Robben Island

Pictures from Robben Island

September 15 Cape Town (Robben Island)

Robben Island catamaran

We travelled to Robben Island on a catamaran, which took about 25 minutes to get from the old harbour to the island. Robben Island is more famous for being the prison where the anti-apartheid fighters were kept, but the catamaran (“Autshumato”) is named after the first political prisoner, who was sent to the island in the 17th century.

Nelson Mandela’s cell

Of course everybody wants to see Nelson Mandela’s cell when they go to Robben Island; this is it. But there are dozens more just like it, and also communal cells that could hold forty men.

The rock pile

When Mandela and the other former political prisoners returned to Robben Island a couple of years ago for a reunion, they visited the limestone quarry where they had spent so many hours breaking stone by hand. When they left, each of them took a stone and threw it onto a pile.

View of Cape Town

From the shore of Robben Island, you get an excellent view of Cape Town—and of Table Mountain, if it is not in the clouds.

Penguin colony

And of course we couldn’t leave the island without visiting the African Penguin colony that lives on the stony beach there.

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