East London Museum

The East London Museum in the Eastern Cape of South Africa is situated in the city of  East London.

The Museum's exhibitions are divided into two sections with the Natural History section on the ground floor and the Human History section on the first floor.

It is most famous for its discovery of the coelacanth, a fish believed to have become extinct some 80 million years ago, in 1938 and which resulted in national acclaim for the Museum. Other collection highlights are the informative display of the maritime history of the area and the work on human and animal trace fossil footprints found in the coastal rockface, dated at 124 000 years old.

The East London Museum was established in 1921 and is today considered one of the most interesting natural and history museums in the country. There is also a Museum Library open to the public during the week. 

Things to do and see

  • Information Desk & Library
  • Coelacanth Gallery
  • Fish Gallery
  • Bird Gallery
  • Mammal Gallery
  • Mineral & Fossil Gallery
  • Snake Gallery
  • Live Beehive
  • Harbour & Shipping Gallery
  • Xhosa & Bead Gallery
  • German Settler Gallery


Ample Parking on Dawson Road


Monday to Thursday, 09h30 – 16h30

Friday, 09h30 – 16h00

Saturday, Sunday and Public Holidays, Closed

There is a small fee ranging from R5 to R15 per person, please contact the Museum directly to confirm prices.


Tuesday Mornings

Monday, Wednesday and Friday Afternoons

Thursday 09h30 – 16h30


East London has rainfall in the summer months.

Summer months, November to March will have average temperatures of between 15˚C and 27˚C.

Winter months, May to August will have average temperatures of between 9˚C and 22˚C.


There are Domestic flights into  East London Airport on a daily basis. Hotel transfers, taxis and car rental companies are available for easy access around the area.

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