africa has achieved in recent years. It also serves as a stark reminder of the injustice of racial segregation and oppression that still exists in parts of the world today.
Tell us about Robben Island South Africa
Robben Island is located off the coast of Cape Town, South Africa. It is famous for being the place where political prisoners, including former South African president Nelson Mandela, were held during the Apartheid Era. The island also includes a lighthouse, a defense fort, and a religiously significant island for local tribes.
It is now a popular tourist destination, offering tours and educational programs about its vibrant history. The island was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999 and is admired for its natural beauty, with lush greenery and a variety of wildlife.
What are the things to do in Robben Island South Africa?
Robben Island is a UNESCO World Heritage Site situated off the west coast of Cape Town, South Africa. It is accessible only by boat and renowned for being the place of incarceration for South Africa’s most famous political prisoner and former president, Nelson Mandela. Today, the island is a living museum that tells the story of South Africa’s politically turbulent past, offering an immersive experience to those who visit. Here are some of the top things to do on Robben Island:
- Visit the Nelson Mandela Gateway: This is the only ticketing office to the island, providing ample information and insight into the history of the island.
- Take a Guided Tour: These tours take you around the Penal Complex where Nelson Mandela was kept in captivity and offer insight into the incarceration of political prisoners.
- Ride the Maximum-Security Bus: This bus runs between the Ferry Jetty and the Penal Complex, offering spectacular views of Table Bay, the City of Cape Town and the Cape Flats.
- See the Old Promenade Building: This is where the late President Nelson Mandela was held in solitary confinement for years. It is now occupied by the Robben Island Museum.
- Visit a Lime Quarry: Walk around one of the limestone quarries where political prisoners were forced to break rocks. It is a great reminder of the island’s dark history.
- Explore Leeuwen Island: This was the location for the African-only school and hospital, shaped by the astonishing resolve of the South African people.
- Visit the Animal Park: Robben Island is home to exotic species like the ostrich, black buck and zebra, offering visitors a peaceful respite from the island’s tumultuous past.
- Interact with the Wildlife: Go birdwatching and explore the Robben Island biodiversity, while you observe the variety of marine birds that come to the shores during the breeding season.
- Visit the Migrant Worker’s Camp: Originally built to house the guests of the miners and laborer’s at Robben Island, these buildings are now a fascinating reminder of the island’s bleak but important history.
- Take a Cruise Around the Island: Before your departure, take a leisurely cruise around the island. There is no shortage of breathtaking views, so make sure your camera is charged and ready!
What are the best foods at Robben Island South Africa?
Robben Island boasts a variety of delicious, traditional African dishes. Some of the best dishes are:
- Bobotie, a South African staple made with spiced curried mince and egg custard.
- Cape Malay curry, a fragrant curry dish containing meats and vegetables.
- Chakalaka, a spicy vegetable, bean and tomato relish.
- Umphokoqo, a porridge-like dish with pap, sour milk, butter and sugar.
- Chutney, a sweet and tangy condiment made from apricots, tomatoes, apples and nuts.
Die Blikkie curried fish, beef tripe and trotters, sosaties, and boerewors are also must-try dishes. Lastly, no trip to Robben Island is complete without sampling a seafood feast – fresh fish, calamari, mussels, prawns – all served with local fries and sauces.
What are the best hotels to stay in Robben Island South Africa?
The best hotels to stay in Robben Island are:
- The Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel
- City Lodge Hotel Cape Town
- The Table Bay Hotel
- Cape Grace Hotel
- The Commodore Hotel
- Radisson Blu Hotel & Convention Centre
- Tintswalo Atlantic
- The Portswood Hotel
- Aquarius Luxury Suites
- The Westin Cape Town
What is the next tourist destination after visit Robben Island South Africa UNESCO World Heritage Site?
The next best attractions in South Africa you must visit are:
- Table Mountain, Cape Town
- Kruger National Park
- Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, Cape Town
- Blyde River Canyon
- The Cango Caves
- Garden Route
- Panorama Route
- Cape Winelands
- Apartheid Museum, Johannesburg
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