Birdlife on the Island
BIRDLIFE ON THE ISLAND

The Island provides shelter and a safe haven for about 132 species of birds including some endangered species.

The variety of species includes sea birds, water birds and terrestrial birds. The Chauker Partridge and Guinea Fowl were introduced to the Island by humans. Many of the birds use the Island for breeding and roosting. Some birds from the mainland such as the Crowned Cormorant and Black Crowned Night Herons breed on the Island in large colonies.

Natural Vegetation
NATURAL VEGETATION

The flora and fauna of the Island were affected by farming practices of the past and also the introduction of extensive plantations of shrubs and exotic trees.

The spectacular veld flowers typical of the West Coast also occur on the Island during spring.

Marine and Wildlife
MARINE AND WILDLIFE

The boat trip to the Island provides an opportunity to see a wide spectrum of seabirds and mammals including Cape Fur Seals, Southern Right Whales, Dusky and Heaviside Dolphins.

On the Island there are about 23 species of mammals such as Bontebok, Springbok, Steenbok, Fallow Deer and Eland. Ostriches, Lizards, Geckos, Snakes and three species of Tortoises can also be found on the Island.

Geology on the Island
GEOLOGY ON THE ISLAND

The Island is the summit of an ancient, now submerged mountain. It is linked by an undersea saddle to Blouberg. Its lower strata consist of Malmesbury shale forming a rocky and somewhat inhospitable coastline. Above this lies a thick limestone and calcrete deposit covered by windblown sands and shell fragments.

The Island is low-lying with the highest point also known as Minto’s Hill (named after the 19th century Surgeon-Superintendent of the General Infirmary) being 24 metres above sea-level. The Island favours a Mediterranean climate, but unlike nearby Cape Town, it experiences stronger winds and comparative extremes in temperature.

Conservation Principles
CONSERVATION PRINCIPLES

Four main conservation principles underlie the approach to conservation management of RIWHS:

- There is an evolving understanding of Robben Island’s meaning and value which has both tangible and intangible manifestations in cultural and natural contexts;
- Robben Island’s heritage value is both local and universal;
- Robben Island’s heritage value is related to current social debates about, for example, stigma, human rights, reconciliation and healing;
- Robben Island Museum is committed to a conservation-based approach to development and to a transparent use-based, policy-based and process-driven management that seeks to balance the Island’s tangible and intangible heritage resources.

UWC-Robben Island Mayibuye Archives
UWC-ROBBEN ISLAND MAYIBUYE ARCHIVES

Most of Robben Island’s rich archival resources are housed at the Mayibuye Archives at the University of Western Cape. Mayibuye’s collections include artefacts, historical documents, photographs, art work and audio visual materials relating to the struggle for freedom and democracy; Robben Island; imprisonment under apartheid and South African culture making it one of the largest archives in the country that contains liberation struggle material.

Oral history and sound archive
ORAL HISTORY AND SOUND ARCHIVE

These include recordings of interviews with ex-political prisoners, former exiles and political activists; Radio Freedom broadcasts; unique recordings of speeches and lectures; and historical papers archive.

The historical papers section includes more than 350 collections of personal and organizational records of major political events and turning points that culminated in the unbanning of political organizations in the 1990s. The Robben Island Political Prisoner’s General Recreation Committee records is also a collection of particular significance. It dates back to the 1960’s and serves as a wonderful testimony to the creative capacity of the human spirit to survive great hardship.

Photographic archive
PHOTOGRAPHIC ARCHIVE

These contain about 30 000 negatives, 70 000 prints and 4 000 transparencies of images that document life under, and resistance to Apartheid rule from the late 1940s until 1990. Subjects include the history of colonialism, the history of apartheid, images of apartheid, liberation movements, forced removals and resettlements, repression, political prisoners, trials, labour and trade unions, women, culture, education and the armed struggle. Important collections within this archive are the IDAF, Billy Paddock, South and Grassroots Collections. The images of two prominent photographers’ work represented in the collection are those of Eli Weinberg and Leon Levson.

Films and video archive
FILMS AND VIDEO ARCHIVE

These archives contain audio recordings, film and video. It houses footage of about 1 000 documentary productions and 6 000 unedited recordings.

The Audio collection includes interviews with exiles, political prisoners and the Radio Freedom collection. The film and video recordings includes hundreds of hours of news footage, production rushes and stock footage from more than 200 film and video production projects. The core of the collection came from IDAF. Most of these films and videos were banned in South Africa prior to 1990.

Artefacts, art, posters and banners
ARTEFACTS, ART, POSTERS AND BANNERS

The collection includes artefacts that were used as forms of political protest during the anti-apartheid struggle. These include T-shirts, stickers, badges and jewellery, among other items. Ex-political prisoners from Robben Island also donated some personal items used by them during their imprisonment on the Island.

The art collection includes paintings, lithographs, etchings and sculptures that were acquired by UWC and the Mayibuye Archive over time. The art collection primarily serves as a visual record of resistance to the apartheid system and thus all of the works precede 1994.

RIM historical artefacts
RIM HISTORICAL ARTEFACTS

This collection includes more than 3 000 accessioned objects left on Robben Island by prison authorities. It includes prison clothing, items manufactured in the prison workshop, workshop tools, prison registers, a music collection of LP records, sporting equipment and furniture.

Due to the harsh environmental conditions prevalent on the Island, this collection was moved from the Island to Mayibuye to better preserve it.

Institutional archive collections
INSTITUTIONAL ARCHIVE COLLECTIONS

This collection includes organisational records of each RIM department, its publicity and educational materials, proceedings of conferences organised by RIM and copies of RIM’s publications.

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SCHOOL TOURS
BIRDLIFE ON THE ISLAND

The Island provides shelter and a safe haven for about 132 species of birds including some endangered species.
The variety of species includes sea birds, water birds and terrestrial birds. The Chauker Partridge and Guinea Fowl were introduced to the Island by humans. Many of the birds use the Island for breeding and roosting. Some birds from the mainland such as the Crowned Cormorant and Black Crowned Night Herons breed on the Island in large colonies.

SCHOOL TOURS
NATURAL VEGETATION

The flora and fauna of the Island were affected by farming practices of the past and also the introduction of extensive plantations of shrubs and exotic trees.
The spectacular veld flowers typical of the West Coast also occur on the Island during spring.

SCHOOL TOURS
MARINE AND WILDLIFE

The boat trip to the Island provides an opportunity to see a wide spectrum of seabirds and mammals including Cape Fur Seals, Southern Right Whales, Dusky and Heaviside Dolphins.
On the Island there are about 23 species of mammals such as Bontebok, Springbok, Steenbok, Fallow Deer and Eland. Ostriches, Lizards, Geckos, Snakes and three species of Tortoises can also be found on the Island.

SCHOOL TOURS
GEOLOGY ON THE ISLAND

The Island is the summit of an ancient, now submerged mountain. It is linked by an undersea saddle to Blouberg. Its lower strata consist of Malmesbury shale forming a rocky and somewhat inhospitable coastline. Above this lies a thick limestone and calcrete deposit covered by windblown sands and shell fragments.
The Island is low-lying with the highest point also known as Minto’s Hill (named after the 19th century Surgeon-Superintendent of the General Infirmary) being 24 metres above sea-level. The Island favours a Mediterranean climate, but unlike nearby Cape Town, it experiences stronger winds and comparative extremes in temperature.

SCHOOL TOURS
CONSERVATION PRINCIPLES

Four main conservation principles underlie the approach to conservation management of RIWHS:
- There is an evolving understanding of Robben Island’s meaning and value which has both tangible and intangible manifestations in cultural and natural contexts;
- Robben Island’s heritage value is both local and universal;
- Robben Island’s heritage value is related to current social debates about, for example, stigma, human rights, reconciliation and healing;
- Robben Island Museum is committed to a conservation-based approach to development and to a transparent use-based, policy-based and process-driven management that seeks to balance the Island’s tangible and intangible heritage resources.

SCHOOL TOURS
UWC-ROBBEN ISLAND MAYIBUYE ARCHIVES

Most of Robben Island’s rich archival resources are housed at the Mayibuye Archives at the University of Western Cape. Mayibuye’s collections include artefacts, historical documents, photographs, art work and audio visual materials relating to the struggle for freedom and democracy; Robben Island; imprisonment under apartheid and South African culture making it one of the largest archives in the country that contains liberation struggle material.

SCHOOL TOURS
ORAL HISTORY AND SOUND ARCHIVE

These include recordings of interviews with ex-political prisoners, former exiles and political activists; Radio Freedom broadcasts; unique recordings of speeches and lectures; and historical papers archive.
The historical papers section includes more than 350 collections of personal and organizational records of major political events and turning points that culminated in the unbanning of political organizations in the 1990s. The Robben Island Political Prisoner’s General Recreation Committee records is also a collection of particular significance. It dates back to the 1960’s and serves as a wonderful testimony to the creative capacity of the human spirit to survive great hardship.

SCHOOL TOURS
PHOTOGRAPHIC ARCHIVE

These contain about 30 000 negatives, 70 000 prints and 4 000 transparencies of images that document life under, and resistance to Apartheid rule from the late 1940s until 1990. Subjects include the history of colonialism, the history of apartheid, images of apartheid, liberation movements, forced removals and resettlements, repression, political prisoners, trials, labour and trade unions, women, culture, education and the armed struggle. Important collections within this archive are the IDAF, Billy Paddock, South and Grassroots Collections. The images of two prominent photographers’ work represented in the collection are those of Eli Weinberg and Leon Levson.

SCHOOL TOURS
FILMS AND VIDEO ARCHIVE

These archives contain audio recordings, film and video. It houses footage of about 1 000 documentary productions and 6 000 unedited recordings.
The Audio collection includes interviews with exiles, political prisoners and the Radio Freedom collection. The film and video recordings includes hundreds of hours of news footage, production rushes and stock footage from more than 200 film and video production projects. The core of the collection came from IDAF. Most of these films and videos were banned in South Africa prior to 1990.

SCHOOL TOURS
ARTEFACTS, ART, POSTERS AND BANNERS

The collection includes artefacts that were used as forms of political protest during the anti-apartheid struggle. These include T-shirts, stickers, badges and jewellery, among other items. Ex-political prisoners from Robben Island also donated some personal items used by them during their imprisonment on the Island.
The art collection includes paintings, lithographs, etchings and sculptures that were acquired by UWC and the Mayibuye Archive over time. The art collection primarily serves as a visual record of resistance to the apartheid system and thus all of the works precede 1994.

SCHOOL TOURS
RIM HISTORICAL ARTEFACTS

This collection includes more than 3 000 accessioned objects left on Robben Island by prison authorities. It includes prison clothing, items manufactured in the prison workshop, workshop tools, prison registers, a music collection of LP records, sporting equipment and furniture.
Due to the harsh environmental conditions prevalent on the Island, this collection was moved from the Island to Mayibuye to better preserve it.

SCHOOL TOURS
INSTITUTIONAL ARCHIVE COLLECTIONS

This collection includes organisational records of each RIM department, its publicity and educational materials, proceedings of conferences organised by RIM and copies of RIM’s publications.

SCHOOL TOURS
PHOTOGRAPHIC ARCHIVE

These contain about 30 000 negatives, 70 000 prints and 4 000 transparencies of images that document life under, and resistance to Apartheid rule from the late 1940s until 1990. Subjects include the history of colonialism, the history of apartheid, images of apartheid, liberation movements, forced removals and resettlements, repression, political prisoners, trials, labour and trade unions, women, culture, education and the armed struggle. Important collections within this archive are the IDAF, Billy Paddock, South and Grassroots Collections. The images of two prominent photographers’ work represented in the collection are those of Eli Weinberg and Leon Levson.

SCHOOL TOURS
PHOTOGRAPHIC ARCHIVE

These contain about 30 000 negatives, 70 000 prints and 4 000 transparencies of images that document life under, and resistance to Apartheid rule from the late 1940s until 1990. Subjects include the history of colonialism, the history of apartheid, images of apartheid, liberation movements, forced removals and resettlements, repression, political prisoners, trials, labour and trade unions, women, culture, education and the armed struggle. Important collections within this archive are the IDAF, Billy Paddock, South and Grassroots Collections. The images of two prominent photographers’ work represented in the collection are those of Eli Weinberg and Leon Levson.

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Tour Details

Weather

Cape Town
17°
Fair / Wind
05:2819:38 SAST
Feels like: 15°C
Wind: 35km/h S
Humidity: 67%
Pressure: 1016.26mbar
UV index: 0
MonTueWed
28/17°C
22/17°C
22/18°C


Tours

South Africans
R400 per adult
R210 per child (U/18)

Non South Africans
R600 per adult
R310 per child (U/18)

Tour Times
09:00  |  11:00  |  13:00  15:00


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