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“A modern museum in an old building”

Iziko South African Museum and Planetarium
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Half-Day Cape Town City and Table Mountain Tour
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Owner description: The Iziko South African Museum houses more than one and a half million specimens of scientific importance. The collections now range from fossils almost 700-million years old to insects and fish caught last week. There are also stone tools made by people 120 000 years ago, traditional clothes from the last century, and T-shirts printed yesterday.The Planetarium, which is housed in the South African Museum building, is a celestial theatre in the round, utilising the complex Minolta star machine and multiple projectors to transport the audience through the wonders of the universe. The ultimate in armchair travel.Inside the domed auditorium, we can recreate the night sky, so whatever the weather outside, the Planetarium sky is always clear, an extraordinary audio-visual experience for old and young.
Pietarsaari, Finland
Level Contributor
498 reviews
274 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 123 helpful votes
“A modern museum in an old building”
Reviewed 5 April 2014

The South African Museum is the oldest and largest museum on the sub-continent. The Museum is housed in an elegant late-Victorian building which was opened in the 1880's and has been enlarged with modern extensions. The ambience of the exhibits, which range from fossil footprints to trance-inspired San rock paintings, lends a unique atmosphere to performances and other events held in the Museum. A very impressive museum and the collections are displayed in a modern way.

Visited March 2014
1 Thank leffex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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265 reviews from our community

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Rio de Janeiro, RJ
Level Contributor
24 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Very nice museum”
Reviewed 2 April 2014

Very cool museum with a decent planetarium. A wide collection of african pre-historic animals, and a very cozy garden surrounding it.

Visited June 2013
1 Thank Thiago_Earp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“History Museum”
Reviewed 31 March 2014

Seeing how people use to live and the hand-crafted items they made is beautiful. The sea life section is quite interesting. The stuffed animals are not too exciting, you'd rather want to see them alive than stuffed, they are common animals that are not extinct, it's worth a visit though.

Visited March 2014
1 Thank Cam_Batteson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Midsomer Norton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
652 reviews
306 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 511 helpful votes
“MUCH more than meets the eye”
Reviewed 21 March 2014

This was Human Rights Day and the spring equinox so it was wonderful to have 29 degree heat and lots of families enjoying themselves. We had the added bonus of all exhibitions being free on these holidays.

OK this building houses the Planetarium, café for light meals and a museum. It is not the best designed in the world (me being polite again for some reason) but there is substantial content namely - sharks, dolphins and various other big fish, indigenous animals of the carnivore variety, many species of birds, geological features and enough to keep you entertained for at least a couple of hours. Some visitors tend not to explore the museums and give up too early, Bad idea. Search the nooks and crannies and you will be rewarded.

I found the quality of the taxidermy remarkable especially with the carnivores and the elephants, rhinos etc. Other half and I eventually flagged and we decided to leave and wander around Companies Gardens where there was a pop concert going on.

Great day, wonderful sunshine, and everyone in a good mood.

Visited March 2014
2 Thank Brian-Snellgrove
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bridport, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
394 reviews
67 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 147 helpful votes
“Good for brief visit”
Reviewed 26 February 2014

We spent about two hours in the museum on a very hot day. It is large and air-conditioned in several areas so was a pleasant environment. The first area covered history of Southern Africa and had very interesting and well planned exhibitions though the text in several of these was poorly lit and difficult to read. Nevertheless it made for a valuable experience. Subsequent (and large) areas contained numerous stuffed animals and whales. While these were quite interesting, the exhibitions seemed rather random and it was difficult to see the point of such large areas given over to this. Overall this museum is worth a brief visit if you have a few spare hours but should not be a priority for someone in this wonderful city which has so many other options.

Visited February 2014
2 Thank William S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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