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Cape Town Township Tour including Robben Island - Walk to Freedom Tour

Cape Town Central, South Africa
Cape Town Township Tour including Robben Island - Walk to Freedom Tour

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Safety measures
icon9 hours  (Approx.)
Hotel pickup offered
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English


Take a fascinating trip through South Africa’s difficult past on a tour of Cape Town and Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela spent 18 of his 27 years in prison. Visit the District Six Museum to get an in-depth look at the troubling history of apartheid in South Africa, and see how that system still impacts modern life in townships like Langa and Gugulethu. See how residents of these townships work to improve their lives and communities. Take a ferry to UNESCO-listed Robben Island for a tour of the former prison for political prisoners.
  • Full-day guided tour of Cape Town and Robben Island
  • Visit District Six Museum and learn about apartheid history
  • Travel to nearby townships, including Langa, and meet their inhabitants
  • Ferry to Robben Island and visit Nelson Mandela’s cell
  • Small group limited to 12 people to ensure a unique and intimate experience
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Hotel pickup and drop-off
Professional guide
Transport by air-conditioned minivan
Food and drinks

Departure Point

Traveler pickup is offered
Camps Bay Hotels: 8am departure
Sea Point Hotels: 8:15am departure
Waterfront Hotels: 8:30am departure
Downtown Hotels: 8:45am departure
Up Town Hotels: 8:45am departure

Departure Time

8:00 AM
After getting picked up at your hotel, your first stop is the District Six Museum. This museum gives you an excellent look at the history of apartheid in this area, how it began in 1950 with the enforced eviction of more than 60,000 black South Africans from the district in order to make it an all-white neighborhood.

With this history in mind, your next stop is the township of Langa, the oldest township in Cape Town. Townships first sprang up under apartheid as places for non-whites to live. They were always in unsavory areas, and were essentially cut off from city infrastructure. In Langa with your guide, stop into a shebeen (tavern), go to a local market and visit a traditional healer. Next, visit Guga S’thebe Arts & Culture Centre to see the work being done to improve the lives of the Langa community, most of whom are Xhosa.

Head back toward Cape Town for the last township visit, Gugulethu. This township was originally built specifically for migrant workers from the Transkei region of the Eastern Cape. Here, again, there are signs of both progress and poverty — shacks alongside restaurants and night clubs.

Back in Cape Town, enjoy some free time in the afternoon at the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront where you can get lunch (own expense) before getting into a ferry to ride across Table Bay to Robben Island. The island was once a prison, where Nelson Mandela spent 18 of his 27 years in prison. Today, it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site where former political prisoners give tours.

See Mandela’s cell in the prison—it’s roughly seven square feet (0.6 square meters)—and hear what life was like for him and the other prisoners there, including how he was made to dig in a quarry when officials found out he was acting as a leader during a prisoner rebellion.

Contemplate the distance Mandela traveled from these prison gates to the presidential office as you ride the ferry back to Cape Town. The tour ends with a drop-off at your Cape Town hotel.

Please note:
• District Six Museum (closed Sundays)
Stop At:  
District Six Museum
Visit the riveting District Six Museum and travel through the District Six Site (Museum closed Sundays & Public Holidays) for a sharp reminder of the past.
Duration: 9 hours 
Admission Ticket Included
Stop At:  
Robben Island Museum
Cruel home of our Nelson Mandela for so many years, it's a highly charged and emotional moment when you visit the site of this suffering, and realize how far South Africa has come from those days.
Duration: 9 hours 
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
Thompson's Touring & Safaris - Day Tours
Part of the overall experience
Duration: 9 hours 
Admission Ticket Free
  • Confirmation will be received within 48 hours of booking, subject to availability
  • A minimum of 2 people per booking is required
  • Please note: A portion of this tour is automatically 60% non-refundable due to Robben Island tickets
  • Please note: Robben Island are now requiring passport details so please provide these details at time of booking as well as taking your passport, a copy or even if just a picture of it your phone on the day of the tour.
  • Please note:
  • District Six Museum (closed Sundays)
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Stroller accessible
  • Service animals allowed
  • Near public transportation
  • Infants must sit on laps
  • Most travelers can participate
  • Cullinan Holdings has introduced a compulsory vaccination policy with immediate effect, as follows. 'With rising global COVID-19 cases among the unvaccinated population, Cullinan Holdings have implemented a policy requiring all guests travelling either on a group or scheduled tour with Thompsons Africa, to be fully vaccinated. A group is defined as any guest travelling with one or more persons who are not family or friends. If however fellow guests are family or friends travelling in isolation of other guests (private bookings), no mandatory vaccination is required (to be reviewed based on the prevailing global circumstances). This requirement applies to groups (ad-hoc and series), Guided Journeys and all scheduled departure day tour experiences, and is done in the interest of creating a safe environment for everyone. It is the guests' responsibility to ensure that they always comply with these requirements. No refunds will be given if guests are unable to undertake some or all their holiday due to their failure to comply with these requirements. Guests will be responsible for any resulting additional costs including travel and accommodation. Proof of vaccinations may be requested, when necessary. We further strongly recommend that guests ensure they have adequate medical and travel insurance for the duration of their stay in Southern Africa.'
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 40 travelers
  • OPERATED BY Thompsons Africa
This experience is non-refundable and cannot be changed for any reason. If you cancel or ask for an amendment, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.

Learn more about cancellations.

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What is the policy on face masks and attendee health during Cape Town Township Tour including Robben Island - Walk to Freedom Tour?
A:The policies on face masks and attendee health are:

  • Face masks required for travelers in public areas
  • Face masks required for guides in public areas
  • Temperature checks for travelers upon arrival
See all safety measures taken by Cape Town Township Tour including Robben Island - Walk to Freedom Tour.
What is the policy on sanitization during Cape Town Township Tour including Robben Island - Walk to Freedom Tour?
A:The policies on sanitization are:

  • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
  • Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
  • Gear/equipment sanitized between use
  • Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized
See all safety measures taken by Cape Town Township Tour including Robben Island - Walk to Freedom Tour.
What is the social distancing policy during Cape Town Township Tour including Robben Island - Walk to Freedom Tour?
A:The policy on social distancing is:

  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
See all safety measures taken by Cape Town Township Tour including Robben Island - Walk to Freedom Tour.
What measures are being taken to ensure staff health & safety during Cape Town Township Tour including Robben Island - Walk to Freedom Tour?
A:The policies on staff health & safety are:

  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
  • Regular temperature checks for staff
  • Paid stay-at-home policy for staff with symptoms
See all safety measures taken by Cape Town Township Tour including Robben Island - Walk to Freedom Tour.

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Traveler Tips

  • "I highly recommend this tour to anyone visiting Cape Town." See review
  • "Although facing the horrific past can be difficult, it is important and enlightening." See review
  • "Had an excellent guide on the morning tour Zandi - very knowledgable." See review


163 Reviews

Reviews by Viator travelers

Showing 1-10 of 163 reviews
Informative and insightful
, Feb 2020
The tour was well organised and informative. Our driver and guide, Zandi, was excellent. The only disappointment was the Robben Island ferry not running but that was unavoidable. Zandi was very good at giving us the options to cancel or reschedule. The group size was good.
icon Response from Host , Mar 2020
Dear Janet - thanks so much for your review and we are very glad you enjoyed your tour!
Townships and Robben Island
, Feb 2020
We had a very interesting and informative trip going first to District Six and the museum where we could have spent longer. We then went to Langa township to meet the locals and tour around visiting the craft centre to see the local crafts being done which was nice. Then we had lunch at the Harbour and visited Robben Island in the afternoon for an interesting tour hosted by an ex prisoner which was very informative. An all round interesting day.
Cape Town and Robben Island
, Feb 2020
Excellent day. Robben Island especially stands out. Great talk from a former prisoner who is now a guide. Delayed by an hour in leaving the harbour to get to the island but even this did not spoil the tour. Had an excellent guide on the morning tour Zandi - very knowledgable. On arriving back in the harbour tow hours late Zandi came and picked us up which we weren’t expecting. Would highly recommend this tour.
Cape Townships including Robben Island
, Dec 2019
We like the Townships Tour.The Tour Guide was nice,knowledgeble.Explained about District 6 Tragedy where 60000 Coloured People were moved out to make way for Whites and showed usthe Townships where they were forced to move.He showed us where to board the Ship to Robben Island.Then we are on our own.I expected that company to pick us up and take us back to our Hotel as per my agreement.We were on our own and had to take a Taxi.
A glimpse into another world
, Dec 2019
This was not a trip for the faint hearted. It was quite moving to ee the conditions in which some people still live. The trip to Robben Island was well organised but the staff on the boat were over officious. I would fully recommend this to anyone wanting an insught into the past and present of this country.
Grim but Insightful
, Dec 2019
I’m really glad we took this tour of the Township . Our guide Richard was quite simply amazing insightful & so interesting it really gave us some small understanding of this beautiful country
Zandy was amazing!
Tiffany W
, Nov 2019
We loved our tour guide, Zandy (sp?). He was very knowledgeable about the history of District Six. Though there was one rather boorish guest on our tour who, to put it mildly, stuck his foot in his mouth repeatedly. Zandy remained perfectly gracious and kind, and he made sure we were all well taken care of. He went above and beyond. We visited his home township of Langa and met some lovely people and saw some beautiful locally made art. I learned a lot about the history of Cape Town and apartheid. The Robben Island tour guides were excellent as well. The guide who was an ex-prisoner gave us some very interesting insight into the relationships between the political prisoners of different generations and how they didn't always see eye-to-eye about the best path forward. We not only learned about Nelson Mandela, but also other leaders like Robert Sobukwe. Although facing the horrific past can be difficult, it is important and enlightening. Your potential discomfort is nothing compared to the lived experience of apartheid and its enduring legacy. Come ready to learn and listen. 5 stars, highly recommend.
, Oct 2019
I gave this tour a 2 star review because it was misleading. The biggest issue for tourists is transportation. I have traveled all over the world and this is the first time I paid for a tour that didn't provide the services that was paid for. You asked for a pick up and drop off destination when booking, if you could not accommodate you should have cancelled the booking and provided a refund. My family and I of 7 people then had to pay additionally for transportation to the main area which was near Robben Island. This is totally unacceptable for a tour company. The pick up destination was on 30 minutes from the area we had to transport ourselves to. Besides the pick up and drop off downfall the township tour was okay. Tour was not worth $102.00 USD.
icon Response from Host , Oct 2019
Good day - the booking site does mention where the Departure and Pickup points are from, and centrally located Cape Town hotels is mentioned. 30 minutes outside of central Cape Town would not be considered centrally located. We hope however that the content of the tour was enjoyed by all.
Enlightened experience
, Jun 2019
This tour was Very enlightening and educational. Zandi was an exceptional tour guide. I truly enjoyed the experience. Looking forward to visiting Cape Town again.
, Feb 2019
This was a very informational tour that was focused on the townships in Cape Town. The tour guide was clearly engaged and caring about the communities and the tour group.

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