Tourism in Africa is gradually starting to increase and more people are interested in experiencing different cultures throughout the continent. One of the best ways to experience and understand a culture is by visiting local museums. If you are looking for a way to expand your mind while experiencing the beauty that Africa has to offer, consider The Folklore's list of must see museums in Senegal, South Africa, Kenya, and Nigeria.
Senegal's Museum of Black Civilizations
Museum in Dakar, Senegal
Senegal's Museum of Black civilizations is one of the most significant museums due to the fact that it embodies the vision of their first president Léopold Sédar Senghor. Léopold Sédar Senghor had a vision of a museum that showed the beauty in blackness and portrayed the struggle that Africans faced accurately. Although this is a fairly new museum since it opened in December 2018 it still has gained a wide variety of audiences from all around the world.This is a great museum to view well curated art selections that honors black civilizations.
Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa
Cape Town, South Africa
The Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa is a great museum to visit if you are looking to view a wide array of contemporary art pieces. .This is one of the largest museums of Contemporary African Art in the world. This museum truly gives a feel of how modern African art has been evolving throughout the years with their large collections and exhibits of 21st century art from Africa and its diaspora.
House of Slaves
Museum in Dakar, Senegal
The House of Slaves truly differentiates itself from other museums because it was actually a place in which slaves inhabited. Entering the museum you are able to feel how horrifying it was during those times. This museum is known as a memorial rather than a historical sight. Throughout your stay at the museum you will be able to see the long dark rooms full of iron shackles and dingle cells. This is a must see memorial since it is a physical embodiment of the pain that many Africans have experienced in the past.
Iziko South African Museum
Museum in Cape Town, South Africa
Iziko South African Museum is one of the cultural destinations in Cape Town. This museum takes pride in South Africa's culture and curates events where food is prepared and connections are built. Iziko South African Museum has 11 national museums across Cape Town that showcases a variety of historical pieces and exhibitions. With the rise of digital information this museum prides itself in being able to physically bring people together to share information.
Museum in Johannesburg, South Africa
MuseuMafrica takes a unique approach with the way their pieces are displayed within the museum. The first thing you notice before entering the museum is the beautiful building. Inside of the museum there are a wide variety of pieces that tell a story of the past but what makes it even more interesting is the way each piece is displayed. The museum itself is full of such amazing interior designs that leaves you wanting more. The collections within the museums focuses on retelling Africa's story beyond slavery. The beauty of this museum is that there is a strong focus on showing the "glory days" of all these different African countries.
Benin City National Museum
Museum in Benin City, Nigeria
The Benin City National Museum first opened in 1973 and is known for having a large amount of artifacts relating to the Benin empire. This museum is one of the richest museums in Nigeria. It holds many significant pieces that helps you understand the ancient culture of Nigeria. Each floor has different exhibitions including artifacts like the bronze throne that emperors were given, craft work, and various traditional pieces. This is a great museum if you love having souvenirs. Their gift shops are full of batik fabric, traditional drinking items and jewelry.
Nairobi National Museum
Museum in Nairobi, Kenya
Kenya's rich heritage is showcased through the museum vast variety of artworks that helps visitors to better understand the countries love for nature, culture, and their history. The museum is surrounded by their outdoor sculptures and botanical gardens which leaves the visitor intrigued even before entering the museum. Nairobi National Museum is full of conferences, workshops, and unique venues that has you constantly seeking more knowledge.