The South African National Museum and Company Gardens is without a doubt one of the top rated attractions in Cape Town. Set amidst shady avenues in the heart of the City Centre, the museum complex houses the museum itself, along with the planetarium. Then, there is the gardens, which boast lawns, benches, a bird aviary, rose gardens, fish ponds, a restaurant and plenty of curious squirrels.
What makes the South African National Museum and Company Gardens a must for any Cape Town bucket list? And what do you need to know about the museum and its attractions? Let’s take a look…
Why Visit the South African National Museum in Cape Town?
First stop on our virtual tour is the Iziko South African National Museum in Cape Town. Before we show you what you can see at the museum, here are a few important details:
Address: 25 Queen Victoria Street, Gardens
Open: Daily from 10h00 to 17h00 (closed Worker’s Day and Christmas Day)
Cost: R15-R30 (free on all public holidays)
Contact: +27 (0)21 481 3800
The Planetarium is located in the same building. Shows are held daily (opening hours and days are the same as the museum). Planetarium tickets cost between R20 and R40 per person and are separate from museum costs. For more info relating to the planetarium, contact +27 (0)21 481 3900.
The SA National Museum houses a staggering million and a half specimens of scientific importance. Exhibitions include permanent and temporary. Permanent exhibitions include the Whale Well, African Dinosaurs, Stone Bones of the Ancient Karoo, Marine Exhibits, Wonders of Nature, The Giant Squid and many others. From mammals to early human settlers; marine life to fossils and insects, each room offers plenty of wonders.
So, why should you add this to your list of things to see in Cape Town? For starters, the museum offers a fascinating glimpse into the history of Southern Africa. It appeals to kids, adults and anyone who has ever wondered about the world. The huge number of interesting exhibits ensure that there is always something new to see, from the annual Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition held in the early part of the year to the incredible whale skeleton that boggles the mind.
What makes the museum such a fun outing on rainy days or even hot sunny days is that you can easily spend a day here.
Interested in space, the universe and all that other stuff beyond the stars? Be sure to include a trip to the planetarium after you’ve done exploring the museum. You won’t regret it!
5 Things to See at the VOC Company’s Gardens
The VOC Company’s Gardens in Cape Town is lovely even on its own. Here are just a few of the highlights to enjoy at the famous Company Gardens:
1. Squirrels. These entertaining, bushy tailed creatures are curious and not remotely shy. You can buy some peanuts from a vendor in the gardens, and then feed a squirrel or two. Even if you simply watch them from afar, their antics are very amusing.
2. Birds. In addition to the large bird aviary, there are many different species of bird roaming freely in the garden. The aviary is rather beautiful however, with a number of interesting birds to see.
3. Picnics. The large rolling lawns are ideal for a picnic. Or, you could get an ice cream from a vendor and enjoy that while sitting on the lawn, watching squirrels and enjoying some fresh air. There are plenty of benches as well.
4. Dining. Look out for the amazing restaurant and tea room in the gardens. This restaurant has an amazing outdoor section with woven chairs that kids and adults will both adore. It is ideal for families, lunches, tea, breakfast or a refreshing cool drink on a hot day.
5. Strolls. The best way to take in the full sights, smells and sounds of the Company’s Garden is to take a stroll along the tree-lined pathways. This way, you will be able to see the birds, as well as the fish ponds and other scenery along the way.
Have you been to the South African National Museum and Company Gardens? Let us know what you loved the most by leaving us a comment below!