When I think of South Africa, I think of Nelson Mandela. One of the world’s very few genuinely great political leaders in recent memory, he’s someone I felt — and, actually, continue to feel, even after his death — much admiration, respect and affection for. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the number one slot on my “must go to while in South Africa” list belonged to the island that was home to the maximum security prison where Madiba spent 18 of his 27 years behind bars as a political prisoner.
Located just 11 kilometers or so from Cape Town, Robben Island is a small, fairly flat and rocky island in Table Bay that’s home to more than 130 species of birds (including African penguins!) but doesn’t have any trees indigenous to it.