Museums to visit in the Northern Cape
Although well known for its mining, beautiful natural habitats and indigenous rock art paintings, the Northern Cape also has a rich history that is documented in its many museums. When you're next visiting the province, why not pop into one of the many museums? There’s plenty to see and learn about on your trip, so add these museums to your must-visit list.
Sol Plaatje Museum
Sol Plaatje, a founding member of the African National Congress (ANC), and a writer, journalist and politician, was an instrumental figure in South Africa’s history. He resided in the Northern Cape and his Kimberley home has been a Provincial Heritage Site since 1992. A prominent journalist and writer, Plaatje was the first black South African author to publish a novel in English, Mhudi. Enjoy a day learning more about this incredible historical figure who helped shape South African literature through his work.
Kimberley Open Mine Museum
Explore the history of one of South Africa’s earliest mining regions. Kimberley is famous for its diamond mine, along with its extensive mining history. The town is also home to the Big Hole, the largest hand-dug excavation in the world. While you’re visiting this popular tourist attraction, be sure to browse the open-air museum. A treasure trove that details the start of the commercial mining era and features several artefacts from that time period in our history, the museum is perfect for all ages.
Port Nolloth Museum
A gem on the Northern Cape coastline, Port Nolloth is a small fishing town with a rich diving history. Founded around two decades ago by resident Grazia de Beer, the Port Nolloth Museum focuses on a variety of subjects – visitors can view historical artefacts, and learn more about the early inhabitants of the area, as well as the diamond-diving pursuits of the locals.
Located in the heart of Kimberley, the McGregor Museum houses a variety of natural and cultural history exhibits while also operating as a research institute. Founded in 1907, the museum was named after former Kimberley mayor Alexander McGregor and was originally conceptualised by his wife when he died. If you’re looking for a fun activity while visiting Kimberley, then set aside a full day for this outing. Browse the extensive rock art collections, priceless archaeology and more when you visit this incredible museum.
Southern African Astronomical Observatory
A Northern Cape gem, the observatory is home to the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT), the largest single-optical telescope in the southern hemisphere. While the venue doesn’t operate as a museum, there are daily tours around the visitors’ centre and the research telescopes. If you have an avid interest in astronomy or love learning about technology and how it contributes to various areas of research, then add this to your must-visit list.
We hope to see you visiting our wonderful province soon!