Robben Island, Cape Town - Stein Travel
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Robben Island

South Africa's most widely known tourist attraction is probably Robben Island, seven miles (11km) from Cape Town in the centre of Table Bay. For nearly 400 years this tiny rocky island outcrop was utilised as a place of banishment, exile, isolation and imprisonment for numerous categories of people ostracised by society, ranging from political protestors to lepers. During the years of Apartheid, Robben Island became synonymous with institutional brutality as numerous freedom fighters, including the island's most famous resident Nelson Mandela, were imprisoned here for more than a quarter of a century. The island is now a museum, symbolising liberation and the triumph of the human spirit. Regular island tours are conducted, lasting three and a half hours. The tours, which are guided by former prisoners, include a visit to the maximum-security prison on the island where an estimated 3,000 freedom fighters were incarcerated between 1962 and 1991.

Information & Facts

Admission

Tours are R200 (adults), R100 (children 4-17), which includes the return boat trip across Table Bay

Language

South Africa has 11 official languages, including Afrikaans, English, Xhosa, Zulu and Sotho. English is widely spoken.

Money

South Africa's currency is the Rand (ZAR), which is divided into 100 cents. Money can be exchanged at banks, bureaux de change and the larger hotels. ATMs are widely available (there is a daily limit for cash withdrawals) and major international credit cards are widely accepted, except in petrol stations where cash is required. Visitors should be vigilant when drawing cash from ATMs, as con artists are known to operate there. Travellers cheques and some foreign currencies are accepted at larger hotels and shops, but commission is charged, otherwise all commercial banks will exchange them.

Opening Times

Boats leave at 9am, 11am, 1pm, 3pm (weather dependent)

Time

Local time is GMT +2.

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