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KwaZulu-Natal Museum, Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal

KwaZulu-Natal Museum, Pietermaritzburg

KwaZulu-Natal Museum is one of only five national museums in South Africa. Situated in the city of Pietermaritzburg near the landmark City Hall in Jabu Ndlovu Street, the museum occupies a typical Victorian/Edwardian era building going back to 1905. The museum is one of the best in South Africa and is renowned for its unique and diverse collections.

The animal collections represent the rich wildlife diversity of the country from Dinosaurs to insects and tiny marine molluscs. The natural science section of the museum houses a Fossil Exhibit and in the Marine Gallery you will find the pre-historic Coelacanth, thought to be extinct until discovered on the east coast of South Africa. The Dinosaur Gallery contains a life size T-Rex model.

All told there are eight natural history galleries and ten cultural galleries. There is a section dedicated to the history of the province including a reconstruction of a typical Victorian Street from the late eighteenth century, a recreation of a cave in the Drakenberg displaying typical San rock art, as well as geological and paleontological material. In theTrade and Towns section you can walk the decks of a wrecked trading ship. In addition to the rock art exhibit, the museum moves through the late Iron Age era about 2000 years ago when the tribes from the north migrated south, to the discoveries made by the first Portuguese explorers to reach the shores.

The museum holds a number of temporary exhibitions making it more dynamic than most other museums. For example, there is an exhibition centred around the 2010 World Cup held in South Africa. The 150th anniversary of the arrival of the Indian population was celebrated by the museum.

Opening and closing times: Monday to Friday – 8:15 to 16:30; Saturdays – 9:00 to 16:00; Sundays – 10:00 to 15:00

Entrance fees: Adults (over 17 years) R 10.00; Pensioners FREE; Children under 4 years FREE; Children 4-17 years R 2.50; School Pupils on Tour R 1.50 per child

Tel: 27 33 3451404

More info on the town of Pietermaritzburg More info on the Natal Midlands area