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Welcome to the Instagram blog! See how Instagrammers are capturing and sharing the world's moments through photo and video features, user spotlights, tips and news from Instagram HQ.


garethpon, Johannesburg, user feature, south africa,

@garethpon’s “Take Us To Jozi”

South African Instagrammers Gareth Pon (@garethpon) and Miklas Manneke (@miklasmanneke) filmed a short documentary about Instagrammers in Johannesburg. Check out their film, “Take Us To Jozi,” to meet members of the South African community and see the city through their eyes.


spotlight, south africa, location feature,

Spotlight: South Africa

Since launching, we’ve seen Instagram spread from our headquarters in the Bay Area to every corner of the globe. In this series, Spotlight, we’ll highlight top users from countries and cities with thriving Instagram communities.

South Africa, the African continent’s southernmost country, boasts 11 official languages, three capital cities and some of the most photogenic landscapes in the world. Instagrammers both homegrown and from abroad have given outsiders a glimpse into this vast and diverse country, from the Namib desert in the northwest to the subtropical forests in the east to the coastline that stretches over 1700 miles (2700km).

Want an insider’s view of South Africa? Follow these locals to see the country through their lens.

  • Ofentse Mwase, a cinematographer snapping photos from Johannesburg and its outskirts — @unclescrooch
  • Alessio La Ruffa, taking beautiful photos in and around Pretoria — @alessiolr
  • Ross Pickford, a software developer sharing photos from Cape Town — @roscoedude
  • Gareth Pon, a filmmaker photographing Johannesburg’s cityscapes — @garethpon

To explore the country in depth, you can also browse the location pages for some of South Africa’s most popular destinations:


robben island, south africa,

Robben Island: Symbol of South Africa, Past and Present

For more photographs from Instagrammers who’ve visited Robben Island, check out the Robben Island location page.

The Day of Reconciliation is a public holiday in South Africa held every year on December 16. The holiday was introduced in 1994 after the end of apartheid to foster reconciliation and national unity.

One of the biggest symbols of apartheid’s history is Robben Island. Starting with the Dutch settlement of the Cape in the mid-1600s, Robben Island was used primarily as a prison. Many anti-apartheid political prisoners, including Nelson Mandela (who is recovering in hospital) and current President of South Africa Jacob Zuma, served decades-long sentences at Robben Island. Prisoners there were segregated by race, with black political prisoners receiving the fewest rations and privileges. Mandela was a D-group prisoner, the lowest classification, and was allowed one visitor and one letter every six months during his 18 years there.

Since 1997, Robben Island has been a museum and heritage site. Visitors to the island take a boat from Cape Town and tour the grounds with former Robben Island inmates who share their own stories.