While Robben Island remains an iconic reminder of South Africa's complex history, visits to the prison are not always as satisfactory as one might hope. This was where the late Nelson Mandela spent 18 of his 27 years of imprisonment, but aside from the heart-wrenching moment when you see the miniscule cell where he slept, much of the island tour can feel a touch formulaic. Ferry rides to and from the island are included, followed by a 45-minute coach ride stopping at various places of interest, all complemented (or spoiled) by an unfolding saga recited by a guide. For some of the tour, you may be led by a former prisoner. Along with learning some of the finer details of prison life, and wondering how Madiba (as Mandela was fondly known) was able to develop such a generous political philosophy while confined to such limited quarters, you'll also enjoy great views of the mainland—Madiba said once that this view gave him and fellow political prisoners hope. You may also get a glimpse of the island's little penguin colony. Tours last approximately 3½ hrs.; online booking is advised as tours can sell out far in advance.