Robben Island

Robben Island’s Unforgiving Coast Line

Robben Island, Cape Town, South Africa as seen with Table Mountain in the background.

Robben Island is in the Western Cape of South Africa, approximately 7km off the coast and 12km from Cape Town harbor. This island is an  UNESCO World Heritage Site.


The island was first discovered by Europeans in 1488 when Bartolomeu Dias reached Table Bay.

Soon afterward it was put to use as a prison by the Portuguese, British and Dutch. From 1652 the island also served as a refreshment station for ships that did not wish to visit the mainland.

In 1658 the island saw its first political prisoner, Autshumato was stealing back livestock that was confiscated by the new European settlers, was tried and imprisoned on the island. Later the same century a number of people resisting Dutch rule over the East Indies were also shipped to Cape Town and incarcerated on the island.

In 1795 the British took control of the Cape. They continued to use the island as a prison and from the middle of the 18th century also used it as an asylum. In 1890 a leprosy colony as established on the island.

In 1936 the South African Defence Force took control of the island and improved the infrastructure by building new roads, a power station and housing.

From 1961 it was again used as a prison, primarily to house those opposed to the apartheid government of the time.

Today the island is a museum and tourist attraction.

Two shipwrecks spotted with Google Earth

While browsing around on Google Earth, I found two shipwrecks clearly visible. It appears as if these two wreckage’s are from the same ship yet information found indicates that they are from two different ships.

There are 4 listed shipwrecks around the Island, two as recent as 1998.

* Chanson de la Mer, (1986) at Shelly Beach
* Han Cheng 2, (1998) in Rangatira Bay
* Sea Challenger, (1998) in Rangatira Bay
* Fung Thu, (1977) on the South of the island

Layout of Robben Island

Click to enlarge

As seen above, the first photo is a view of both the shipwrecks, the Han Cheng 2 and Sea Challenger which both struck the island in 1998.

Visiting Robben Island

Due to limited facilities and conservation efforts, visits to the island is restricted to 1800 people per day. As at 1st February 2008 the waiting time to visit the island is two weeks, so if you plan to visit make sure that you book as soon as you arrive in Cape Town to avoid disappointment.

Ferries leave the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town six times a day. Trip time to the island is about 30 minutes. Book in advance, ph: +27 (0)21 413-4208. For information, ph: +27 (0)21 413 4200.

Be sure to book the trip to Robben Island in advance as the tours are usually booked up for several days ahead.

Want to take a helicopter flight to Robben Island? Contact Civair, +27 (0)21 419-5182.

Contact information for Robben Island:

Robben Island Museum
Telephone: +27 (0)21 409 5100
Fax: +27 (0)21 4111 059
Postal address: Robben Island Museum, Private Bag, Robben Island, Cape Town, 7400

Nelson Mandela Gateway

Telephone: +27 (0)21 413 4200
Fax: +27 (0)21 419 1057
Postal address: Nelson Mandela Gateway, PO Box 51806, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town, 8002

Website: http://www.robben-island.org.za

And lastly we leave you with a beautiful of Cape Town taken from Robben Island.

Blaauwberg Rezidor Hotel

Blaauwberg Hotel - Sore Eye or Beauty?

Rezidor Hotel Group this week announces that it plans to expand with 10 new hotels in Africa as part of its continental development strategy for 2009. President  & CEO of The Rezidor Hotel Group Kurt Ritter said during a media briefing at the grand opening of the new Radisson Blu Hotel Sandton in Johannesburg that the group will not falter in its commitment to Africa, amid the global economic slowdown.

“Rezidor’s global business development strategy is to introduce our world-class brands in emerging markets such as Africa and Russia, which are upcoming destinations for business and leisure travellers.  We are confident that Africa’s tourism will reach new heights during and after the 2010 FIFA World Cup next year, which will unlock the world’s appreciation of this continent’s unscathed beauty and offering as a world-class destination.”

In March 2009 Rezidor will open the Radisson Blu Hotel Port Elizabeth and in 2010 the group will open its second Radisson in Sandton and a Radisson in Blaauwberg, Cape Town which will compliment the very established and successful Radisson Blu Hotel Cape Town Waterfront. Rezidor plans to announce more hotels in the Cape Town, Durban and Gauteng area over the next 12 months under either its first class Radisson brand or mid-market Park Inn brand.   Rezidor will open Radisson hotels in Ethiopia, Egypt, Nigeria, Senegal and Zambia during 2009.

view the full article here

World triathlon at Big Bay

Big Bay Beach, Cape Town, South Africa

Good Luck to all athletes!

BIG BAY in Blouberg Strand has been named as the venue for the second international 11global Olympic-distance triathlon race, which is to be held on Sunday 1 March.

The event, which was originally planned for Dolphin Beach, has been relocated to Blouberg Strand, where the organisers found the swimming conditions to be safer.

The Blouberg Strand showdown for triathletes from across the world follows on the first contest, held at Sun City in November last year. Erhard Wolfaardt of Bloemfontein and Czech star Lucie Zelenkova took the honours at Sun City. Kent Horner of Tokai and Vicky van der Merwe of Durbanville finished runners-up in the men’s and women’s competitions respectively.

view the full article here

Taxis: violence over

Just stop your crap, all of you!

RUMOURS of further disruption and possible violence by striking taxi operators in the Du Noon area were dismissed by the mayor of Cape Town, Ms Helen Zille, in a statement issued on Monday.

Zille said she had personally spoken to the chairperson of the dissident National Taxi Association (NTA) who gave her the assurance that there would be no violence.

Zille was to meet with the NTA today (Wednesday) to discuss their concerns after an earlier meeting scheduled for 28 Janaury had been cancelled at the last minute by the taxi alliance.

Meanwhile the Milnerton police will remain on red alert, monitoring the situation carefully, says spokesperson Insp. Daphne Dell.

view the full article here

Kitesurfing Blaauwberg Video

Kitesurfing Blaauwberg Video

Taken from YouTube

Great footage of kiteboarding in Cape Town, South Africa.

Kitesurfing experience in South Africa. Just above Cape town, there is a town called Blouberg. The surf is good but the kitesurf is better! Water temperature is about 12 degrees, but air is in summer around 30 degrees. Wind is about 20 knots SSE. I used a Best Waroo 08 9m2. I started kitesurfing one month before this compilation was made.

Businessman and avid cyclist Colin van Schalkwyk, who was killed when a shipping container truck crashed into the group with which he was cycling, had been training to take part in his 10th Pick n Pay Cape Argus Cycle Tour.

His widow, Zarina, said her husband, the father of their six-year-old daughter, Sara, had been training with three team-mates when the accident happened near Woodbridge Island on Otto du Plessis Drive on Saturday morning.

Van Schalkwyk said her husband, aged 43, and his teammates had left their homes at about 5am to start training, intending to head back to spend Valentine’s Day with their families.

view the full article here

Traffic Nightmares!

This peaceful circle at the end of Blaauwberg road…..

(off the record, I’ve always wondered why they never build a nice fancy fountain feature in the middle of this circle, it would have looked so much more spectacular than the existing  weird features.. comments?)

..Could end up looking like this…

Photo apparently taken from somewhere in China

Yep, according to this latest Cape Times report, families living on a farm close to Du Noon are holding up a R4billion road project that will solve all Blaauwberg traffic problems.

A R4-billion residential and commercial development which would create thousands of jobs, could be jeopardised because 27 families living on the site near Du Noon are reneging on an agreement to leave the land, the project’s developer says.

The land owner, Ronald Shell, said the families were tenants on Annandale Farm north of Bothasig and adjacent to the N7 highway, and had agreed to financial payouts to find other accommodation.

An agreement with the families signed in December stated that each household would receive either R55 000, or R25 000 and a Wendy House set up on a site of their choice.

view the full article here

“Walking on Water”

Rowing ON water

Can somebody clarify what this water sport is referred to?  A number of our readers have sent in quite a few photos capturing many of these “surfers” out in the Big Bay area. It looks awesome! Comment and let us know.

Credit to:

Shocking mindless people!

Poachers with packs of dogs have been targeting Cape Town nature reserves where they hunt animals as part of lucrative betting schemes.

City officials say the poachers operate with up to 20 dogs at a time which hunt small antelope and anything else they can catch, particularly in the Blaauwberg Conservation Area and in the False Bay Ecology Park.

While they may eat what the dogs bring down, the purpose of the hunt is not to get meat for the pot, but to rake in money from betting on the hunt.

view the full article here

It’s about bloody time!

THE days are over when property owners on the Blaauwberg beachfront could put up a block of flats without going through a formal rezoning process that would have to include public participation.

With the lapse of Section 14 of the Land Use Planning Ordinance (LUPO) the scenario no longer exists where single residential erven could willy-nilly be consolidated for the purpose of building a hotel.

The problem is, several such consolidations and buildings have come into existence since the premier of the Western Cape allowed the so-called “Real Rights” to lapse in June 2007.

view the full article here


Random Blouberg Photos


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