One of the oldest museums in Sub-Saharan Africa, the Iziko South African Museum is home to more than half a million unique artifacts. Visitors can explore the halls of this historic place, which was founded in 1897, and learn more about the history and the people of the African continent’s southernmost country.
Iziko South African Museum is organized on four levels. Exhibits include fossils dating from 700 million years ago, tools fashioned by some of the continent’s earliest peoples more than 120,000 years ago, an impressive marine biology collection, dinosaur dioramas, and rocks and minerals. You can visit using your Cape Town City Pass, Cape Town Pass, or Cape Town Flexi Attractions Pass—admission is included with all.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Iziko South African Museum is a must-visit for archaeology and history lovers.
- Children, students, and pensioners enjoy discounted admission.
- There are 14 Iziko Museums, and all offer free entry on commemorative days, including Human Rights Day (March 21), Africa Day (May 25), World AIDS Day (December 1), and Reconciliation Day (December 16).
How to Get There
Iziko South African Museum is located in the heart of Cape Town, on the edge of the Company’s Garden. Several hotels and major attractions, including the South African National Gallery and Iziko Slave Lodge, are within a few minutes’ walk. The closest train station is Cape Town Station, a 25-minute walk away.
When to Get There
The Iziko South African Museum is open every day from 9am to 5pm but closed on Christmas Day and Workers’ Day (May 1). If you visit early in the morning, you’ll likely find the museum at its quietest—although school groups sometimes visit on weekday mornings.
The South African Museum is the flagship of Iziko Museums, the umbrella name given to a group of 14 national museums, most located in a section of the city center often referred to as Museum Mile. As well as the natural history collections at Iziko South African Museum, you can view art at the Iziko South African National Gallery or learn about the history and legacy of slavery at the Iziko Slave Lodge. “Iziko” is a Xhosa word meaning “hearth.”