LIFE IN LOCKDOWN | Day 35: Take a virtual tour of Robben Island

While the idea of touring an infamous prison from the comfort of your couch may seem weird at first, you’ll be glad you did

30 April 2020 - 09:30 By Nomvelo Masango
Robben Island is one of South Africa's most visited tourist attractions.
Robben Island is one of South Africa's most visited tourist attractions.
Image: 123RF/Thomas Brissiaud

You may not be able to visit Robben Island in person, but there's no reason you can't still enjoy a personal tour of this Unesco World Heritage Site off the coast of Cape Town.

Just head over to the Google Arts and Culture website, where you'll be greeted by Vusumsi Mcongo, a freedom fighter and former Robben Island inmate. He'll be your guide as you take a online tour of the historic prison where former President Nelson Mandela spent 18 of his 26 years behind bars.

Though a combination of videos, Google Street View images and historic photos, you'll take a leisurely virtual walk around the property, pausing to see the inside of a guard tower, Madiba's cell and more.

This prison tour is one of eight digital Robben Island Museum exhibits on offer. One of these provides a detailed timeline of the history of the island, while another looks at local protest posters from the 1980s.

While the idea of touring a national museum from the comfort of your couch may seem weird at first, you’ll be glad you did: when you're done, you'll have left no part of Robben Island unexplored — and with no sore feet to show for it.