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NEVER A BETTER TIME TO VISIT ROBBEN ISLAND

NEVER A BETTER TIME TO VISIT ROBBEN ISLAND

From history to heritage, folk tales to fun, find your reason to visit Robben Island Museum (RIM), especially with 15% discount on all group tickets of three or more for the month of April.

The upcoming school holidays are wedged between two iconic commemorative dates on our calendar, i.e. Human Rights Day and Freedom Day. During this time of reflection on our struggles as a nation, to overcome the devastation of the Coronavirus pandemic, we are reminded of South Africa’s historic resilience in the face of adversity.

Many of those stories carved in blood, sweat and tears, find their origin on the shores of Robben Island. The heartache, the bitterness, the anger, the tenacity, the friendships, the drive and the forgiveness…all evident from the time one boards the ferry, to that spine chilling moment when setting foot on the very ground our struggle icons walked for so many years.

While a trip to RIM is arguably a fun day out for the family, it is also an unforgettable way to tap into the rich history and fascinating tapestry of heritage that dates back to the 1300s, guaranteed to teach even the most devout scholars of world history, a thing or two.

During the months of lockdown, RIM used to the opportunity to upgrade the island, and in particular expand on the range of exhibits. These include the visitors’ centre, where wives and mothers of prisoners gathered to see their loved ones, albeit for a few brief moments; the Sobukwe Complex, which housed South Africa’s first political prisoner on the island, Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe as well as the artillery room where the eeriness of the weapons and their handlers still linger in the air.

“We are indeed excited to give our visitors a sneak preview of some of the artifacts inside the maximum security prison, under the knowledgeable guidance of a former political prisoner, who speaks not only of the facts as recorded in the history books, but shares first-hand, an anecdotal encounter of life behind the bars of a once notorious prison, that is today a celebration of triumph over adversity,” said Siphuxolo Mazwi, RIM Senior Manager: Marketing and Tourism.

RIM, like so many tourist destinations in our country, has felt and continues to experience the brunt of the economic impact of COVID-19. Visitor numbers are still 90% down from previous years.

“The decision by the President to not impose more severe restrictions during the upcoming Easter Weekend is welcomed. The tourism industry cannot survive any more visitor restrictions. We are however mindful of our responsibility in curbing the spread of COVID-19 infections and will continue to observe all health protocols both on the ferry, and on the island. We also encourage visitors to purchase their tickets online, via Webtickets to avoid queueing at the Gateway,” concluded Mazwi.

The ferry operates Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, at 11h00. Should the demand increase, additional tours will be made available. Regular local ticket prices are R400 per adult and R210 for children under 18. This holiday let us take you down a historic pathway that tells the story of so many struggles we have faced and overcome as a nation. And indeed, we can overcome this pandemic too!

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