Robben Island is located a short distance off the coast of Cape Town. It is within sight of Table Bay, Bloubergstrand, Sea Point and Camps Bay, and it is clearly visible from the top of Table Mountain. It is situated about 10 kilometres away from the V&A Waterfront, and about 7 kilometres from the beach at Bloubergstrand.
Despite its close proximity to Cape Town, the island is naturally isolated from the mainland by a short but formidable stretch of cold, wild ocean. It is this paradoxical combination of remoteness and accessibility that made Robben Island such a useful prison.
The highest point on the island is Minto Hill, standing about 30 metres above sea level, and an attractive lighthouse stands atop this low rise.
The depth of the sea between Robben Island and the mainland is also about 30 metres, and the island is actually joined to the mainland by a submerged saddle of land.By David Fleminger