Swim from Robben Island to Big Bay (main land)

'A world famous long distance swim'

The Robben Island Crossing is a beautiful experience and achievement to add to your swimming adventures. The distance of the crossing varies between 7 and 8 km due to the currents of the ocean. 

The weather conditions around Cape Town can change in a short time. Therefore we advise you to prepare well and book in advance so that we can plan your crossing accordingly.


Coping with the cold water temperature, keeping your mind calm and focused are the biggest challenges of this swim.

Robben Island Crossing - world famous distance swim

There are absolutely no policies on swimming the Robben Island crossing with or without a wetsuit. However, please keep in mind that this is a official and registered swim. This means that your time will be registered as a 'skin' or as a 'suit'.


You can enter this swim as solo, with two people (that have the same speed) or as a relay team. The experienced guides from Big Bay Events will coach and feed you as they look after your safety and navigation during the swim.

If you wish to challenge yourself to swim from Robben Island to Big Bay, please let us know beforehand. We will advise accordingly and plan your crossing.


Did you know.. 

That the youngest successfull Robben Island swimmer was 11 years old! 

That the first officially recorded Robben Island swim happened in 1909 by Henry Charteris Hooper.

That every year a freedom swim is held to celebrate the democracy of South Africa. A big group of swimmers swims together to mainland. 

That the fastest time of the Robben Island crossing is set in 1:23:48

That the record of succesfull Robben Island crossings is, 108
The record is held by

Theodore Yach.  


Water safety and long distance swims

Fox- openwaterswimming works in collaboration with Big Bay Events.

Big Bay Events provides event management and water safety to large international- and local events. They are specialised in guiding long distance swims. Well- known long distance swims are the Robben Island crossing and the English Channel swim.

We will organise your Robben Island crossing, accompany you during your crossing and provide tips & tricks to make sure that your crossing will be a success.

Big Bay Events provided water safety during long distance swims