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 7874686
Museum hours: 10h00 to 16h00 daily. (Closed on Christmas Day, New Year's Day and Good Friday.)
- Phone: 021 787 4635
- Website: http://www.simonstown.com/navalmuseum/index.htm
- Physical Address: In the original Naval dockyard. Access from St George’s Street, Simon's Town.
PRINS & PRINS DIAMONDS MUSEUM OF GEMS AND JEWELLERY
This unique museum project takes visitors on a journey from when diamonds first began to form three billion years ago and their 150 km journey to the surface, following the unique path of South African diamonds from their origin in extinct volcanoes to the deposits along our coastline. Learn about unique and rare gemstones, and see how jewellery has changed through thousands of years. The story about South Africa’s mineral wealth is told, not only for diamonds, but also for our Platinum and Gold deposits.
This cultural village aims to remind us of our origin and serves as the reservoir for African knowledge pertaining to nature and traditions, giving us an opportunity to celebrate who we are through music (wonderful sounds from live bands) or from its’ distinct fineness of cuisine, topped up with African (local) arts and crafts.
Hot summer sun, extra long days and warm nights, sun-kissed skin and time to spend with loved ones; summer in Cape Town is the ideal time to get outdoors and enjoy getting closer to the spectacular nature that is within minutes from the bustling city.
Diamonds were formed three billion years ago by molecular-changing heat of around 1 300 °C, deep within the Earth’s crust. If you didn’t know that, then you have not been to the Cape Town Diamond Museum.
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