Part of the Yellow Downtown Tour - a free extension on the Red City Tour. Visit the South African Museum on the Cape Town Yellow Downtown Tour. Set in the city Gardens and close to the Planetarium, both found a short walk away on our Cape Town maps, this museum is rich with South African heritage.
› Take a walk into the oldest museum in Sub-Saharan Africa founded in 1825
› Be empowered and inspired by its diverse heritage
› Learn about the indigenous populations of the country
The South African Museum was founded by Lord Charles Somerset and is the second oldest scientific institute in the country - the Royal Observatory was established just five years earlier. It is both a research and educational institution and offers collections of natural history and anthropological objects that document all forms of life, living and extinct, from Southern Africa.
The South African Museum also traces the material cultural heritage of our indigenous populations back to their earliest origins, and the research collections are studied by scientists and students world-wide.
› See over 1.5 million items of cultural and scientific importance
› Learn about fossils of over millions of years old
› Be fascinated at how the style of clothing has changes over the years
For every object on exhibition at the South African Museum, there are thousands more carefully stored away. For nearly 200 years scientists at the Museum have been adding to these collections and studying them. The collections now range from fossils almost 700 million years old including that of insects and fish. There are also stone tools made by people 120 000 years ago, alongside displays of traditional clothes from last century.
The South African Museum offers a diverse range of exhibitions and visitors have not failed to leave the museum without a better understanding of the earth and its biological and cultural diversity - both past and present. It is one of the biggest tourist attractions in Cape Town and over 400 000 people visit the museum each year.
› Stare in awe at the skeletons of the African Dinosaur Exhibition
› Enjoy the sights and sounds of marine life at the Whale Well, Dolphins & Sharks Exhibition
› See what could be the beginning of South African art at /QE – The Power of Rock Art
And if it is more heritage sightseeing visits that interests you then visit St George’s Cathedral, The South African Houses of Parliament and The South African National Gallery. Or explore even further to the South African Library, The Jewish Museum and the Great Synagogue. Or how about visiting the only Holocaust Centre in South Africa, which today promotes awareness to the consequences of prejudice, racism and discrimination and encourages an understanding of the dangers of indifference, apathy and silence.
Kids will also enjoy themselves at the Planetarium where they can learn more about our planets and stars. Both young and old will take pleasure in the serenity of the Company Gardens where adults and relax with a cup of tea and children can feed the squirrels whilst enjoying the wonderful diversity of Cape Town weather.
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