For the first time in 22 years, The Robben Island Museum (RIM) – which curates tours to the island that kept Nelson Mandela imprisoned for 18 years – has decided to split their price structure into two different tiers.
How much does it cost to visit Robben Island?
Officials for the tourist favourite have jacked up the prices for all visitors, but have decided to make their tickets more expensive for foreign nationals from Saturday 1 June. There’s a near-R200 increase for international customers, whereas domestic day-trippers still have to fork out an extra R20:
- R550 ($40 / €35) for non-SA adults and R300 ($15 / €15) for non-SA children aged 2-18 years.
- R380 for SA adults and R200 for SA children aged two to 18 years.
Why ticket prices are going up
Blayne Crocker is the Chief Financial Officer of the RIM, and he explained why the island tours feel the need to increase their revenue. One of the major influences comes down to conservation: Robben Island is a World Heritage Site, home to many indigenous birds, reptile and mammal species which require sensitive treatment and preservation.
An upturn in domestic visitors has also been pinpointed as an area RIM want to improve upon:
“We believe that this decision will have a positive turnaround on our long term financial sustainability as an organisation whilst also contributing to an increase in domestic visitors.”
“With such factors in mind, a different pricing structure that can provide for additional revenue that will meet our rising conservation needs, had to be investigated. It is important that RIM has the financial backing to maintain a high standard of excellence with our tour experience.”
What you get from a Robben Island tour
Crocker also listed the logistics of the tour as something requiring more financial support: Your visit to Robben Island includes a ferry trip, a bus tour, a guided walking tour and the input of former political prisoners. It all adds up for the attraction, who stand to make R1100 per adult couple visiting from overseas.
So as it stands, you’ve got the rest of May to take advantage of the current R360-per-person tickets before the rates go up.