For anyone that doesn't know their history, Nelson Mandela is from South Africa.
Off of the V&A Waterfront, there is a center with ships that depart to the island that Nelson Mandela was held in prison. The ship there is actually incredibly beautiful, as it gives a phenomenal view of the city on the way out. It takes about twenty minutes to make it out to the island or thirty if you get stuck on a day with high winds.
The tour of the island is like that of any other tour, where tour guides show one around the island but don't exactly let people run free. It is a fairly large island and humans do still live there. Our tour guide, as well as all the others, were imprisoned on that island and now live and work there.
Besides the prison on the island, there are other areas, such as a church and houses where people still live. It was quite odd to see some of these houses with satellite dishes on them, until they mentioned that people still do live there. Almost all people that live on the island were people that were in prison there.
On the prison part of the tour, they walk their attendees through the prison, which honestly looks like any other prison, and then show them where Nelson Mandela was held captive. Like any other prison, it's pretty desolate and gloomy. That also could have been because the day I went happened to be gloomy. Either way, it is now a pleasant island that houses a simple lifestyle. It is not accessible to the public, as buses still roam around the island and only people who were captive can live there.
For more information on Robben Island, please visit: http://www.robben-island.org.za