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Cape Town, South Africa

The Nelson Mandela Gateway To Robben Island

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Ferry to the Island

In 1964, Nelson Mandela along with several co-defendants was convicted of sabotage and conspiracy to overthrow the government of South Africa. Sentenced to life imprisonment, he spent the next 18 years (of a total of 27 years) on Robben Island, a prison off the coast of Cape Town. Now converted to a museum and historical site, the island can only be visited as part of guided tours, which leave by ferry three times a day from the Gateway on the V&A Waterfront. These tours are, understandably, in great demand and are almost always sold out several days in advance. If you plan to take the Robben Island tour, be sure to book well ahead and show up early at the Gateway. Be prepared for delays; the ferries do not always leave on time, so wear comfortable shoes and bring bottled water to keep hydrated.

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