I visited Robben Island today for the first time, having lived in Cape Town since 1994 and in South Africa all my life. The format was basically as follows:
1. Ferry ride from the Waterfront to Robben Island (30 minutes),
2. Guided bus trip around the Island (1 hour 30 minutes),
3. Guided tour of the Political Prisoners Prison itself (1 hour),
4. Ferry ride from Robben Island back to the Waterfront (30 minutes).
For the most part it was an interesting tour; but there was not much time to actually explore the island apart from sitting on a bus and being shuttled from one point-of-interest to another. When at any of these points-of-interest, there is a minor "scuffle" of buses to get to see the attraction. You hardly get out the bus at all, so most photos have to be taken from inside and the windows are not very clean, so the photos have interesting lines to them. Having said that, the guide on the bus was very entertaining and she gave a lot of useful information in a witty and charming manner. The guide in the prison itself was rather long-winded and seemed to draw the tour out far longer than the other groups. All-in-all, I would recommend doing the tour - both for tourists and for fellow South Africans.
Having read some of the other reviews of this past month, I am very grateful that the ferry was working today and we made it out and back safely.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC