Robben Island Museum
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Robben Island Museum re-opens for tours

Photo credit: Robben Island Museum

The Robben Island Museum is thrilled to announce that they will officially resume their sought-after tours on Monday, 14 September 2020.

To ensure that COVID-19 Lockdown Alert Level 2 regulations and guidelines are upheld as well as to safeguard the health and safety of all visitors and staff, the Robben Island Museum will only operate two tours on a weekly basis – Mondays and Saturdays at 11:00. Based on domestic demand, the re-opening of international travel as well as the easing of lockdown regulations, tour capacity and frequency will gradually increase.

While COVID-19 has put tremendous strain on the travel and tourism industry, the Robben Island Museum couldn’t be more excited to finally resume operations, welcome back eager visitors and showcase one of Cape Town’s most culturally and historically significant landmarks once again.

“The effect of the COVID-19 resulted in numerous resource challenges facing the institution and the tourism industry as a whole. Reopening will give all of us an opportunity to gradually come back stronger and rebuild the tourism industry together”

– Morongoa Ramaboa, Robben Island Museum Spokesperson.


To ensure that facilities are fully compliant and meet all the necessary safety standards for visitors and employees, stringent health and safety regulations and protocols will be implemented and adhered to throughout the visitor experience.

The COVID-19 protocols and health and safety guidelines include, but are not limited to the following measures:

  • No person will be permitted to enter the premises or participate in a tour without wearing a mask.
  • Compulsory COVID-19 screening and testing is conducted at the main entrance of all premises.
  • Several COVID-19 procedures have been developed to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus, including a screening and testing procedure for dealing with suspected, and confirmed COVID-19 cases.
  • RIM has appointed a hygiene service company to decontaminate and disinfect all affected areas in an event of a confirmed COVID-19 case.
  • Employees, including all operational staff, are receiving training on all COVID 19 procedures.
  • Hand sanitiser dispensers have been installed at various locations.
  • Social distancing markings, and other COVID-19 signage have been installed at various locations to remind people of the health and safety protocols.
  • The ferries and vehicles will be cleaned and disinfected before, and after every tour.
  • Additionally, RIM is in the process of applying for the WTTC Safe Travels stamp as an additional visitor safety measure.


Due to current COVID-19 Lockdown Alert Level 2 regulations, Robben Island Museum had to make necessary adjustments to their operational capacity. The Robben Island Museum determined the numbers for operation in line with the 70%-100% occupancy for public transport as well as based on the minimum social distancing requirement of 1.5 metres.

As a precautionary measure, as well as to ensure the health and safety of all visitors and staff members, each ferry will carry a maximum of 70% passenger capacity for the time being, while buses will load 50% of its capacity.

Tour groups will be divided into smaller groups of 25 upon arrival to the island.

Sites that will be prioritised are:

  • Maximum Security Prison
  • Visitor Centre
  • Lime Quarry
  • Robert Sobukwe Complex


Tickets are available at the Nelson Mandela Gateway. However, visitors are highly encouraged to buy tickets via the user-friendly online ticketing system or at Pick ‘n Pay.

  • South African Adult rate: R400 | Non-South African Adult rate: R600
  • South African Child (under 18) rate: R210 | Non-South African Child (under 18) rate: R310
  • Book online: 
  • Rescheduling of tickets: [email protected]


With a big drive to support and uplift local tourism, one of Robben Island Museum’s core focus points is to make Robben Island far more accessible to local visitors, especially the communities surrounding the Robben Island Museum – With access to Robben Island as a National resource and World Heritage Site.

Robben Island Museum acknowledge consumers’ plea for reduced rates in accessing the Island. As a result, the Robben Island Museum has always had a Concessions and Complimentary Visits Policy that caters for the domestic market and special groups, including pensioners, schools, cultural organisations, NGO’s, churches etc.

To address the request, the Robben Island Museum implemented a two-tier pricing model in 2019 where they introduced both a domestic and international rate. In 2020, Robben Island Museum’s pricing model will be further scrutinised to explore alternative possibilities and opportunities for the local market. As to date no ticket increase will be implemented for this financial year.

Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, Robben Island Museum foresees a likely decline in demand. However, as per their statement, Robben Island Museum will use the month of September as an opportunity to test and assess the market and use it as a benchmark for the coming months.

“At this stage, we can only rely on meaningful collaborations with tourism partners within the City, such as the Cape Town Big 6 and tour operators, in order for all of us to see a meaningful recovery whilst being mindful on the financial impact the pandemic has had on the ordinary South African citizen and their ability to afford leisure experiences”

– Morongoa Ramaboa, Robben Island Museum Spokesperson.