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  • Writer's pictureEdee On-The-Go

South Africa 2023 - Cape Town - Day 3, Part I - Robben Island

Today's itinerary begins with a trip to Robben Island. If you are not familiar with Robben Island, it is where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 18 years. If you are not familiar with Nelson Mandela, Mandela spent 27 years in prison for campaigning to end white minority rule. Eighteen of those years were spent on Robben Island, an island off Cape Town. In 1994, he became South Africa's first black president after the country's first democratic elections. He remains a national icon, even in death. You can find more information on Robben Island here.

In this video, you will hear Mario, our tour guide, talking about our journey to Robben Island as well as JaVonne making announcements for the day. I'm sharing the entire video so you can experience the ride just as we did.

Mario giving history on prisoner's trip to Robben Island.

Walking to catch the ferry to Robben Island.

Terms and Conditions.

Waiting on the ferry. The V&A Waterfront is pictured in the background.

More pics of the waterfront.

Scenes from the video shown on the ferry ride to the island.

Almost at the island.

Arriving at Robben Island prison.

They were rushing us to get to the group. Who wants to run to go into prison? Not us!

A wishing well, prison tower and cannon.

Walking to enter the prison building where inmates were processed.

Our prison tour guide's name is Mncedisi. He was an actual prisoner at Robben Island. Here he is telling his story and sharing his experience.

The administration office and inside the corridor.

The Armoury.

Mncedisi providing more insight inside the prison corridor.

Prison Clothes

Room where prisoners were processed.

Reception Office and Prison Court Sign.

Looking Out the Windows.

As Mncedisi mentioned, letters leaving the prison would be read and often inmates would have to rewrite them so as not to disclose any information related to the happenings inside of the prison. Below is a picture of the censor's office sign, the censor's office and a censored letter.

Looking out into the courtyard on the left side.


This is a short video of the courtyard of the hospital section of the prison remembering those who died at the prison.

Pictures from the courtyard.

These items were in rooms in the hospital ward of the prison.

This short video shows the B Section courtyard on the single cell side of the prison. This is also the side where Nelson Mandela was held and you will see his cell shortly.

Nelson Mandela's cell at Robben Island. If was difficult to get a good picture due to the bars obstructing the view and the number of folks trying to take pictures. However, this was more than enough for me to see.

Watch this video of Nelson Mandela talking to a reporter from inside his old cell years after being released.

A peak inside other cells at the prison.

A flag in a room with signs describing certain aspects regarding the prisoners.

Overcoming Isolation.

Here is a short video as we are walking over the the A Section of the prison.

Black Power in the Apartheid Jail.

Isn't this Board Interesting?

This video describes the folks who were housed in the A Section of the prison.

Tokyo Sexwales's Cell

Japhta Masemola

Benson Fihla

Bathroom and shower room inside A Section.

Inside....but just temporarily.

This entire experience just saddened me to know that these were the conditions that many of these prisoners endured in their fight to end Apartheid.

Walking out of A Section.

Look at these plants.

Mnendisi giving us more history and directing us to the section that held those who were not South African.

Inside this section.

We are headed out to the front of the prison to catch the bus back to the exit.

We will catch the bus which will take us through parts of the prison grounds then drop us off near the gift shop which is right across from where we take the ferry back.

Driving past the prison cemetery.

The bus made a stop before the gift shop so some took advantage to grab refreshments or snacks. I took the opportunity to go look at the water - my happy place.

I ran into Dennis at the water and asked if I could take a pic of him. He graciously agreed. We met on the inaugural Michael Baisden Travel Club trip to Dubai. It was great seeing him again.

We are on the ferry headed back to the waterfront.

Where did these seals come from?

I finally had the chance to get a picture of Aubrey. He is our bus driver while here in Cape Town and I am amazed at how skilled he is at making those tight turns.

Mario is providing updated information on Nelson Mandela upon his release and run for President.

Come on this bus ride with us back to the Taj Cape Town.

I hope you enjoyed Day 3, Part I - Robben Island. Just a reminder that each day builds upon the prior days and blogs so if you haven't read South Africa 2023 - Cape Town - Day 2, Part I or Part II, or Day 1 yet, you may do so here.

If you are new to, I hope you will go back and view other blogs you have missed. If you subscribe, you will automatically be notified when new blogs are posted.

Also, if you enjoy watching the videos, you can find most of the longer ones on my YouTube channel at

Stay tuned for South Africa 2023 - Cape Town - Day 3, Part II - Gold Restaurant. This was quite the dining experience.

Until our next time......

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