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Robben Island Transportation – Taxi, Train, Bus & Airport Tips

Robben Island Transportation

Robben Island is located in Table Bay, off the coast of Cape Town, and is the former site of Nelson Mandela’s, and other political activists, imprisonment. The island is reachable via ferry, and travel on the island is via bus or taxi. It is possible to tour the entire island in about two hours. The island is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and many of the tour guides were once prisoners on the island.


There is a daily ferry from the Victoria and Albert Waterfront, and it is advisable to purchase a ticket the day before, as the ferries do sell out. It is also recommended to arrive to the ferry terminal about 45 minutes to one hour ahead of departure in order to secure a good seat. The island will be on the left side of the boat as you approach, so if you want a great view, choose a sit on that side if possible. The outside seats can get a bit chilly so be sure to bring a sweater or light jacket if you are planning to sit on the deck of the ferry.


Robben Island is mainly a tourist destination to see the site of Nelson Mandela’s imprisonment. Visitors will mainly visit via the ferry, take the guided bus tour of the island and then depart without doing any independent exploring. If you would like to visit the village on Robben Island there are a few taxis available but you may want to call ahead to have one waiting for you.


The guided bus service is available from the main jetty where the ferry lets of its passengers. The Robben Island bus service will provide a guided tour of the island with a stop at the former imprisonment area. The entire tour takes about two hours and returns passengers to the ferry terminal. There is not a lot else to see on the island and most visitors opt to do the tour and then depart.

Editor’s note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about transportation on Robben Island, South Africa.

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