The boys made their trips to Robben Island in two groups. The Island was used for Naval training and protection, as a leper colony, but most famously as the political prison where Nelson Mandela spent 27 years. The tour started with the ferry ride from Cape Town, then a bus tour of the island (where we saw penguins!). The inside prison tour was given by a former political prisoner. One of the guides had been a student organizer during the Soweto uprising.

Prisoners were kept in group cells of 40-50 men if they were not considered "instigators" or "rabble rousers." Those, including Mandela, were held in solitary confinement in a separate building. Mandela himself was allowed to keep a garden and it was there that he hid the drafts of his biography "Long Walk to Freedom."

Link to pics in the set: Robben Island - July 25

Robben Island - from Wikipedia
Robben Island Museum
Robben Island Explored
SA Places: Robben Island