Cape Town Photography: Robben Island
Heritage day seemed like a fitting day to take a boat ride across the waters to Robben Island.
Robben Island, a World Heritage Site, 9km offshore from Cape Town, was dubbed “Robben” (the Dutch word for seal) Island by early settlers in reference to the seal population at the time. Over the centuries, the island has housed a prison, hospital, mental institution, leper colony and a military base. Nelson Mandela spent 18 years of the 27 years of his incarceration imprisoned on the island.
Our Cape Town photography project started in the V&A Waterfront. We boarded our ferry which departs daily on the hour from 09:00 am to 15:00 from the Nelson Mandela Gateway. If you are thinking of doing a trip, make sure to book your tickets before and get into the queue at least 30 minutes before departure. It gets quite busy!
The trip across to Robben Island takes just over 30 minutes. We were lucky enough to be on the top deck. It was FREEZING, but the views leaving the harbour were gorgeous.
After embarking we boarded a bus that took us to some of the islands historic sites. It’s a pity we did not have time to walk about. We were pretty much confined to the bus for the first bit of the trip and most images were just taken out of the window of the bus.
The second part of our tour started at the prison precinct and was done on foot.
On the island, tours are all guided by former political prisoners. This offers the visitor a truly unique insight into the island’s history and personal accounts of prison life.
The tour includes a visit to the maximum security prison, with the most poignant stop reserved for Mr. Mandela’s former cell, prepared exactly as it was when he was imprisoned here. One could not help feel a little introspective as we walked the very corridors and courtyard once frequented by one of South Africa’s most beloved people.
Thank you, Camissa, for another amazing experience in being able to capture this Cape Town photography project for you.
“The greatest glory in living lies not, in never falling but in rising every time we fall.”
– Nelson Mandela