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Posted on: Friday, 14 September 2012

Durban Museums

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KwaZulu Cultural Museum

Cultural Museum

Durban, in the South African province of KwaZulu Natal, is known for its humid conditions, tropical fruits, hot curries and stunning beaches. However, this area of the country is also rich in cultural history, and visitors are urged to explore some of this between surfing and swimming in the warm Indian Ocean waters.

Here are some of most interesting museums in Durban:

  • The KwaZulu Cultural Museum

    Having been opened in 1984, this museum is focused on the Nguni people of the country. It showcases collections of their beadwork as well as fascinating insights into their culture, history and everyday lives.

  • ‘Battle’ Of Blood / Ncome

    ‘Battle’ Of Blood / Ncome

    Ncome Museum

    This is built on the site of the Battle of Blood River, which saw the deaths of many Zulu and Voortrekker fighters in 1838. This museum focuses on cultural activities, such as traditional dancing, complete with traditional clothing and food. Ncome Museum is also respected for their many educational initiatives that aim to raise awareness about the history of South Africa and how it has affected its present and future. By sponsoring certain events, Ncome Museum ensures that the community benefits from it in a holistic, practical way. Facilities include a curio shop.

  • The Voortrekker/ Msunduzi Museum

    Traditional Beadwork

    Traditional Beadwork

    Our past may, sometimes, be a troubled and painful one. However, there are plenty of positive aspects to it and, in combination, these elements of our history have created a wonderful country of diversity and a rich heritage. This is what the Voortrekker Museum celebrates. It was established in 1912 and includes amazing unique displays and items; such as Coenraad Snyman’s very large trousers, Piet Retief’s water bottle, King Dingane’s head rest and an ox wagon dating to 1824 and thought to be the second-oldest in the country.

  • Phansi Museum

    Phansi Museum is home to one of the largest publically accessible collections of artefacts from Southern Africa in the entire world. It is situated within a fully restored Victorian National Monument and effectively combines historical artefacts with a very modern design. Ndebele beadwork, contemporary sculptures and rare clothing worn by Sangomas are all part of the eclectic diversity of this museum.

Fascinating Displays

Fascinating Displays

Other popular museums and monuments in and around Durban include:

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Amelia Meyer


Amelia is a freelance writer and editor with a passion for all things travel-related. She is based in Knysna, but has studied, lived and travelled further afield. She studied Film, Media and Literature at the University of Cape Town. She began her solo career in the form of Voxate Writing & Editing in 2008 and loves every minute of it. Amelia believes in silver linings, lessons learnt and the responsibility to do what’s right. When she is not writing, she can frequently be found at the local animal shelter, on the bicycle trails of the nature reserves or sampling new restaurants with her family.

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