Do we need to book ahead for Robben Island?

Jul 27th, 2008, 08:01 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 112
Do we need to book ahead for Robben Island?

My travel agent says no, but I just read a trip report by ekscrunchy that says they missed it because the trips were all booked up. We'll be in Cape Town in early September.
bobbieharv is offline  
Jul 27th, 2008, 09:55 AM
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 26
YES. If you want to be sure book it now. We went in early July, not a busy time for Capetown, we booked in advance, when we arrived we noticed that the tours were completely booked for the following to weeks.

Good Luck
twoboysmom is offline  
Jul 27th, 2008, 12:29 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,097

You DEFINITELY HAVE TO BOOK in advance and I would say the sooner the better.

You could try and book tickets through the Robben Island website however in my experience this has not been an efficient way to do things. My suggestion is that you phone the Island booking office, long in advance, directly on +27 21 405 4510. You can then book your tickets per phone using your credit card. Once your tickets are booked you will be given a reference number and if you arrive at the Nelson Mandela Gateway about 30 (preferably 40 minutes) before the departure of your ferry you can collect your tickets from the ticket office quoting your reference number and showing your credit card.

The sorting system of pre-paid tickets at the Robben island ticket office is rather archaic so the earlier you arrive at the ticket office the better it will be.

Also bear in mind that the RI journey is a solid 3 hour event so if you leave on lets say the 11h00, 12h00 or 13h00 ferry then you virtually cut your tour day into a single experience day as you wont have to much time to do anything else before or after the RI experience. If however you either select the 09h00 or the last ferry of the day (15h00) then you will more than likely find that you have time to squeeze in another Cape Town experience either before or after your RI experience depending on what ferry you are on.

I also must warm that the pre-purchasing of a RI ticket (ZAR 150 - App US$ 20) is NOT refundable and is only interchangeable for another date. You might read that refunding takes place if the journey does not happen. Please dont believe this as the bureaucracy is impossible and most just say forget about it as we dont have the time to run after a refund.

Hope the above helps you in your planning.

Very proudly part of the wonderful nation of South Africa

Selwyn_Davidowitz is offline  
Jul 28th, 2008, 04:35 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 112
Thanks so much Selwyn! I tried to book by email, but they sent an auto reply that they no longer take reservations by email, so I called and booked us for 5 September at 9am. Now we just have to hope the weather cooperates!
bobbieharv is offline  
Jul 28th, 2008, 07:38 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,109
Bobbieharv this is so funny, I think we'll be on the same tour!!
LynnieD is offline  

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