Iziko South African Museum is a national museum housing more than one and a half million specimens of scientific importance. The collections range from fossils almost 700-million years old to insects and fish caught last week. There are also stone tools made by people 120 000 years ago, traditional clothes from last century, and t-shirts printed yesterday.
‘Iziko’ is an isiXhosa word, meaning “a hearth”. Since the hearth of a typical African homestead usually occupies the central space. The South African Museum is certainly a hub of cultural activity and a central place for exploring the conutry’s diverse heritage.
The South African Museum was founded in 1825. In 1897 the Museum moved to its present building in the historic Company’s Garden. Since then millions of visitors have wandered its halls and corridors to be stimulated and inspired by its collections and exhibitions. They have left the Museum with a better understanding of the earth and its biological and cultural diversity, past and present.
Marine Exhibits – A range of marine-related exhibitions, including World of Water, Shark World, Whales and Dolphins and Living Coelacanth.
Norfolk Island Pine – Noteworthy events during the lifetime of this tree, planted about 1850 in the Public Gardens.
The Giant Squid: Architeuthis – In-depth look at the giant squid, one of the last great mysteries of the sea.
Whale Well – A unique collection of whale casts and skeletons, to be seen from all floors; includes a 20.5 metre blue whale skeleton.
The Boonstra Dioramas – Evidence of life in the Karoo from 300 million years ago; dioramas of ancient Karoo reptiles; fossil mammals of the Cape four million years ago.
Our Place in the Universe – A display depicting a cosmic zoom to view the universe on an ever-increasing scale, reaching back to almost the very beginning of our universe.
Stone Bones of the Ancient Karoo – This exhibition features the fossilised skeletons of long-extinct reptiles that ruled the land areas of the world some 50 million years before the dinosaurs.
Wonders of Nature – The exhibition comprises a selection of 20 objects highlighting the beauty and diversity of natural forms across space and time.
African Dinosaurs – African Dinosaurs tells the story of dinosaurs from an African perspective.
Darwin and the Cape – This exhibition provides an overview of Darwin’s life, his contribution to biology, and his relationship with the Cape.
Venue: 25 Queen Victoria St, Gardens, Cape Town
Time: Mon – Sun 10am to 5pm
Cost: R30 adults | U18s R15 | Concessions R15 | U5s free