The Cradle of Humankind, Gauteng

The Cradle of Humankind is one of eight World Heritage Sites in South Africa. Here, the landscape is dotted with subterranean limestone caves that have turned up a rich fossil record for human evolutionary studies, which lend credence to the 'Out of Africa' theory of where our ancestors came from.  more

West Coast Fossil Park, Western Cape

The West Coast Fossil Park near Langebaan north of Cape Town has one of the world’s richest concentration of fossils dating back to the early Pliocene era five million years ago. Once sabre-toothed cats roamed this land, along with short-necked giraffes, four-tusked elephants and strange, three-toed horses. more

Adler Museum of Medicine, Johannesburg

Count your modern medical blessings when you encounter historic medical memorabilia at the Adler Museum of Medicine. From bleeding and cupping equipment and a 19th century amputation set to electrical apparatus favoured by Queen Victoria to ease her rheumatism, this quirky museum provides a fascinating peek into our unhealthy past. more

South African Naval Museum, Simon's Town

If you like tales of naval battles and heroism on the high seas, rooting around all manner of naval memorabilia, and are curious about what the inside of a submarine looks like, then visit the South African Naval Museum in Simon’s Town and be amazed. more

Dias Museum, Mossel Bay

Built on the site where Portuguese explorers first met the indigenous Khoi, the Dias Museum complex in Mossel Bay includes the Maritime Museum, which celebrates the early days of discovery. Star of the show here is a life-size replica of Bartolomeu Dias’ caravel, the ship he arrived in back in 1488. more

South End Museum, Port Elizabeth

When you visit the South End Museum in the heart of Port Elizabeth, look out for the floor map showing the old suburb as it was before the forced removals of 1965, and scout around the exhibition rooms for displays on the social, sporting, fishing and music cultures of times gone by. more

District Six Museum

The District Six Museum in the old Methodist Mission Church recalls the life of this once-vibrant racially mixed suburb and its destruction under apartheid. This museum in Cape Town seeks to reconnect with the spirit of the community and provide a different interpretation of the past. more

Robben Island, Western Cape

At times a leper colony, mental hospital and defence training base, the Robben Island World Heritage Site is more famed as the prison to which anti-apartheid activists, among them former president Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, were banished. A ‘university of the struggle’, its graduates went on to lead South Africa into democracy. more

Komatiland Forestry Museum, Sabie

The forestry museum in Sabie, in Mpumalanga province, records the history of South Africa’s timber industry in many interesting ways. It also maps the relationship between people and trees, the ecological value of forests and sustainable methods of running a timber industry. Above all, it’s a fun way to learn about wood. more

CP Nel Museum, Oudtshoorn

Oudtshoorn was once the world centre of the ostrich-feather trade, which made some people millionaires. The CP Nel Museum, housed in the former Oudtshoorn Boys’ High School building, recreates the boom days that swept this Little Karoo town – and its totemic flightless bird – to world prominence. more