Talana Museum

contact Pam
Tel: 034 212 2654
Send us an e-mail
venue Dundee Battlefields
time Weekdays 8am-4pm
Weekends & public holidays 9am-4pm
cost R25 per adult
R2 per child
free entrance for South African residents on Saturdays
age All ages


History museum on war,agriculture, mining, industry and domestic life


Nestled at the base of Talana Hill the museum is set in a 20 acre heritage park.

The museum comprises 17 buildings, dedicated to subjects as diverse as war and agriculture, mining, industry and domestic life.

We are situated just outside the town of Dundee, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa, and are within short driving distances of some of the most famous battlefields in the country: Blood River, Rorkes Drift, Fugitives Drift, Isandlwana, Elandslaagte, Spioenkop, Colenso and the Siege of Ladysmith.

Our museum


Named after the hill at the base of which the museum is situated, "Talana" meaning "the shelf where precious items are stored" is a most appropriate name for this large and varied museum.

A 20 acre section of "Dundee" farm, bought in 1982, for the development of a museum to commemorate the centenary of Dundee, included the home and farmsteading of one of the founders of the town, the site of the first coal mining activity in this area and portion of the Talana battlefield.

The Smith cottage


The Smith cottage provides an evocative picture of the lives of the hardy pioneer farmers. The displays of weapons, uniforms, photographs and artifacts dramatically depict the conflict between the Zulu, Boer and Brit, as well as an insight into the Bushmen, the earliest settlers of the region.

Glass valley


Glass has been manufactured in this valley since the end of the 19th century. Although the factory no longer exists, the museum is home to a magnificent collection of glass from around the world and South Africa.

Collection of beadwork


A superb collection of beadwork depicting the cultures of the many different African groups and the use of beads in all Indian and western cultures in South Africa, may be viewed in the Bead Gallery.

Coal exhibits


Today the museum has four extensive coal exhibits depicting the many aspects of coal mining in this area and preserving the proud and unique heritage of our mining history.

The Shosholoza carriage


A Class 13A locomotive and the Shosholoza carriage. Shosholoza can be hired for small functions.

Archival material


Talana Museum boasts a comprehensive range of archival material relating to the town, region, coal mining and military conflicts in this area over the past two centuries.

The Museum Shop


The Museum Shop offers a variety of quality, locally produced products to suit every requirement.

An extensive selection of books relating to the military history of the region, an exclusive and colourful range of Zulu beadwork, produced by community projects, a unique selection of handblown glassware by a top South African artist, are among many items available.

Statue of Mahatma Gandhi


A superb bronze statue of Mahatma Gandhi, sculpted in India and donated to the museum by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, New Delhi, commemorates his involvement in this area in the early 20th C.

This memorial, adjacent to a pond, in the parklike grounds of the museum, offers a place of quiet contemplation and reflection of a great man and his contribution to humanity.

The Miners' Rest restaurant


The Miners' Rest restaurant serves delicious meals. Although quaint and characterful it has a wide spread reputation for service and quality of meals. Catering for individuals, groups or functions are handled with flair and friendliness.
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