African museums and historical attractions worth visiting

Posted on 13 June 2024 By Nomvelo Masango

Africa is known for its rich history and diverse cultural heritage. When exploring parts of the continent, journeying back in time can provide much-needed insight and context.

Museums and historical attractions are an excellent way to learn more about a destination’s history, its people and their way of life.

Here are some museums and historical attractions worth visiting:

Apartheid Museum, South Africa

Picture: Wikimedia Commons

The Apartheid Museum affords visitors the chance to learn more about South Africa’s darkest era. As you go down memory lane, you will delve into how segregation happened based on race, as well as how people were separated into different groups according to their features such as skin colour, language and even the texture of their hair.

Apartheid Museum. Picture: Wikimedia Commons / Katangais.

Moreover, you will be able to view a number of exhibits, including text panels, film footage and painful stories which expose the atrocities committed during the Apartheid era. Although it is an informative reminder of the past, the museum also stands as a beacon of hope for all mankind.

Mandela artworks outside Apartheid Museum

Kitale Museum, Kenya

First opened to the public in 1924, the Kitale Museum features artefacts from various Kenyan tribes. It is part of the National Museums of Kenya; an institution which strives to study and preserve the country’s cultural and natural heritage.

Kitale Museum showcases pieces from traditional Kenyan homes, along with traditional weaponry, utensils and musical instruments. It is also a great place to learn about indigenous flora.

National Museum of Ethiopia, Ethiopia

Picture: Sourced / National Museum of Ethiopia

Located in Addis Ababa, the National Museum of Ethiopia boasts cultural, archeological and historical treasures. One of its biggest treasures is the partial skeleton of ‘Lucy’ – a miniature human who is believed to have lived over 3.2 million years ago. You can also view some interesting arts and crafts, traditional weapons, as well as musical instruments. The museum offers an in-depth exploration of Ethiopia’s past. As such, it is a crucial attraction for anyone interested in understanding the country’s rich heritage.

Cradle of Humankind, South Africa

Picture: Melanie van Zyl

The Cradle of Humankind is an important historical attraction worth visiting. It is home to limestone caves which carry a rich fossil record for human evolutionary studies. Thus, it is the ideal place to learn more about human evolution.

The site’s official visitors’ center showcases in-depth detail pertaining to how humans lived using spectacular storytelling methods. Undoubtedly, a visit to the site grants an insightful and fascinating historical experience.

House of Slaves, Senegal

Picture: Sourced / iStock (livcool)

The House of Slaves can be found on Gorée Island and was opened in 1962. Together with its Door of No Return, the museum stands as a reminder of the suffering and devastation caused by slave trade.

It is one of the sites where African slaves were held before being traded away to the Americas. Today, House of Slaves is visited by those who seek to learn more about the history of slave trade, as well as to gain insight on the past horrors of humanity.

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