This small island about 7 KM off the coast of Cape Town has served as a prison for political dissidents for over 200 yrs. One of its most famous inmates was President and Nobel Laureate Nelson Mandela who served 18 of his 27 years of incarceration by the White Apartheid regime of South Africa on this island. It is now a major tourist attraction for visitors to Cape Town. The tours of the prison structure are usually conducted by previous inmates.
The island is also home to a variety of wildlife and was previously a seal colony (the Dutch name reflects that). At present there is a large population of nesting sacred ibises on the island.