The National Museum of South Africa is a living museum that strives to reflect history as it is happening as well as recording the natural and social past of this country.

Did you know?

Bloemfontein is the judicial capital of South Africa.


The National Museum of South Africa, located in Bloemfontein, has as its mission the promotion of an understanding, appreciation and enjoyment of the South African natural and cultural environment through high quality curation, conservation, research and education.

The National Museum was founded in 1877 at which stage its exhibits and displays were made up of rarities from around the world. Since then the museum has developed a stronger focus on South African issues of interest and grown into an institution of international stature.

The ambit of the museum's collections now includes natural history and cultural history sciences as well as art. Through an intensive process of research and acquisition in these varied disciplines, valuable and important collections have been established.

The National Museum has grown significantly over the years and now comprises 13 research departments, an Information Services section, and three technical departments.

Among the many strengths of the museum is undoubtedly its natural history exhibits. Among the choice items on display, are life-size fibreglass elephants, a cast of the world-famous Florisbad skull including fossils and stone tools from Florisbad, the only complete skeleton of Euskelosaurus in the world (one of the earliest known dinosaurs), and a ‘working' beehive and live reptiles in the new Herpetology Hall.

Visitors can also get a more detailed view of the history of Bloemfontein itself from the reconstructed Victorian Bloemfontein street scenes exhibition and the Mangaung exhibit.

So, if your interest lies in African cultures, archaeology, birds, geology, herpetology, invertebrates, mammals, palaeontology or astronomy, don't miss the National Museum.

Travel tips & Planning info

How to get here

The National Museum in Bloemfontein is easily accessible by car, taxi or bus. There is plenty of parking in the area.

Around the area

The National Afrikaans Literary Museum is nearby.

Where to stay

Central Bloemfontein has a wide array of hotels, guest houses and B&B's to suit all budgets.

What's happening

See the National Museum website for updates on exhibitions and events.

Related articles