The Mother City is filled with precious gems like the stunning beaches and forests, but it also has a rich history that speaks to the soul of each Capetonian. And after all, it’s our diversity that defines us.
So while you’re enjoying all the beautiful sites that Cape Town has to offer, be sure to take a trip to one (or all) of these historical locations and immerse yourself in the culture of our city.
Iziko South African Museum
This location runs much deeper than the famous whale artefacts that are on display. Situated at the top of the Company’s Garden lies the South African Museum, which was founded in 1825 and showcases fossils, insects, animals and historical tools. A visit to this museum is not only culturally enriching, but the magnificent natural collection will spark the interest of adults and children alike.
Castle of Good Hope
The Castle is a bastion fort built in the 17th century that holds the Dutch name of “Kasteel de Goede Hoop”. It is home to three prestigious Cape Town museums: the Military Museum for military enthusiasts who would love to know more about the history, the William Fehr Collection that showcases interesting paintings and art concerning the Cape, and the permanent ceramic exhibition. Following restoration work in the 1980s, it is considered the best preserved example of a 17th century architectural structure in the entire world.
A once in a lifetime experience that digs deeper into the roots of Apartheid. Robben Island, whose name is the Dutch word for ‘seals’, served as South Africa’s maximum-security prison from the mid-1960s to 1991. Interactive tour guides offer valuable information while allowing you to see the cell of South Africa’s former president, Nelson Mandela, which he occupied during his years in prison. But the journey you’ll take to get to the location by boat is equally stunning.
The Bo-Kaap Museum
The Bo-Kaap Museum is situated in one of the oldest urban residential areas in Cape Town. The museum is a social history museum that tells the story of the local community within a national socio-political and cultural context. Originally furnished as a house, it depicted the lifestyle of a nineteenth-century Cape Muslim family in a picturesque and stereotypical way.
The Slave Lodge is one of the oldest buildings in Cape Town holding many names in the last three centuries, such as Slave Lodge, Government Offices Building, Old Supreme Court, and SA Cultural History Museum. These names are a reflection of the rich history of the building. The museum offers an audio-guided tour that takes you on a historical journey through the Slave Lodge and provides insight into the living conditions during slavery in South Africa.