Africa is not only home to magnificent historic sites, massive landscape and beautiful beaches but arrays of museum that are fascinating. A better way to learn about a country, it’s people, history and culture is paying a visit to a museum. That’s a better way to learn. With eye-catching displays of artifacts, you can delve into the past.
For centuries, Europeans collected some African objects and this led to the removal of many pieces of sub-Saharan which was brought to museums in Europe and United States. According to French art historians, ninety percent of African arts are located in Europe. This is why the museum with the largest collection of African art is not in Africa but in a foreign country.
The National Museum of African Art which remains the museum with the largest African art collections has African art collections which include nine thousand works of Indigenous and contemporary African art. These works come from Sub-Saharan and North Africa. Three hundred thousand photographs and fifty thousand library volumes is in this first institution which dedicates to African art . It is situated in the National mall of the United States capital. A foreign service officer, Warren M. Robbins who bought African artifacts found the museum in 1964. The collection which focused on African arts focused in teaching black heritage to the world. The founder made sure it joined the Smithsonian in 1979 to ensure it longevity. However in 2017, Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA) a non profit museum in South Africa opened as the largest museum of African art in the world. This museum which is located in Cape Town, South Africa receives 24 million visitors yearly. The museum homes permanent collections and features temporary exhibition.
Here are lists of ten museums which are the best to visit in Africa
Museum of Modern Art of Algiers,Algeria
This museum is situated in a building that boasts a neo-Moorish interior. This amazing modern art museum homes some paintings and sculptures by both Algerian and international artists.
Egyptian Antiquities Museum,Egypt
This museum is full of mummies, statues, and artifacts. This Museum which is in Cairo displays an array of amazing Pharaonic antiquities. King Tutankhamun and King Akhenaten are among the most stunning statues in the museum while there are a lot of piece there.
National Museum of Ethiopia, Ethiopia
Ethiopia’s National Museum has offer lots of arts and crafts on display even if it is widely known as a home to ‘Lucy’ which is a 3.2 million-year-old skeleton of a human. This museum has a large ethnographic and paleontological sections. This museum can take you through the history of the continent itself.
Cape Coast Castle Museum, Ghana
Taking look at Ghana’s rich culture before and after the Europeans arrived, the Cape Coast Castle Museum offers a good look at the effect of slave trade on the country. The museum also offer an invaluable look at the castle’s dungeons and the ‘Door of No Return’ which is haunting to visit.
National Museum of Anthropology, Luanda, Angola
The National Museum of Anthropology was opened in 1976 immediately Angola gained its independence from Portugal. Angola’s cultural heritage are cleverly captured in the museum. Different masks, sculptures, arts , traditional accessories, attire and musical instruments are displayed in the museum. The items that dates as far back as early days of the Kingdom of Kongo in 1390-1914. This kingdom what is today known as the northern Angola.
Marrakech Museum l,Morocco
One of the oldest in Marrakech, which was founded by an Dutch anthropologist Bert Flint who collected North African cultural items. The Marrakech Museum l is situated in Dar Menebhi Palace. At first sight, the museum is mesmerizing even before getting around to view the displayed artifacts and items that depicts the Islamic and Jewish’s city influences. The Museum of Marrakech is a gem which has sparkling fountains, tiled walls and amazing mosaics.The exhibition at the museum represent various regions.
Museum of Black Civilizations, Senegal
The museum which is just a ferry ride from Dakar evokes the history of African civilizations long before the arrival of Europeans. This museum is also a part of the Goree Island UNESCO World Heritage Site. The museum educates the visitors on African civilizations and each of the artifacts displayed at the Museum has it story to tell. Not forgetting darker matters during colonialism, It is a museum that displays the dark past of Africans how they departed to American. Those that departed from the House of slaves in the past never saw their homes. The museum and island are haunting memorial to the Atlantic slave trade.
Apartheid Museum, South Africa
This museum documented the atrocities that happened during the apartheid. The racial segregation that occurred from 1948 to the early 1990s in South Africa. Visiting this museum is highly advisable if you want to have an in-depth knowledge of the present day South Africa. Although the museum is filled with horrifying items, photos, and testimonies, but the visit ends on a positive term as the museum states that “looking at its oppressive past, the country can work towards a brighter and better future for everyone”.
Iziko South African Museum, South Africa
Iziko is a home to some fascinating collections which are fossils and meteorites alongside rock art, traditional knowledge, and zoology arrays. The museum, Iziko homes over one and a half million pieces. The museum offers everyone mix of history, culture, science, and nature.
Zanzibar National Museum of History and Culture, Tanzania
It is situated in the magnificent ‘House of Wonders’. The Zanzibar National Museum of History and Culture home fascinating artifacts and pieces that depicts Swahili civilization and culture. It has lovely views over the Indian Ocean.