Celebrate International Museum Day With Ditsong Museums


Wednesday, 18 May 2022 is International Museum Day. Commemorate the day by visiting one of the many Ditsong Museums situated in and around Gauteng. Entry is free for all ages, so bring the whole family along! 

18 May is International Museum Day. Commemorate the day by visiting one of the many Ditsong Museums situated in and around Gauteng. It’s a fun and educational experience for all ages, so be sure to book your tour ASAP!

What is International Museum Day? 

International Museum Day has celebrated annually since 1977. The objective of the day is to recognize the cultural significance of museums to educate and innovate in our society. This year’s theme is “The Power of Museums”, highlighting these landmarks as bastions of cultural discovery, exploration and change. This International Museum Day will spotlight the potential of museums to bring about positive changes in their communities by promoting sustainability, digital innovation, and community building through education. In previous years, over 37,000 museums from 158 countries have participated in the day. The Ditsong Museums of South Africa are where you can celebrate International Museum Day in and around Gauteng:

Ditsong Museums of South Africa 

The Ditsong Museums of South Africa are an amalgamation of eight museums, seven situated in Pretoria and one in Johannesburg. These museums house diverse collections and artefacts, covering the fields of fauna and flora, paleontology, military history, cultural history, geology, anthropology and archaeology. We highly recommend visiting the Museum of Military History in Parktown to celebrate the day. If you are willing to travel a little further, the Museum of Natural History and the Sammy Marks Museum are must-sees. Read on to find out more about these prestigious museums and what they have to offer this International Museum Day.

Museum of Military History 

The Ditsong National Museum of Military History is the only museum of its kind in South Africa. This military history memorial is one of eight world-class museums situated in Gauteng. Managed by the Ditsong Museums of SA Institution, it stands alone as Joburg’s only Ditsong Museum.

The museum boasts an impressive collection of more than 44 000 items. It is divided into 37 separate categories, including the official South African war art and photograph collections. The aviation collection contains some of the rarest aircrafts in the world. Another special feature is the museum library. Featuring a unique collection of books, journals and archival material, this library is a researcher’s dream. Visit the Museum of Military History this International Museum Day to join the ranks of the 80,000 yearly visitors roll.

Museum of Natural History

The Ditsong Museum of Natural History is the only natural history museum in Gauteng. It is one of the largest of its kind in South Africa. The museum is home to a variety of collections and exhibits. Come and marvel at their displays of hominid fossils from the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site. These displays include fascinating skeletons, skins and mounted specimens of amphibians, fish, invertebrates, reptiles and mammals.

Visitors will be granted free entry into the vault to see the original fossil, carefully preserved for generations to come. We can’t think of  a better way to celebrate the outstanding work that the Museum of Natural History has done to teach us about our past and show us the potential for our future as a species.

Sammy Marks Museum 

Travel back in time by visiting the Sammy Marks Museum. Samuel Marks and his young wife, Bertha, moved to Zwartkoppies Hall in 1885. This is where they built a sprawling 40 room Victorian mansion. The house eventually fell into disrepair but found its new life as a museum in 1986. You may not be able to visit all the rooms during a tour, but be sure to pop into the piano room, the billiards room, the Marks’ bedroom and the library. Here, you will find a treasure trove of Victorian and Edwardian trinkets, furniture and books.

Choose from a range of outdoor activities as well. A game of croquet in the gardens, bird walks, a treasure hunt or a puppet show for the kids. Families are also welcome to book a Victorian style picnic in the rose garden. Sounds like the ideal way to appreciate the beauty and significance of our national museums in our opinion.

The Pioneer Museum in Silverton

The Pioneer Museum is situated in Pretoria East. It is open to the public only through booking, so make sure to call them before visiting! You can arrange a guided tour, as well as interactive activities for you and the kids.

Dating back to the mid 1800s, the land has seen many owners come and go. It has also seen the gold rush in Johannesburg, silver mining and the expanse of a Victorian-style home. 

Have you visited any of these Ditsong Museums of South Africa? Let us know about your experience in the comments below! 

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