Department of Human Sciences

The Department of Human Sciences has a dynamic team of inter-disciplinary curators who conduct research in archaeology, history, anthropology, rock art, museumology, object biographies and materiality...

Department of Natural Science

The Department of Natural Science is one of two research departments within the museum, housing specimens dating back to 1879...

Exhibition Department

KwaZulu-Natal Museum’s Exhibition Department conceptualises, designs and oversees both the permanent and temporary exhibitions within the Museum...

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Welcome to

KwaZulu-Natal Museum

KwaZulu-Natal Museum is a popular tourist and educational amenity and acclaimed centre of scholarly research, offers thousands of visitors a feast of attractive, modern and user friendly displays. The KZN Museum is dedicated to increasing understanding of the history of mankind in south-eastern Africa and of the natural world, through the collection, study and display of real objects. The Museum opened its doors on 30 November 1904 and is now home to several of South Africa's most important heritage collections. The collections are of international renown, and feature regional archaeology, African cultural products, European settler history, seashells, insects and other forms of animal life. The KZN Museum is proud to be the custodian of one of the most important collections of Zulu craft objects. The largest national Museum in KwaZulu-Natal, this Museum is dedicated to the collection, preservation, study and exhibition of objects of cultural and scientific value, concentrating on both the Natural and Human Sciences. The exhibition galleries are continually being upgraded to make the museum even more effective and enjoyable.  

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Our location

237 Jabu Ndlovu Street
Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal 3201
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Opening Times

Monday to Friday - 8:15 to 16:30 
Saturdays - 9:00 to 16:00 
Sundays - 10:00 to 15:00

CALL US

Get in touch

+27 33 345 1404

EMAIL US

Drop us an email

info@nmsa.org.za

Our Departments

Natural Sciences

Human Sciences

Education

Library

Exhibitions

Featured Stories

Entrance Charges

Adults

R15.00

(Over 17 years)

Children

R5.00

(4-17 years)

School Learners

R2.50

(on tour) per child

Pensioners & toddlers

FREE

Internet Cafe

Adults

R15.00

per hour

Learners

R10.00

per hour

Venue Hire

Did you know that the KZN Museum has two venues that can be hired for meetings/workshops/conferences and even birthday parties?

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The KZN Museum recently hosted their Sabalala Programme year end functions. The closing functions are held annually to reward the learners who participated in the Sabalala After School programme for their attendance and participation the 2019 year. On the 8 October learners from Edendale Primary School attended one of the year end function at the Museum and they included learners from the Grange Primary School, Caluza Primary School and Henryville Primary School. Learners were treated to a fun science show hosted by Fun Science Secret Lab. The Sabalala Nolwazi after school programme is an initiative run by the KZN Museum both through both outreach and in-house programmes. The outreach programme is designed to take educational museum resources to communities that are unable to visit the KwaZulu- Natal Museum. The programme focuses on CAPS aligned activities in different subjects. It also strives to educate the learners and communities about best practices to promote sustainable living within communities. Three times a week learners who can visit the Museum attend classes that are held during the week after schoo. 

Heritage Day is one of the most important special days celebrated by the KZN Museum annually. The day is commemorated in various ways; guided by theme issued by the department of Arts and Culture for Heritage Month each year. Commonly the day is celebrated to encourage and demonstrate South Africa’s diversity heritage; promote acceptance and respect among South Africans. 2019 Heritage Day was commemorated on the 20th of September 2019.  The theme for 2019 Heritage Month; September was “Celebrating South Africa’s literary classics in the year of indigenous languages”.  In line with the theme; this year’s commemoration intended to promote local content that serves to tell South African stories, heighten self-understanding, deepen consciousness and assert South Africa’s pride in the world.  Guests from two institutions; Indoni SA and Impunga Yesintu were invited to participate. These organizations promote moral regeneration; social cohesion and skills development; hence their relevance to the programme.  KZN Department of Arts & Culture Language Services was invited to the programme as well.  Senior citizens from Sobantu and Youth from Mkhambathini were invited to participate and be part of the audience for the programme.  Dr. G. Laue also presented on Heritage: people, objects and their stories which preluded opening Heritage Display on the First Floor. Mr. Mlekeleli Mbanjwa from Impunga Yesintu gave a brief but thoroughly insightful speech on Creative Writing in Indigenous Languages and further elaborated on the nature and content of two books that he has published i.e. Amava Ahlabahlosile; launched recently and Sithin’ Isintu. Dr. T. Biyela of Indoni SA deliberated on various aspects of culture; and ways in which culture can be used to strengthen Social Cohesion and forging National Unity among South Africans. Mr. M.M. Nhlapho from KZN DAC focused his speech on the significance of indigenous languages in the quest of Nation-Building and achieving national unity among diverse South African societies. All the talks were relevant to the theme, concise and very informative. During Heritage Day Celebration a new temporary display -  Things and Their Stories: Display of Personal Objects was opened. This temporary display is made up of items of personal significance to the staff members of the KZN Museum. The display will be on for a year at the Museum. 

Revisiting the Goodall archive: rock art as a site of enchantment

Justine Wintjes and Laura de Harde

Elizabeth Goodall née Elisabeth Mannsfeld (1891–1971) worked as a curator of rock art in what was then Southern Rhodesia for more than four decades. Originally from Germany, she was a member of the Frobenius expedition to southern Africa in 1928–1930. She returned to southern Africa after the expedition and went on to work at the Queen Victoria Museum in Salisbury (today the Zimbabwe Museum of Human Sciences, Harare). She produced a vast archive of rock art copies and recordings prior to the interpretative revolution that Patricia Vinnicombe and David Lewis-Williams pioneered in the 1970s and 1980s. Even though the meaning and purpose of the art remained largely enigmatic to her, Goodall was one of many artists trained in a western tradition who were inspired to make copies of rock art, despite having little to no understanding of its symbolic dimensions. Her copying practice illustrates the capacity of rock art to ‘enchant’ the viewer through its formal and material aspects.

Saturday, 19 October at 10h30, at the KZN Museum