South African Museum

Museum in Gardens & Surrounds

South Africa’s oldest museum was undergoing renovations at the time of research, so some galleries were closed. The museum contains a wide and often intriguing series of exhibitions, many on the country’s natural history. Look out for an amazing example of San rock art – there’s an extraordinary delicacy to the paintings, particularly the ones of graceful elands. Another highlight is a 2m-wide nest – a veritable avian apartment block – of the sociable weaver bird, in the Wonders of Nature Gallery.

The atmospheric Whale Well is hung with giant whale skeletons and models, and resounds with taped recordings of their calls. The terracotta Lydenburg Heads, the earliest-known examples of African sculpture (AD 500–700) are currently removed from the African Cultures Gallery, which is undergoing a major revamp.


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