Cape Town fast-becoming Africa’s cultural capital
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Cape Town fast-becoming Africa’s cultural capital

Cape Town is synonymous for wine, Table Mountain and other iconic historic sites such as Robben Island, however the city is fast becoming the cultural capital of Africa, with existing museums already having gained a significant international pull and with new museums heading in the same direction.

Earlier this year Tourism Update spoke to Mark Coetzee, former Executive Director and Chief Curator of Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA), who said queues often wrapped around the building.

Coetzee said that tour operators had informed him that they had noticed clients extending their stay just for the museum, mentioning that Cape Town was quickly becoming an international cultural destination.

Renier Friis, General Manager: Procurement and Product Development for Thompsons Africa, says he visited Zeitz MOCAA and that it is starting to gain traction as an up-and-coming attraction. “It is now being ranked as one of the top museums/galleries in Cape Town and South Africa,” he says.  It is especially relevant on special interest itineraries and for contemporary art lovers.

Darron Moore, Western Cape Operations Director for aha Hotels & Lodges, says that guests often enquire about Zeitz MOCAA.

Zainab Slemang van Rijmenant, Communications Co-ordinator at Zeitz MOCAA, told Tourism Update that the museum was open Wednesday to Monday from 10h00 to 18h00. There is free entry on specific days, such as International Museum Day and Africa Day.

The Castle of Good Hope, a prominent heritage site and tourist attraction, is the oldest surviving colonial building in South Africa.

It is open 363 days a year (closing for Christmas and New Year) between 09h00 and 17h00. Cannon firing at the museum takes place every day, except Sundays and is weather dependent. There are guided tours at 11h00, 12h00, 14h00, 15h00 and 16h00 seven days a week.

As for new museums opening up in the City, Moore says that The Norval Foundation Art Museum, situated in Tokai next to the Steenberg Estate, opened on April 28.

According to Friis, Norval Foundation houses one of the largest private art collections in South Africa.

It is open throughout the week, except for Tuesdays, between 10h00 to 17h00. During the week Exhibition Highlights, a specialised tour takes place at 14h00. On Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays it is held at 11h00 and at 14h00 guests may view the Sculpture Garden.

The Norval Foundation is wheelchair friendly, as elevators run throughout the building and ramps help patrons make their way through the gently sloping Sculpture Garden.

Pre-bookable tours include: Foundation Highlights (1.5 hrs), Sculpture Garden Tour (1.5 hrs), Full Tour of the Norval Foundation (1.5 hrs), Curatorial Assistant-Led Tour, Chief Curator-Led Tour and Executive Director-Led Tour, which includes a glass of bubbly.

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