Natural History Museum Of Zimbabwe

      12/6/2024       Next-->

Standing in the heart of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe is one of Africa's oldest natural history museums -- The Natural History Museum of Zimbabwe.

It has its roots in the Rhodesia Museum that was established in 1902 and is Africa's largest in terms of size of its collections. Today the Natural History Museum of Zimbabwe has eight active research departments (Arachnology, Entomology, Geology and Palaeontology, Ornithology, Mammalogy, Herpetology, Ichthyology and Archaeology)

The museum's circular building contains nine public galleries and facilities with valuable collections that support education, tourism, conservation and global research.

The museum's scientific and international importance and value is anchored by the fact that its:

- Collection of birds and bird skins from the early 1900s is the largest in Africa, there southern Hemisphere and the fourth largest African collection in the World after The British Museum in Tring, The Museum of Central Africa in Brussels and the American Museum of Natural History.

- Mammal collection dating back to 1907, has more than 100,000 specimens making it the 8th largest in the world and the largest African mammals collection.

- Palaeontological collection with 2500 specimens is of international importance covering dinosaurs, plants, fish, insects and mammals. This collection also includes Mbiresaurus raathi, the oldest dinosaur from Africa and the newly published Musankwa sanyatiensis

- Insect collection of 2 million specimens dating back to 1911 is one of the largest and most important Dragonfly and butterfly collections in Africa.

- 52,000 specimens of amphibians and reptiles is the most comprehensive and significant on the continent.

- Displays have the second largest elephant ever to be mounted in a museum in the world.

- Display of Coelophysis (Syntarsus) rhodesiensis an important early Triassic dinosaur unique to Zimbabwe. The new discovery of Mbiresaurus raathi the oldest Triassic dinosaur in Africa is in the museum type collection.

- Displays include the second coelacanth caught in the world (a 100 million year prehistoric fish)

- The valuable Coddington Collection of African Chieftain artifacts.

This heritage needs to be conserved and safeguarded for future generations and the most pressing need for the museum is to increase the solar power so that during times of load shedding the collections are still protected and our visitors to the galleries can still enjoy our wonderful dioramas and heritage on display.

I am appealing for support to the 'Friends of the Museum 60 years 60 panel' challenge as the iconic circular building celebrates its 60 years since its opening this year. All donations are most welcome no matter how big or small, as we are looking to raise the remaining US$12000 to complete the solarisation of the museum.

This is a 'Friends of the Museum' initiative, and all funds will be channelled through their account details are as follows: Friends of the Museum NedBank Nkomo Street/L.Takawira Branch Code 18305, Acc Number 11992289491.

This is a message from The Honourable Mayor of Bulawayo
David Coltart