Origins Centre

Uncover Africa’s rich and complex heritage.


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Origins Centre is a museum that celebrates southern Africa’s rich art origins and heritage. Origins is home to an extensive collection of original rock art (curated by the Rock Art Research Institute at Wits University) and showcases contemporary artworks inspired by Africa’s heritage and history. Take an interactive, multimedia journey and discover the beginning of humanity in Africa, through the history, technology and symbolism associated with a variety of southern African rock art traditions and cultures. The museum offers a memorable and inspiring experience and welcomes all to come and explore.


Opened in 2006, the Origins Centre was conceptualised by a team of academics and designers from Wits University, who sought to provide visitors with a unique experience of Africa’s rich history. With the combination of cutting-edge technology and creativity from South African artists, the centre showcases Africa’s unique heritage and culture through rock art paintings dating back thousands of years. Today the displays include fossils discovered in South Africa, as well as numerous other fascinating paleoanthropological and archaeological materials.

Contact Details

Day Open Close
Monday 10:00 17:00
Tuesday 10:00 17:00
Wednesday 10:00 17:00
Thursday 10:00 17:00
Friday 10:00 17:00
Saturday and Public Holidays 10:00 16:00
Sundays & 21 Dec to 2 Jan Closed Closed
Public Holidays 09:30 17:00

Closed: Sundays, 21 December to 2 January

Phone: +27 (0)11 717 4700

Directions to Wits Origins Centre Museum

Advice for visitors

The Origins Centre is the perfect outing for anyone interested in anthropology, archaeology, stone tools, evolution, and the role of South Africa in the development of early man. The average museum experience takes between 90 minutes and two hours, but a lot more time can be spent here by history enthusiasts! Visitors can book tours in advance, but you can get just as much value out of your visit by strolling around in your own time with the assistance of narrated audio-guides (at no extra cost) available in six languages – isiZulu, SeSotho, English, Afrikaans, French, and German. If you are feeling a little peckish during your visit, pop into Food Art @ Origins for a light meal and drink.

Did you know

Modern Homo Sapiens evolved in Africa between 150,000 and 200,000 years ago before spreading throughout the rest of the world.

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