If you want to learn more about our diverse country’s history, there is no better way in which to do it than visiting a few of our flagship museums. While this might sound totes boring and the next best thing to an ice cold beer and a pizza with mates, you’ll be shocked at just how much you’ll enjoy the experience!
The excellent news is that the entrance fee to browse a museum is very low – and some are even free. Here is our list of the top 5 South African museums that every student needs to visit.
The Apartheid Museum, Johannesburg
This museum encapsulates the most important pieces of South African history and gives a very real, in depth look into the past. It also makes one realise just how far our country has come!
From the Pillars of the Constitution to an insider’s look into the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, this is guaranteed to be a trip that you won’t be quick to forget.
Cost: Students get in for just R65
The Ditsong National Museum of Natural History, Pretoria
This museum has been open since 1895 and is known all over the world for its incredible collections. Feast your eyes on some amazing fossils, including hominids originally found in Sterkfontein, and take a look at some other notable animal collections – from birds and reptiles to mammals and invertebrates. If you love nature and are interested in evolution, this definitely a museum visit to add to your bucket list!
Cost: R15 for learners / students and R30 for adults
Hector Pieterson Memorial and Museum, Soweto
This memorial and museum looks back on that fateful day in Soweto way back in 1976. It commemorates the role of South Africa’s students in the struggle against apartheid, particularly those who took part in the 1976 Soweto protests.
Cost: Students pay just R10 for admission
Robben Island Museum, Robben Island
Pay Robben Island and the museum a visit to experience first-hand the prison in which Nelson Mandela spent a large portion of his adult life. You can sign up for one of the tours (lasting 3 and a half hours) which also includes a ferry ride to and from the island.
Did you know that all of the tour guides are actually former political prisoners? After all, who better to show you around than people who spent years of their lives on the island as punishment for fighting bravely in the struggle against apartheid?
Despite the cost and distance, as a South African, visiting Robben Island and the Robben Island Museum is something that you have to do at least once in your lifetime. Start saving now!
Cost: The tours cost R320 per adult (no special student discount)
The SAPS Heritage Services Police Museum, Pretoria
If you are a horror movie fan and aren’t overly grossed out by blood and gore, you’ll enjoy visiting the SAPS Heritage Services Police Museum, which first opened its doors in the late 1960s. It is divided into two sections – crime and cultural history.
The crime section features collections detailing some of our country’s most heinous crimes and notorious cases, whereas the cultural history section documents the history of the SAPS from 1913 – present. Definitely worth a visit!
Cost: Entrance is free
No matter which local museums you choose to visit, one thing will become very obvious to you very quickly. South Africa is an incredible country with a very sad history. But it does bring hope that if all people come together, we can change the future.