A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Robben Island has come to symbolise the oppression of the Apartheid government. It was here that Nelson Mandela – alongside many other political prisoners – spent 18 years of his 27 years in prison. However, the island’s history predates the Apartheid regime. Over the centuries, it has acted as a prison, a military base and a leper colony. Ferries depart for the island daily from the Nelson Mandela Gateway at the V&A Waterfront, and the tours (including the ferry trips) usually last about three-and-a-half hours.