Robben Island Circumnavigation

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[edit] Distance

9.9K

[edit] Type

Ocean

[edit] Location

City Robben Island

State/County/Province Cape Town

Country South Africa

Region Africa

[edit] Contact

Name Cape Long Distance Swimming Association

Email www.capeswim.com

[edit] Event Information

Month: October - April

Water Temp: 11-18°C (52-64°F)

Class: Amateur

Wetsuit: No

Robben Island is an island in Table Bay, 6.9K west of the coast of Bloubergstrand, Cape Town, South Africa. The name is Dutch for "seal island". Robben Island is roughly oval in shape and flat and only a few meters above sea level.

Robben Island held President of South Africa and Nobel Prize Laureate Nelson Mandela and past South African President Kgalema Motlanthe, alongside many other political prisoners, spent decades imprisoned during the apartheid era. Among those political prisoners was current South African President Jacob Zuma who was imprisoned there for ten years.

[edit] History

Since the end of the 17th century, Robben Island has been used for the isolation of mainly political prisoners. The Dutch settlers were the first to use Robben Island as a prison. Its first prisoner was probably Harry die strandloper in the mid-17th century.

The island was also used as a leper colony and animal quarantine station.

[edit] Animal life

When the Dutch arrived in the area in 1652, the only large animals on the island were seals and birds, principally penguins. In 1654, the settlers released rabbits on the island in order to provide a ready source of meat for passing ships. The modern day island is an important breeding area for penguins after a new colony established itself there in 1983. The colony has grown to 13,000 and is now the third biggest for the species. The penguins are easy to see close up in their natural habitat and are therefore a popular tourist attraction.

[edit] External links

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