South African Naval Museum
The South African Naval Museum – another string to Simon’sTown’s bow
One doesn’t need too many excuses to visit the historic village of Simon’s Town. Be it to enjoy the world-class penguin viewing, discover the adventure of shark cage diving, or to purchase that keepsake from one of the wonderful curio or antique shops and fabulous dining as well as with it being en-route to the “must see” Cape Point. Simon’s Town is also home to a South African Naval base, making the harbour and town visit just that much more interesting. Be it the gun batteries on the hills over-looking the village or the warships docked in the harbour, there is evidence of the naval presence all over town and the South African Naval Museum offers a wonderful summary of the story of the South African Naval history.
South African naval history explored
The museum's extensive collection boasts uniforms, medals, weaponry (including mines, torpedoes and naval guns), charts, photographs and naval equipment that span the history of the South African Navy, the Royal Navy and the Natal Volunteer Reserves. The story of arguably South Africa’s most famous conscript into the Royal Navy, “Able Seaman Just Nuisance” can also be explored here.
We all visit in a grey submarine, a grey submarine
The museum also hosts Africa’s first museum exhibit on board a submarine. The SAS Assegaai is a submarine acquired from France in the 1970s and decommissioned as a working submarine in 2003. The entire submarine is now a museum, and a most fascinating one at that. Experienced former submariners, all of whom provide a unique overview of the rather cramped life aboard this vessels, guide no more than 10 visitors at a time through the submarine. These submarine tours run seven days a week and bookings can be made at the HGTS office at Simon’s Town train station or the Stadco office on Simon’s Town’s Jubilee Square.SA Naval Museum
Telephone: +27 (0)21 787 4686
Museum hours: 09h30 to 15h30 daily. (Closed on Christmas Day, New Year's Day and Good Friday.)
- Phone: +27 (0)21 787 4686
- Website: http://www.simonstown.com/navalmuseum/index.htm
- Physical Address: In the original Naval dockyard. Access from St George’s Street, Simon's Town.
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