• World - Africa
  • Updated: May 17, 2023

Ten Largest Museums In Africa

The African continent is so blessed with rich culture and great heritage some of which were mixed suffering, persecution, and ill feeling. 

Museums are one of the sites where essential memories of the past and key events in history can be found in their raw form, untouched by the passage of time.

So what better place is there to learn and see firsthand the beautiful history of the African people than the largest museums in Africa?

What are Africa's largest museums? This is one of the questions that this article will address, along with the location, country, size, and number of artefacts and arts that these museums house. 

Furthermore, due to their many cultures, Africans have a plethora of museums dedicated to preserving their heritage. 

The museums mentioned in this article house between 40,000 and 100,000 artefacts and cultural objects of historical and scientific relevance.

1. Nairobi National Museum, Kenya

The Nairobi National Museum was founded in 1911 as a Natural History Museum and library with an honorary curator, and it was officially opened on September 22, 1930, following the completion of the new location in 1929.

The museum, which is located near the Uhuru Highway between the Central Business District and Westlands in Nairobi, Kenya, is the oldest and one of the largest in Kenya and Africa.

Nairobi National Museum has some unique and stunning early human artefacts discovered throughout Kenya, as well as over 350,000 fossils, 700 of which belong to prehistoric people. 

It also contains the skeleton of the Turkana boy, who is thought to have lived around 1.6 million years ago, according to the archaeological discovery.


2. Benin City National Museum, Nigeria

The Benin City National Museum is located in the city centre of King's Square, Nigeria, on the ring road. 

Although numerous African museums are greater in size than this one, the Benin City Museum stands out with a huge quantity of artefacts relating to the Benin Empire, which lasted from 1240 to 1897 and was one of the most powerful and oldest pre-colonial African empires. 

Along with cultural relics relating to the Benin people, it also has antique art from earlier eras.


3. The Museum Of Contemporary African Art Al Maaden, Morocco

Al Maaden Museum is the first Morrocan museum to appear on this list and as well as the largest in the country. 

Although, unlike the other museums on this list this museum serves to disseminate, educate, and popularise art in Morocco and within the continent, namely among younger audiences. 

It features art from across the country and Africa as a whole, with new exhibitions


4. The Egyptian Museum In Cairo, Egypt

Another large museum on the African continent is the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, which has approximately 120,000 items. 

This was Africa's largest museum before the Grand Egyptian Museum took over as the largest. 

The Egyptian Museum in Cairo was built in 1901 and displays some of the most important Egyptian antiquities, as well as the world's greatest collection of ancient artefacts.


5. National Museum Of Ethiopia, Ethiopia

This museum is third on this list as one of the best you'll ever want to visit, with a big collection of artefacts and trends. 

The museum lies in Ethiopia's capital city of Addis Ababa.

The Ethiopian National Museum was founded in 1958 and is one of the most famous museums in addition to being one of the largest museums in Africa due to some of its notable collections of artefacts and materials.

6. Grand Egyptian Museum, Egypt

Egypt has some of the top museums in Africa, and it is home to some of the most fascinating historical artefacts dating back to human civilisation's inception. 

The Grand Egyptian Museum, which is scheduled to open in February 2023, will be Africa's largest.

It has an area of 480,000 square meters and is approximately 1.2 miles from the Giza Pyramid. 

According to sources, the project cost over $550 million and is home to almost 3,000 years of artefacts and objects dating back to the 5th millennium BC.

Furthermore, the Grand Egyptian Museum includes almost 50,000 objects, 30,000 of which have never been seen by the public before. 

Among the artefacts are the treasures of the Golden King Tutankhamun, the statue of Djoser, the Narmer Palette, which includes the 3,200-year-old Statue of Ramesses II, and several other items.


7. Nigerian National Museum, Lagos

The Nigerian National Museum is located in Onikan, Lagos Island, Lagos, and it is the largest in Nigeria in terms of size and collection. 

In addition to its breadth and range of things, the museum is one of the richest on the African continent, with around 47,000 or more items in its collection. Kenneth Murray founded the museum in 1957.

Artefacts in the museum come from all around the country and Africa, with some dating back as far as 200 BC and including elements of the Nok culture.

According to Wikipedia, the museum contains jewellery and crafts, as well as a collection of textiles including Akwete cloth and other textiles from the Okene, Bida, and Western States areas of Nigeria.


8. Musee National Museum, Cameroon

While the origins of this museum can be traced back to the 1930s, just before the outbreak of World War II, it did not become a museum until 2014, thanks to a prime ministerial decision. 

This museum houses artefacts and antiques from ancient civilizations. It is also the largest museum in Cameroon and, by far, the fifth largest in Africa. 

In the meanwhile, unlike some of the other museums on our list, the museum has approximately 850 artefacts on display.

9. Iziko Museums, South Africa

The museum was founded in 1825 and is located in the Company's Garden in the heart of Cape Town. 

The Iziko Museum was founded about 200 years ago by Lord Charles Somerset, who was a governor of the Cape colony under British authority.

Among its holdings are artefacts from the early Iron Age, Karoo fossils thought to have lived around 250 million years ago, and the Lydenburg Heads, as well as a much more intriguing and interesting collection to see.


10. Bardo National Museum, Tunisia

It is located in Le Bardo, Tunis, Tunisia, and is not only one of the best museums in Africa but also one of the best in Africa and Tunisia. 

Aside from being one of the largest museums in Africa, it is also one of the most collection-rich museums in Africa, second only to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. 

The museum displays some of history's most beautiful artefacts and objects.

Furthermore, the museum was founded on May 7, 1888, in the former beylical palace and boasts of antiques dating back to the 4th century, which stretches back to over 40,000 years ago, with thousands of pieces imbibed with Tunisia's rich history spanning millennia.

Related Topics

Join our Telegram platform to get news update Join Now
Rasheed Olajide Awoniyi
Rasheed Olajide Awoniyi

Rasheed is a Prolific Content Writer who also has a niche in all Genres of Literature, Academic Pape...

More From this Author


ronchess global resources plc Construction/Real Estate

arbico plc Construction/Real Estate

Arbico plc is a building and civil engineering contracting company, established ...

smart products nigeria plc Construction/Real Estate


0 Comment(s)


See this post in...