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AA walk up the beautiful Company’s Garden, at the top of Cape Town, takes you to the  South African Museum. Here you can view San rock art and displays of African maths and science. Afterwards, go next door to the Iziko Planetarium - one of the most advanced digital planetarium on the African continent - where art, science and entertainment meet.

These form part of the natural history, human and maritime sciences collections housed in the South African Museum, the oldest museum in the country.  Founded in 1825, these collections were obtained in the 19th and 20th centuries.

They include pre-colonial and colonial artefacts, traditional arts and crafts from several cultures and San rock art, including those removed from caves when it was still considered acceptable to do so.

Did You Know?
TThe name Iziko, an isiXhosa word, means “hearth” and embodies the spirit of a transformed institution and the museum’s vision for African museums of excellence.

OOf particular interest are the Lydenburg Heads, which represent early African art from around 500 AD. Alongside these are ethnographic displays of traditional medicines and pre-colonial African mathematics and science.

Cape Town Museum and Planetarium

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TThe next section is built around a massive four-storey wall hung with the complete skeletons of four whales, you will find collections of marine and terrestrial vertebrates and invertebrates and skeletons of ocean mammals.

Most compelling are fossils dating back 700 million years. Among these are Miocene whale remains and fossil samples from the middle Devonian to the late Jurassic periods. The museum has rock and stony meteorite fragments, and this leads you to the adjoining multi-functional, world-class Iziko Planetarium and Digital Dome.

Immerse yourself in multi-sensory edutainment in the digital full dome theatre through animation and 360-degree cinema, which makes a virtual exploration of the universe, the inner workings of the human body, or the intricacies of an atomic structure possible.

Together with the Iziko Planetarium, the South African Museum is the nucleus of the collection of museums around Cape Town, which make up the Iziko Museums of Cape Town. The other museums from the Slave Lodge, Koopmans-De Wet House, Bertram House, Groot Constantia, the Bo-Kaap Museum, Rust en Vreugd and the William Fehr Collection in the Castle of Good Hope are all worth a visit.

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