5 Must-visit museums in South Africa

Posted by Ashna Brijmohun on 19 November 2021

South Africa is a country rich in history, culture and art, making it a hotspot for history buffs and inquisitive minds. The country hosts many museums and galleries, each touching on a different aspect of South African heritage. If you are a museum fanatic visiting the beautiful country of South Africa this list will spice up your holiday itinerary.

1. The Franschhoek Motor Museum, Cape Town

The Franschhoek Motor Museum is located on the L’Omarina wine estate, less than an hour’s drive away from the buzz of Cape Town. The museum opened its doors to the public in 2007 with a display featuring the first Ford to ever be imported to South Africa. The museum, owned by industrialist Johann Rupert, is an exclusive private collection of motor vehicles that pay homage to over 100 years of motoring history. The museum currently houses over 200 cars ranging from the 1898 Beeston Motor Tricycle to the  2003 Enzo supercar. A visit to this museum entails a tour through motoring history and a glimpse into the past. Visitors and especially car enthusiasts will have a blast!

For more information visit the official website here.

The vintage motor display in the Franschhoek Motor Museum, Cape Town. Picture: Getaway Gallery

2. The National Museum of Natural History, Gauteng

The National Museum of Natural History in Pretoria, Gauteng was founded in 1892. Today it is one of the largest museums in South Africa. The alluring museum draws guests in with its giant dinosaur skeletons at its entrance and magnificent sandstone walls. It is the host of various educational exhibits such as the fossils from the Cradle of humankind World Heritage site and displays of fauna and flora from the Karoo. The museum offers many different tours for guests including an educational programme, a discovery centre, and a public programme.

For more information visit the official website here.

The National Museum of Natural history in Gauteng. Picture: Wikimedia Commons

3. The Albany Museum, Eastern Cape

The Albany museum located in the Eastern Cape was established in 1855. The museum consists of seven different buildings namely the natural sciences museum, the history museum, the observatory museum, the fort Selwyn, the old provost military prison, the Drostdy arch, and the old priest’s house. The museum offers an array of exhibits that cover a vast amount of topics, catering for almost everyone’s interests. The museum offers educational tours and programmes to guests and also occasionally hosts social events.

For more information visit the official website here.

4. The National Museum, Free State

The National Museum of the Free State has been welcoming the public since 1877, educating people on natural and cultural history, and even art. The museum contains 13 research departments and 2 technical departments, hosting many exhibits that cover a wide range of subjects. Visitors are provided with the option to follow a guided tour or to join in an educational programme with the museum. The museum additionally has a gift shop available so that guests may purchase sentimental souvenirs and other goodies.

For more information visit the official website here.

The National Museum in the Free State. Picture: Wikimedia Commons

5. The Kimberley Mine Museum, Northern Cape

Located in the centre of the city of Kimberley is a giant 215-metre deep crater that serves as a remnant of the diamond rush that took place in the region during the 1870s. It is estimated that the Big Hole yielded a whopping 2722 kilograms of diamonds during its prime. Today the Big Hole and its surrounding structures have been converted into the Kimberley Mine Museum which has become a popular tourist attraction in the Northern Cape, South Africa. The museum transports its visitors back in time, simulating what it must have been like to live in a mining town. Visitors can visit the old town that has been structured to look just the way it did in the 1870s, or they can explore the underground mine shafts. The Kimberley Mine Museum is extremely unique, giving its visitors an authentic 1870’s mining experience.

For more information visit the official website here.

The Kimberley Mine Museum in the Northern Cape. Picture: Wikimedia Commons

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