IZiko South African Museum
Lonely Planet review for IZiko South African Museum
Although there has been some reorganisation in recent years, and a few new exhibits, in general South Africa’s oldest museum is showing its age. Despite not being a must-see, it does contain a wide and often intriguing series of exhibitions, many on the country’s natural history. The best galleries are the newest, showcasing the art and culture of the area’s first peoples, the Khoekhoen (Khoikhoi) and San, and including the famous Linton Panel, an amazing example of San rock art. There’s an extraordinary delicacy to the paintings, particularly the ones of graceful elands. Also worth looking out for are the startlingly lifelike displays in the African Cultures Gallery of African people (cast from living subjects); the terracotta Lydenburg Heads, the earliest-known examples of African sculpture (AD 500–700); a 2m-wide nest of the sociable weaver bird, a veritable avian apartment block, in the Wonders of Nature Gallery; and the atmospheric Whale Well, hung with giant whale skeletons and models and resounding with taped recordings of their calls.