We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
New! Find and book your ideal hotel on TripAdvisor — and get the lowest prices
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Get directions
Address: Corner Yale and Enoch Sontonga Roads | University of the Witwatersrand, Braamfontein, Johannesburg 2050, South Africa
Phone Number: +27 11 717 4700
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours

Africa is where our ancestors evolved into human beings; it’s only fitting...

Africa is where our ancestors evolved into human beings; it’s only fitting then that the bustling metropolis of Johannesburg, South Africa, is where the Origins Centre Museum has been established.

Conceptualised by a team of academics and designers from Wits University, the museum aims to provide visitors with a unique experience of Africa’s rich, complex heritage.

The Museum boasts an extensive collection of rock art from the Wits Rock Art Research Institute (RARI), affording visitors the opportunity to view the earliest images made by humans, found in South Africa.

Combining cutting-edge technology with the creative vision of some of South Africa’s foremost artists, the museum’s exhibits take visitors on an extraordinary voyage of discovery, which begins with the origins of humankind in Africa, and then moves through the development of art, symbolism, and technology on the continent.

The Origins Centre Museum restores the African continent to its rightful place in history – at the very beginning of mankind’s journey to humanity.

We are also home to a vast array of palaeoanthropological, archaeological and genetic materials charting the origins of humankind. These include ancient tools, artefacts of spiritual significance to early humans and examples of the region’s striking rock art.

Visitors to our museum can expect to take follow an 80 000-year path in search of the art and culture that has inspired human innovation, as well as delve into the fascinating beliefs of the ancient San, experiencing ritual such as hunting and the trance dance.

Audio guides come with the price of admission and are available in six languages – Zulu, Sotho, English, Afrikaans, French and German.

read more
Book In Advance
More Info
and up
Johannesburg Combo: City Sightseeing Hop-On Hop-Off and Soweto Tours
More Info
and up
City Sightseeing Johannesburg Hop-On Hop-Off Tour

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 178 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 84
  • 47
    Very good
  • 16
  • 2
  • 0
Really Cool

It is a really educational and entertaining visit. The museum is beautifully designed and one can spend hours there.

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed yesterday
Johannesburg, South Africa
Add Photo Write a Review

178 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
  • More
Showing 149: English reviews
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
61 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed yesterday NEW

It is a really educational and entertaining visit. The museum is beautifully designed and one can spend hours there.

Thank 408renatac
Level Contributor
362 reviews
305 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 264 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Purchased a entry ticket costing R 40 and made my way towards the main exhibition building a few meters away from the handicraft shop situated inside"Witswatersrand(Wits) University" campus .The "Origin Centre" museum is dedicated to the exploration and celebration of human life and modern humankind with a emphasis on origin of humans in Southern Africa.It is the only museum in... More 

1 Thank MumbaiRiders
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 October 2016

An excellent Museum. They provide an audio of the exhibits and we and the children were fascinated. Would recommend it.

Thank margieusa2016
Level Contributor
209 reviews
130 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 October 2016

Located in one of the Wits campuses in Braamfontein, the Origins Center is one museum that explores the origins of Earth and Humankind with well kept and curated artifacts, and professionally produced academic videos that show how much man has evolved over time. Mainly featuring archeological and paleontological dig sites in South Africa, the Origins Museum has an excellent reputation... More 

Thank Luc V
Waterloo, Canada
Level Contributor
51 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 October 2016 via mobile

You need at least 2 hours to wander through. Go early, a couple hours before closing. It is one of the stops in the Hop On Hop Off city tour.

Thank Dananthi
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 September 2016

I was excited about the information in this museum, but found it to be presented in a fairly flat and not very engaging way.

Thank Catherine S
Hobart, Australia
Level Contributor
14 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 September 2016

I did find this musuem interesting but I enjoyed the caves more. The combined ticket was good value though and I would recommend visiting both as a day trip out of the city

Thank heathernd
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 August 2016

I really enjoy this museum - the audio guides are detailed and informative, the exhibitions are well laid out and the current Walter Batiss show is just fascinating.

Thank Melanie v
Level Contributor
41 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 August 2016

This is an exposition of early modern man, focusing on African artifacts and rock art of the last 175,000 years or so. Considerable attention is also given to the San people (also known as bushmen), effects of African migration and colonial occupation, etc. I found it very interesting, and worth the several hours we spent there.

Level Contributor
15 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 August 2016

The main area of the museum is dedicated to early African history and includes information about other hominid species as well. The fossil gallery seemed to be partially under construction, but (as a paleontologist myself) the displays available were very good and informative and didn't "dumb things down" for younger visitors. Definitely something adults can enjoy.

Thank Kelsey J

Travellers who viewed Origins Centre Museum also viewed

Johannesburg, Greater Johannesburg
Johannesburg, Greater Johannesburg
Johannesburg, Greater Johannesburg
Johannesburg, Greater Johannesburg

Been to Origins Centre Museum? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing

Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Origins Centre Museum and other visitors
2 questions
Ask a question
over a year ago
over a year ago

See all questions (2)

Questions? Get answers from Origins Centre Museum staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?