National Ports Authority
The first simple beacon was established here in 1657. The name "Robben" comes from the Dutch word for seals. There was once a leper colony on the island, and Nelson Mandela was in the prison on the island, which no longer exists, from 1964 to 1982.
Tower Height: 59
Height of Focal Plane: 154
Characteristic and Range: One five-second white flash every seven seconds, visible for 24 nautical miles.
Description of Tower: White, conical, masonry tower with red lantern.
This light is operational
Date Established: 1865
Date Present Tower Built: 1865
Current Use: Active aid to navigation.
Open To Public? Grounds only.
The island, except for the light station, is now a museum. See www.robben-island.org.za for details.
From Cape Town, ferries to Robben Island take about 30-40 minutes. Call +27 21 419 1510 for information.
Keepers: Joseph Kannemeyer (c. 1999)