Museum Entrance

The Durban Natural Science Museum has dynamic and innovative research and education programmes with a particular emphasis on Biodiversity Conservation, and Ecology.


The mission of the Durban Natural Science Museum is to acquire and disseminate knowledge about the Earth, its history, and life on Earth, both past and present.

One of South Africa’s smallest but busiest natural science museums, it is renowned for its realistic dioramas (habitat groups), life size T. rex model, near-complete Dodo skeleton and Egyptian mummy, Peten Amen. We are open to the public 363 days a year and admission is free!

Founded on July 23rd 1887, the Museum celebrated its 120th anniversary in 2007/08 and these celebrations culminated in the sealing of two time capsules on the 23 September 2008 in celebration of its contributions to the conservation of natural heritage. The first time capsule will be opened in 2057 (49 years time) and the second will be opened in 2087 on the occasion of the Museums bicentennial celebrations.

Some facts and figures

The Durban Natural Science Museum is one of the smallest of South Africa’s science museums and is the only one of its kind funded by a local authority – the eThekwini Municipality. It opens to the public 363 days a year and admission is free. It is one of the most utelised science museums in Southern Africa, with an average of 295 000 visitors per year (average calculated from 1993 to 2007).


Total number of positions 32

Permanent post filled 16

Seconded staff (Librarian) 2

Volunteers (Honoraria paid by eThekwini Municipality) 20

Volunteers (Honoraria paid by DNSM trust) 4


Total Budget 2007/08 R16 490 560

Salaries & Allowances R 4 092 080

Running Expenses R11 490 560

DNSM Trust Fund Budget as at 30 June 2005 R 785 772

Physical size

DNSM City Hall 2200 m2

DNSM Research Center 1350m2

Visitors 2007

Total 181 137

Learners & Educators 65 543 (numbers low as a result of the strike in 2007)

General Public 115 594