Cape Town

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

Cape Town Central, South Africa

From USD 103.03

Select Date and Travellers

You will not receive a refund if you cancel.
  • 9 hours
  • Pickup offered
  • Mobile ticket
  • Offered 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

What's Included

  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
  • Professional guide
  • Transport by air-conditioned minivan
  • Food and drinks
  • Gratuities

Meeting And Pickup

Pickup points

Select a pickup point

Start time

08:00 am

Pickup details

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

What To Expect

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)

District Six Museum

9 hours Admission Ticket Included

Robben Island Museum

9 hours Admission Ticket Free

Thompson's Touring & Safaris - Day Tours

9 hours Admission Ticket Free

Additional Info

  • Confirmation will be received within 48 hours of booking, subject to availability
  • A minimum of 2 people per booking is required
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • 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.
  • Stroller accessible
  • Please note:
  • Service animals allowed
  • Near public transportation
  • District Six Museum (closed Sundays)
  • Infants must sit on laps
  • Most travellers 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 travellers

Cancellation Policy

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 cancelled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.
  • This experience requires a minimum number of travellers. If it’s cancelled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund.

Traveller Photos

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Traveller Tips

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


179 reviews
Total review count and overall rating based on Viator and Tripadvisor reviews
Reviews by Viator travellers.
Showing 1-10 of 179 reviews
An amazing tour our tour...
Antaneya_M, Mar 2023
An amazing tour our tour guide was great I would recommend for anyone visiting capetown the experience is so amazing
Response from Host, Mar 2023
Good day. Thank you for your feedback on your recent experience. We are delighted that you enjoyed your time and will share your comments with our guide. We look forward to welcoming you back again in the near future.
A can't miss experience!
Melanie_J, Feb 2023
Richard was an excellent guide! I am a Black American and Richard was able to make connections between our history in the United States and the history of South Africa. Richard had an amazing sense of humor and we felt very welcomed and comfortable asking questions. Richard's insight and ability to communicate helped us to learn so much about South Africa's apartheid policies and their impact on its people.
Response from Host, Feb 2023
Good day. Thank you for your wonderful review and feedback on Richard! We are delighted to hear that you had such an enjoyable experience and we hope to welcome you back again in the future!
NayimuliAsaph_K, Jan 2023
The bus and prison guide were just on point. They brought the stories to life, sad though to listen to that history!
Response from Host, Feb 2023
Thank you so much for your wonderful feedback. We are delighted that you enjoyed your experience. Please join us again soon!
Excellent cultual and historical tour
Evy_G, Dec 2022
Robben island and township tour A must experience to anyone visiting Capetown. Our guide Mr Sandie (spelling?) through Thompsons tours and from the Langa township gave us a true overview of the city and it’s history. The first stop was District 6 museum which showed us the reality of the unfortunate history of many in this city. Then we drove around it and visited Langa. Extreme poverty to vibrant art community. An area of many contrasts. Afterwards the visit to Robben island with a prisoner’s perspective and experience. Overall we all enjoyed the tour. Many of us have heard of apartheid and the fight of the local black communities but this really showed it. Totally recommend it in addition to the other attractions such as Table mountain, wineries, cape of good hope etc.
Response from Host, Dec 2022
Thank you for your wonderful input and positive comments. We are delighted that you found value in the tour. We hope to welcome you back again in the future.
Great day trip
Tiffany_S, Sept 2022
This was a great cultural and historical day tour. Our guide Andele was wonderful. Very knowledgeable.
Response from Host, Oct 2022
Good Day. Thank you for your lovely feedback. We are thrilled you had a great experience and we hope to welcome you back in the future. We will share your compliments with Andele.
Fantastic tour
Patrick_C, July 2022
Had a fantastic day tour with our guide Richard who was amazing and so knowledgeable. He gave us an incredible look into South Africa and Cape Town’s history and it was so interesting and refreshing to hear it from someone who lived through it and came from the actual township Langa that we visited. It was a surreal and humbling experience and would highly recommend anyone to do this tour and if you manage to get Richard you are in luck!! The second part of the tour to Robben Island was class as well and rounded off the day beautifully!!
Response from Host, July 2022
Dear Patrick. We are delighted to hear that you enjoyed your experience and in particular, that Richard was such a gem. Thank you for sharing this with us - we will be sure to pass on your comments.
Good start.
Lesley_B, July 2022
The first part of the tour was great district 6 and museum. The town ships. The Robben Island tour not so good. Swashed onto buses. Not going far. Not enough time to enjoy the Island it's self. Would be nice to have self guided tour.
Response from Host, July 2022
Good day. Thank you for your feedback on the Cape Town Township Tour including Robben Island. We're disappointed to hear that the experience didn't live up to your expectation. We will work on improving what we can and hope to welcome you back again in the near future.
Great Tour Guide!
Shellany_R, July 2022
This was a great tour. Our tour guide, Andilen, was great! He was very knowledgeable. Gave us lots of information about the History of the city. The District Six Musuem is small but very informative. Langa Township was full of people who were friendly and happy to see us. I recommend this tour to anyone. Thank you, Andilen! Unfortunately, we didn’t get to visit Robben Island due to poor weather.
Response from Host, July 2022
Good day. Thank you for your positive feedback. We're pleased you had an enjoyable experience. We hope that we can welcome you back again in the near future so that you can get to visit Robben Island!
An amazing insight into the current time & past South African history.
Judith_S, June 2022
Our guide, Nathi, was very knowledgeable and shared so much information about the city, Langa & South African history. Our drive through Langa & the stop at the arts training center was inspiring. It’s a real eye opener on how many black South Africans live today. The tour through Robben Island is very sobering but again incredibly inspiring. Both the guide on the bus & our guide, a prior political prisoner, shared so much history with us. I was so touched that previous prisoners would be willing to come back & share their experiences in what must have been the worst time in their life. The conditions for all prisoners was horrible but especially so for black political prisoners. It was a sobering day but a very important experience to understand the spirit of the South African people. I highly recommend this tour.
Response from Host, July 2022
Good day. Thank you so much for your wonderful feedback. We are delighted that you enjoyed your experience and we hope to welcome you back again in the near future!
Fabulous day trip, highly recommended
Sean_D, Mar 2022
We were the only people on the tour and therefore it was like a private tour with our guide Richard. He was informative, interesting and very knowledgeable. It was a fascinating trip visiting District 6, Langa township and Robben Island, the highlight of our trip to Cape Town. Richard was a brilliant guide and lovely man who made the day very special.
Response from Host, Mar 2022
Thank you Sean for your wonderful feedback. We love hearing such positive comments and are delighted that you found Richard to be a brilliant guide. We hope to see you again soon!
Great trip overall!
Daniel_W, Feb 2022
Great and interesting trip that definitely is worth it! The guide was knowledgable and took time to explain interesting facts!
Response from Host, Feb 2022
We are thrilled to hear that you enjoyed your experience and look forward to welcoming you back again in the future.
Informative and insightful
Janet_W, 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.
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
NEIL_B, 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
Margaret_H, 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
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
MICHAEL C, 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
Coldeniscommon, 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.
ANNA_S, 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.
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
Linda_K, June 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.

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