Cultural experiences


South African museums: Northern Cape

  • Colesburg
  • Griquatown
  • Kimberley
  • Kuruman
  • Loeriesfontein
  • Prieska
  • Upington
  • Victoria West

    Colesberg

    The Colesberg-Kemper Museum, housed in the old Colesberg bank, features displays on archaeology, local history and a large Anglo-Boer War memorabilia collection.
    Murray Street
    Tel: (051) 753-0678

    Griquatown

    The Mary Moffat Museum can be found in a building which had been a church since 1828, and was used as a bank between 1903 and 1956. It features displays on the Griquas, San Bushmen and other African groups since early 1800 and on missionaries from the London Missionary Society.
    Main Street
    Tel: (05962) ask for 180
    Mon-Fri: 08:00-13:00; 14:00-17:00
    After hours by appointment
    Website

    Kimberley

    The Duggan-Cronin Gallery, a satellite of the McGregor Museum, exhibits ethnographic displays and turn-of-the-century photographs taken by M Duggan-Cronin. Duggan-Cronin came to Kimberley in 1897, where he took photographs of the different tribes working in the De Beers diamond mining compounds.
    Egerton Road
    Tel: (0531) 32645
    Website

    The Kimberley Mine Museum at the world-renowned Big Hole is an essential part of any visit to Kimberley. Visitors can view the biggest hole ever made with picks and shovels. The open-air museum comprises buildings dating back to the era of the diamond diggings. The Kimberley Tram Service, which dates from the beginning of the century, still transports passengers from the City Hall to the Mine Museum.
    Tucker Street, Kimberley
    Tel: (0531) 31557/8/9
    Daily: 08:00-18:00
    Website

    At the Magersfontein Battlefield Museum, a satellite of the McGregor Museum, the old Boer trenches can still be seen from the hilltop. The museum has displays on the battle.
    Address: 31.5 km on the road to Modder River via the Airport
    Website

    The McGregor Memorial Museum (1897) offers everything from archaeology to zoology, catering for a wide scope of research disciplines such as botany, cultural history, documents and archives, education, ethnology, living history and rock art. There's also lots of information on military history, focusing on the Anglo-Boer War and including Kimberley Siege, as well as an EnviroZone covering the natural environment of the Northern Cape and an excellent exhibition on the human history of the Northern Cape from 3-million years ago. The museum also has a guesthouse.
    Atlas Street
    Tel: (053) 839-2700
    Website

    The Pioneers of Aviation Museum stands at the site where the story of aviation in South Africa began and where the first flying school was based. It includes aviation displays and a replica of a Patterson biplane.
    Gen Van der Spuy Drive
    Tel: (053) 839-2700
    Mon-Sat: 09:00 to 13:00; 14:00 to 17:00
    Sun: 14:00 to 17:00
    Public holidays: 10:00 to 13:00; 14:00 to 17:00
    Website

    Wildebeest Kuil is a unique public-access rock art site outside Kimberley where visitors can tour open-air examples of San rock art. The facility includes a visitors' centre where displays and a 25-minute film introduce the site. The South African San Institute now runs its premier San craft shop at the centre.
    Tel: (053) 833-7069/79
    Address: On the road between Kimberley and Barkly West (see map)
    Website

    Kuruman

    Visitors to the massive Wonderwerk Cave can see displays on the discoveries - cultural and faunal successions spanning the past 800 millennia - made at this important archaeological site.
    On the main road, half way (45 km) between Kuruman and Danielskuil
    Tel: (053) 384-0680
    Mon-Fri: 08:30-13:00; 14:30-17:00
    Website

    The Moffat Museum commemorates Robert Moffat, founder of the mission at the site in the 1820s. It is housed in several old buildings and a church and features, among its exhibits, the oldest press in the country, which printed the first Bible in Africa and is still in use.
    Moffat Lane - follow the signs from the Hotazel Road
    Tel: (053) 712 1352
    Mon-Sat: 08:00-17:00
    Sun: 15:00-17:00

    Loeriesfontein

    The Loeriesfontein Windmill Museum boasts the largest collection of wind pumps in South Africa. It is one of only two windmill museums in the world - the other is in the US.
    Tel: (02762) Ext 16
    Website

    Prieska

    The Prieska Museum tells the story of Prieska and its people and displays an interesting collection of household articles and early farm implements Victoria Street
    Tel: (053) 691-2242

    Upington

    The Kalahari-Oranje Museum, in a lovely site on the Orange River and home of the famous donkey monument, built in 1875, has a collection of domestic items as well as articles relating to the history of Upington and the Lower Orange River.
    Schröder Street
    Tel: (054) 332-6064
    Mon-Fri: 09:00-12:30; 14:00-17:00
    Website

    Victoria West

    The Victoria West Museum carries displays on the prehistory of the Karoo and the cultural history of Victoria West. The highlight is a collection of fish fossils dating back 250-million years.
    47 Church Street
    Tel: (053) 621-0413
    Website

  • The Big Hole at Kimberley

    Diamond diggings at Kimberley produced the Big Hole, believed to be the largest hand-dug excavation in the world (Image: South African Tourism)

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