Museums in South AfricaMore than 300 of the approximately 1,000 museums in Africa are in South Africa. The Department of Arts and Culture subsidises most museums, which are otherwise autonomous. The department pays an annual subsidy to 13 national museums, ensuring the preservation of artefacts and collections that are important to all South Africans.
South Africa, home to the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage site, has a rich social and cultural history dating back to the word's earliest human settlements.
Museums all over the country reflect this heritage in a range of places - from elegant 18th century homes to caves in majestic mountain ranges, cultural villages in rural settings to state-of-the-art buildings in major cities.
The Apartheid Museum in Ormonde, Johannesburg, is the pre-eminent museum in the world dealing with 20th Century South African history. The Hector Pieterson Memorial and Museum are located on Khumalo Street in Soweto. These sites were erected in honor of Hector Pieterson, age 13, one the first students to be killed during the 1976 Student Uprising in Soweto. He has since become a symbol of youth resistance to apartheid.
The District Six Museum, established in 1994, serves as a memorial to the Sixth Municipal District of Cape Town as it existed in 1867. Originally established as a mixed community of freed slaves, merchants, artisans, labourers and immigrants, District Six was a vibrant centre with close links to the city and the port. The museum celebrates the original District Six and also details the forcible displacement of many of its original black inhabitants starting in 1901.
MuseuMAfricA was established in 1933 and highlights all aspects of African cultural history and material culture. Mandela House, a world class visitor attraction, is a leading center for the preservation, presentation, and research of the history, heritage and legacy of the Mandela Family.
The Kaffrarian Museum in King William's Town has imposing collections of indigenous animals. The National Museum in Bloemfontein, a natural history, cultural history and art museum, contains an ictidosaur skeleton and the Florisbad human fossil skull (http://www.nasmus.co.za). The East London Museum houses the first coelacanth to be caught (the entire family had previously been thought to be extinct).
The South African National Gallery is in Cape Town. Founded in 1871, it houses an extensive European collection and well as one of Africa's finest collections of contemporary African art. The South African Cultural History Museum is also in Cape Town, as is the Castle Military Museum, which opened in 1995. Robben Island, 12 kilometers from Cape Town, was a former prison and is now a museum (http://www.robben-island.org.za).
Johannesburg has several archaeological museums as well as the University Art Galleries of the University of Witwatersrand. Pretoria houses the Kruger Museum, chronicling the life of Paul Kruger; the Natural Cultural History Museum; and the Museum of Anthropology and Archaeology.
The Anglo-Boer War Museum in Bloemfontein (http://www.anglo-boer.co.za) does not only give the visitor insight into the Boer War through its unique art collection, dioramas and exhibits but also brings the visitor closer to understanding the background against which the war took place.
One of the most popular attractions in South Africa is the SAB World of Beer. Situated in the heart of the Johannesburg Newtown Cultural Precinct, the attraction highlights not only the history of brewing company SAB but also the heritage of beer from Mesopotamia through Africa and Europe.
For more information, please visit: http://www.southafrica.info/travel/cultural/museums.htm
Encyclopedia of the Nations
The Apartheid Museum
Telephone: +27 (0)11 309 4700
Hector Pieterson Memorial and Museum
Telephone: +27 (0)11 536 0611
District Six Museum
Telephone: +27(0)21 466 7200
Nelson Mandela House
Telephone: +27 (0)11 936 7754
Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site (South Africa)
(Sterkfontein Caves) +27 (0)11 956-6342
(Wonder Caves) +27 (0)11 957-0106
(Archaeological Resource Development Project (WITS) +27 (0)11 717-6053
(Sterkfontein Research Unit (WITS) +27 (0)11 717-2516
(Palaeo-anthropological Unit for Research and Exploration) +27 (0)11 339-7202
(Transvaal Museum (Northern Flagship Institute) +27 (0)12 322-7632
(Palaeo-Anthropological Scientific Trust) +27 (0)11 717-2112
The Kaffrarium Museum – Amathole Museum (South Africa)
Telephone: (Fred Kigozi, Director) +27 (0) 43 642 4506 or +27 (0) 43 642 1569
The National Museum in Bloemfontein (South Africa)
Telephone: +27 51 447 9609
Fax: +27 51 447 6273
The East London Museum - Library (South Africa)
Telephone: 27 043 7430686
Fax: 27 043 7433127
The South African National Gallery (South Africa)
Telephone: +27 (0)21 465 16 28
The South African Cultural History Museum (South Africa)
Castle Military Museum (South Africa)
Telephone: +27 021 787 1153
Fax: +27 021 787 1089
The Kruger House Museum (South Africa)
Telephone:+27 (0)12 326-9172
The Natural Cultural History Museum (South Africa)
Telephone: 012 3285173
The Museum of Anthropology and Archaeology (South Africa)
Telephone: +27116709000 or +27861670411
The Anglo-Boer War Museum in Bloemfontein (South Africa)
Telephone; +27 51 447 0079 or +27 51447 3447
Fax: +27 51 447 1322
The Iziko Museum (South Africa)
Telephone: +27 (0)21 467 4660
Fax: +27 (0)21 467 4680
Temporary Relocation: Call: 021467 4664 or 082771 2363(for more information)
Gold of Africa Museum
Telephone: +27 (0)21 405 15 40
Fax: +27 (0)21 405 15 41
The Johannesburg Gallery in Joubert Park (South Africa)
Telephone: (011) 725-3130
The SAB World of Beer
Telephone: +27 (0)11 836 4900