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Museums in Durban | Location, Prices, Themes etc -2019 

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Museums in Durban | Location, Prices, Themes etc -2019
Durban is home to some of South Africa's best museums where you can discover a wealth of artefacts and exhibitions. Check out our comprehensive guide!
Title Image

Museums in Durban | Location, Prices, Themes etc -2019

Durban is home to some of South Africa's best museums where you can discover a wealth of artefacts and exhibitions. Check out our comprehensive guide!
Title Image
Museums in Durban | Location, Prices, Themes etc -2019
Durban is home to some of South Africa's best museums where you can discover a wealth of artefacts and exhibitions. Check out our comprehensive guide!

Whether you’re a keen scientist, an avid nature lover or a history and art fan, the museum scene in Durban is nothing short of impressive! From life-size T-rex models and shipwrecks to planetariums and models of whales’ inner ears, a visit to the museums in Durban is a must-do for locals and tourists alike.

Don’t forget to check out what’s happening in Durban today

Durban Natural Science Museum

This museum has innovative research and education programmes with an emphasis on Biodiversity Conservation and Ecology. Their mission is to acquire and disseminate knowledge about the Earth and its history.

Get your dose of art in a Durbans science museum@amandamazzz

With a strong focus on delving into the past and present, a visit to the Durban Natural Science Museum will get you feeling like an anthropologist for the day.

The museum is one of South Africa’s smallest museums but is proud to be one of the most frequented in the country. Perhaps this is because of its realistic displays of a Dodo skeleton, Egyptian mummy and a life size T.rex model.

All we know is that it’s a must-do!

  • Operating Hours:
    • Monday - Sunday: 9am-4pm
  • Entrance Fee: Free
  • Contact Number: (031) 311 2256
  • Address: 234 Anton Lembede St, Durban
  • More Info: Website

The Addington Centenary Museum

This fascinating museum, which was once the popular Addington Hospital, displays the impressive leaps in medical achievements over the past hundred years of health care. Situated close to the ocean, this museum has artefacts that date back to the 19th century.

Take a walk around the old 19th Century

A visit to this museum invites you to learn about early medical history while walking the halls of this famous institution. The intricate displays of early to current medical equipment make for an educational experience.

The museum is also home to the rusted testimony of the shipwreck of Ovington Court in 1940 that can be seen from the old hospital rooms.

  • Operating Hours:
    • Thursdays: 9am-12pm
  • Entrance Fee: Free
  • Contact Number: (021) 327 2702
  • Address: Addington Hospital, Durban

KZN Science Centre

If you’re looking for something a little more interactive, then a visit to the KZN Science Centre will do the trick. Situated on Airport road, this science centre aims to educate the public through curriculum-based activities and interactive exhibitions.

Interactive exhibit at Science CentreThe Magnifying Glass

The tailor-made programs are made to fit any group and the in-house planetarium will whisk you into the galaxies far, far away! It is a non-profit organisation that is fuelled by donations, check out their website if you’re keen to contribute to this innovative cause.

  • Operating Hours:
    • Monday - Friday: 8am-5pm
  • Entrance Fee: R50
  • Contact Number: (031) 408 1012
  • Address: 1 Airport Road, Reunion
  • More Info: Website

Old Court Museum

If you’re one for stories, then you’ve got to visit the Old Court Museum!

the building served as a war recruitment centreThe London Travellers

Having witnessed the Anglo-Zulu Wars and the Bambatha Rebellion, this museum holds unparalleled memories and stories of the history of Durban.

It served as a general canteen and recruitment centre during the Wars. The museum also features several collections, including:

  • A miniature car display
  • A costume room featuring fashions from the early 20s
  • Decor and Art Nouveau pieces

An interactive touch screen display shows visitors Durban’s history through the eyes of the people who lived during this period.

  • Operating Hours:
    • Monday - Saturday: 8:30am-4pm
  • Entrance Fee: Free
  • Contact Number: (031) 311 2229
  • Address: 77 Aliwal Street, Durban
  • More Info: Website

Whaling Museum

After deciding to share the memorabilia he kept from his father's heyday as a whaler, Dave Nielsen opened the Whaling Museum on the shores of the bluff.

Friends enjoying the open blue watersKalanjiam

The museum showcases a vast range of pieces including whale teeth, whale ribs, a harpoon gun casing, old photos, newspaper clippings, a flensing knife and an old compass from a whaling boat.

What many people don’t know is that thousands of migrating whales were caught in the seas nearby the bluff and were towed back here to be processed into a number of products which were highly prized by consumers, both local and overseas. The Whaling Museum now serves as a reminder of that cruel time.

  • Operating Hours:
    • Monday - Fri: 9am - 4:30pm
  • Contact Number: (031) 322 9598
  • Address: Samora Machel St, Durban

The KwaMuhle Museum

Dedicated to sharing the history and fight against apartheid, the KwaMuhle Museum is housed in the once hated Native Affairs Building and is one of four major historical museums in the city.

An historical must-see

The museum is now home to an array of historical records of the cultural groups whose contributions helped shape Durban into the beautifully vibrant city it is today.

When entering the building, visitors are invited to delve into the diverse collection of thought-provoking records of apartheid legislation alongside the images depicting the attempts of groups attempting to oppose its rigid rules!

  • Operating Hours:
    • Monday - Saturday: 8:30am - 4pm
  • Entrance Fee: Free
  • Contact Number: 031 311 2237
  • Address: 130 Bram Fischer Road
  • More Info: Website

Phansi Museum

Situated in the beautiful Victorian Roberts’ House, the Phansi Museum boasts an impressive collection of traditional arts, crafts and artefacts in South Africa.

A beautiful Clay Vessels Exhibition @kznsagallery

From life size dolls to beadwork dating back to the 19th century, a visit to Phansi Museum is sure to be rich in culture and history.

  • Operating Hours:
    • By appointment only: Monday - Saturday: 8am - 4pm
  • Entrance Fee: Varies according to group size
  • Contact Number: 031 206 2889
  • Address: 41 Cedar Road, Glenwood
  • More Info: Website

Bergtheil Museum

Situated in the leafy suburb of Westville, lies the Bergtheil Museum.

Household Items on Display Durban History Museums

With focus on the first German settlers that Jonas Bergtheil brought to Westville, Claremont and New Germany, the Bergtheil Museum is unlike any other museum in South Africa.

Some of the artefacts on display include household items and workshop implements as well as photos, records and a reference library with an impressive collection of South African Military history.

  • Operating Hours:
    • Monday - Friday: 8:30am - 4pm
  • Entrance Fee: Free
  • Contact Number: 031 203 7107
  • Address: 16 Queens Avenue, Westville
  • More Info: Website

Durban is a true treasure trove of history, diversity and culture. Its people and land hold beautiful stories that should not go unheard. So whether you’re a tourist making your way through South Africa or you’re a local living it up on the coast, make your way to the museums, you won’t be disappointed.

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