We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Enlightening and Informative and Exciting!”

Origins Centre Museum
Book In Advance
More Info
US$31.79*
and up
Johannesburg Combo: City Sightseeing Hop-On Hop-Off and Soweto Tours
Ranked #23 of 172 things to do in Johannesburg
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Africa is where our ancestors evolved into human beings; it’s only fitting then that the bustling metropolis of Johannesburg, South Africa, is where the Origins Centre Museum has been established. Conceptualised by a team of academics and designers from Wits University, the museum aims to provide visitors with a unique experience of Africa’s rich, complex heritage. The Museum boasts an extensive collection of rock art from the Wits Rock Art Research Institute (RARI), affording visitors the opportunity to view the earliest images made by humans, found in South Africa. Combining cutting-edge technology with the creative vision of some of South Africa’s foremost artists, the museum’s exhibits take visitors on an extraordinary voyage of discovery, which begins with the origins of humankind in Africa, and then moves through the development of art, symbolism, and technology on the continent. The Origins Centre Museum restores the African continent to its rightful place in history – at the very beginning of mankind’s journey to humanity. We are also home to a vast array of palaeoanthropological, archaeological and genetic materials charting the origins of humankind. These include ancient tools, artefacts of spiritual significance to early humans and examples of the region’s striking rock art. Visitors to our museum can expect to take follow an 80 000-year path in search of the art and culture that has inspired human innovation, as well as delve into the fascinating beliefs of the ancient San, experiencing ritual such as hunting and the trance dance. Audio guides come with the price of admission and are available in six languages – Zulu, Sotho, English, Afrikaans, French and German.
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities, Stairs / lift, Wheelchair access, Food available for purchase, Activities for young children
Beaconsfield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
90 reviews
40 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“Enlightening and Informative and Exciting!”
Reviewed 12 May 2014

My kids actually READ the information on every single exhibit. They asked the staff clever thoughtful questions and at least one - 10 years old - reported back - un-provoked or pushed - to his humanities class, about latest DNA studies on our ancestors, and was able to informally discuss differences between African Cradle of Mankind and the Mesopotamian "Cradle" of Civilisation! If that isn't a successful museum, then I don't know what is!!!!! Oh, The adults learned stuff too!

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
Thank Chantal42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

192 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    100
    65
    23
    4
    0
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Liverpool, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
26 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Well presented with lots of information”
Reviewed 23 April 2014

I had some spare time and decided to walk there after visiting Museum Africa. It took about 15 minutes going over the Nelson Mandela bridge. There is a pleasant cafe next to the Centre with outside eating space. The Centre is probably most useful to visitors who have a specific interest in the origins as the displays are quite detailed. I saw three other visitors mid-afternoon.

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank Anthony M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“great small attraction of unique historical interest”
Reviewed 15 April 2014

Wits has the biggest collection of rock art in the world, and the best collection of paleontological fossils. In this unique museum they are brought together, with anthropological items from the San people, to provide a unique insight into early human experience, and hunter gatherer culture. The centre is small enough to maintain interest for small children, and rich enough for the adults too.

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank Louise W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
27 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Excellent museum with great temporary exhibitions”
Reviewed 15 April 2014

This museum is a great introduction before you visit Maropeng and the Sterkfontein Caves. There are audio guides that explain the origins of man and San rock art. There was also a temporary exhibit about dinosaur fossils and a photo exhibit when I was there. The Tapestry Room and the Spirit Dance Room were very interesting.

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
4 Thank Theresa W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
26 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Exellent place , shame not many locals go”
Reviewed 12 March 2014

I was really spurised to see the exhibition, how modern and interesting it was. I learnt so much and I think it is fun to take children there as well

Visited November 2013
Helpful?
Thank VAL002012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed Origins Centre Museum also viewed

Johannesburg, Greater Johannesburg
Johannesburg, Greater Johannesburg
 
Johannesburg, Greater Johannesburg
Johannesburg, Greater Johannesburg
 

Been to Origins Centre Museum? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing