This is a great trip round a historic centre. We travelled over on the old prison boats. Former inmates of the prison guide you round and bring home what life was really like for them, and the horrors of apartheid. There is also a bus tour of the island, including a stop outside the house of Robert Sobukwe, leader of the Pan African Congress. He was kept here in isolation following his release from prison because the authorities were so afraid of the popular support for this man who broke from the ANC and advocated the use of arms in the struggle.
Be warned you need to book tickets in advance – best to go to the Nelson Mandela Gateway at the V&A Waterfront to do this at least one day before you want to visit. We tried phoning to book but were told there was a 2 week wait! When we went along we got tickets for the next day! They are about to bring new bigger boats into service because of the demand, so it may get easier.
While you are waiting why not go to see the small museum at Jetty One (free entry), listen to audio recording of former prisoners, their families, lawyers and prison employees in the bleak waiting room where they had to wait for boats.
Most tourists to the Cape only stick with the tried and tested routes and experiences. !Khwa ttu is one of the very few GENUINE San Bushmen-led initiatives in southern Africa. It's set on stunning hillside overlooking the coast and Table Mountain and here you can meet the San, learn about hunting, gathering, tracking, take a trailer ride, see all of the amazing game and other animals, go on hikes, enjoy the restaurant or stay in their amazinginly peaceful accommodation (cottage or tents). There is a museum, art gallery, training centre, conference facilities and shop too.
I recommend it because I lived and worked with the San in southern Africa until recently and this is the BEST thing I have seen out there, that really, practically helps the San and teaches tourists about some of the real issues still alive in South Africa today...
What's more it's as cheap as chips if you are coming from Europe!
www.khwattu.org email - firstname.lastname@example.org
It's just 70 km drive north of Cape Town - takes 40 minutes and just a short drive from the historic village of Darling and the beautiful beaches of Yzerfontein.
During apartheid, the multi-racial neighbourhood of District Six was bulldozed and its mixed-race population evicted to townships outside the city. This museum documents the joys of living in what was once one of the liveliest parts of Cape Town, as well as the injustice of white minority rule. Wonderful photographs of the city as it used to be.
25A Buitenkant Street; Tel: 27 21 461 8745; www.districtsix.co.za/
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