The former prison on Robben Island is a key location in South Africa’s long walk to freedom. Nelson Mandela and other dissidents were incarcerated six miles out in Table Bay, following in the tragic footsteps of earlier rebels against the Cape’s colonial governments. Book well in advance.
DISTRICT SIX MUSEUM
This museum celebrates the once lively and multiracial District Six suburb, destroyed in the 1960s and 1970s during apartheid, its 60,000 inhabitants forcibly removed. In the former Methodist Mission Church, you’ll find photographs, testimonials and recreated homes.
IZIKO SLAVE LODGE
Dating back to 1660, the Slave Lodge is one of South Africa’s oldest buildings. Once home to as many as 1,000 slaves, the lodge has also been used as a brothel, a jail, a mental asylum, a post office, a library and the Cape Supreme Court. Today, it’s a museum devoted to the history of slaves and their descendants in the Cape.
South Africa’s Cape Malay people are descended from Asian and African’s laves; the colourful Bo-Kaap is where freed slaves settled after emancipation in the 1830s. Gamidah Jacobs is a wonderful local guide and conducts hands-on Cape Malay cooking classes in her historical home.
CASTLE OF GOOD HOPE
Built by the Dutch between 1666 and 1679, this stone-walled pentagonal castle remains the headquarters for the Western Cape military command. Free guided tours run at 11am, noon and 2pm Monday to Saturday. Don’t miss the bastions’ views.