The Ditsong National Museum of Natural History, formerly the Transvaal Museum, is South Africa’s leading natural history museum and one of the oldest in the country. The museum is situated in the centre of Pretoria (Tshwane) and was founded as the Staatsmuseum of South Africa on 1 December 1892.
The museum has a vast range of displays and exhibits that are of great educational value, including hundreds of taxidermied birds and animals, amazing collections of insects and butterflies, and a valuable geological collection. The story of life on Earth and of the unique geological foundations of the African continent are outlined, and the theory of evolution is explained in detail, illustrated with fossils of prehistoric creatures that once roamed across South Africa and detailed diagrams.
One of the key features of the museum is the Austin Roberts Bird Hall. Visitors will find an astonishing collection of 875 species of stuffed birds indigenous to South Africa, including eagles, owls and even vultures. Information on the migration, feeding and flight patterns of South Africa’s different bird species can also be studied in the well-arranged hall.
The museum is easily accessed by wheelchair and display texts are also transcribed in Braille for the blind. School and family visits are accommodated and the museum is well used by researchers from across the globe working to understand the diversity of wildlife in Southern Africa.
R35 for adults, R20 for children
The museum is open every day 8am to 4pm (except Christmas Day and Good Friday)