Step Into The Past This Winter Holiday Where A Treasure Trove of Discovery Awaits

The Old House Museum
The Old House Museum

As the June winter holidays rapidly approach and plans for the winter school break are being finalised, visiting a museum might not be at the top of everyone’s list as part of their holiday activities, especially for those with children. However, International Museum Day, which was celebrated on 18th May, reminds us of museums’ invaluable role in preserving our culture, history and art for future generations. They provide a window into the past, offering a glimpse of bygone eras that have shaped the present.

Shaun Lamont, Managing Director of First Group Hotels and Resorts believes that holidays provide the perfect opportunity to do the things you normally don’t have time for, and Winter is a great time to discover the treasure troves housed within our museums.

He elaborates: “When you’re on holiday, you have the luxury of time. You’re not busy with weekend chores or rushing to a sporting activity or social event. It’s an opportunity to do something different and museums offer a fascinating experience where history, art and learning come alive. And for families, why not introduce your children to the wonders of South Africa’s diverse culture and history? A visit to a museum doesn’t have to be a boring experience with a dry lecture but can be an exciting adventure from which everyone can learn. It also provides a chance to spend quality time together as a family as you make lasting, magical memories.

South Africa boasts a diverse range of museums, each offering unique insights into the country’s heritage. Lamont highlights some of South Africa’s top holiday destinations and provides recommendations on museums to explore in each location. In addition, First Group has numerous hotels, resorts and self-catering accommodations, all conveniently situated within a short distance of these cultural gems.

Cape Town:

  • Robben Island Museum: Visit the historic site where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned.
  • District Six Museum: Learn about the forced removals during apartheid.
  • South African Museum and Planetarium: A natural history museum offering insights into South Africa’s social and natural history with life-size whale casts and dinosaur exhibits for the kids.
  • Zeitz Museum of Modern Art Africa: Visit the biggest exhibition of African art on the continent.
  • The Slave Lodge: Explore the long history of slavery in South Africa with audio-visual displays and kids shows on the weekend.

Durban:

  • KwaMuhle Museum: Learn about the history of Durban and the apartheid era.
  • The Old House Museum: Explore Durban’s colonial history.
  • The Phansi Museum: Houses a spectacular collection of South African arts, crafts and traditions.
  • The Natal Maritime Museum: For lovers of old ships, maritime history and naval artefacts. A firm favourite with kids with various vessels on display for them to explore.
  • Durban Natural Science Museum: This hub for research, education, and conservation efforts helps us understand the Earth’s history and biodiversity. Kids will love the life-size dinosaurs and Dodo skeleton.

Gqeberha:

  • Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum: Admire a collection of South African art.
  • South African Air Force Museum: For aviation enthusiasts and the kids, with various aircraft on display from old Harvard Trainers to a Supersonic Jet.
  • Bayworld: A unique natural and cultural history museum combined with a Snake Park and Oceanarium, and a Victorian house museum.
  • Red Location Museum: A tribute to the struggle against apartheid
  • South End Museum: Discover the history of Port Elizabeth’s South End district.

Drakensberg/Midlands:

  • Nelson Mandela Capture Site: Commemorates the arrest of Nelson Mandela in 1962.
  • Natal Railway Museum: A winner with train enthusiasts and the kids
  • KwaZulu-Natal Museum: Home to several of our most important heritage collections.
  • Voortrekker-Msunduzi Museum: Learn about the history of the Great Trek and our multicultural history
  • Fort Nottingham Museum: Old fort originally built to protect early settlers, also displays San Bushmen artefacts.

“Holidays are about fun and new experiences so this Winter, why not try something different?  From learning about our nation’s struggle against apartheid to marvelling at African art and ancient dinosaur fossils, museums offer an enriching experience that the whole family can enjoy,” Lamont concludes.

For more information on First Group Hotels and Resorts, please visit https://www.firstgroup-sa.co.za/