Talana Museum

Talana Museum, Battlefield and Heritage Park:

Talana” meaning “the shelf where precious items are stored” is a  fitting name for this  multi-faceted museum.  Here we remember and respect our past, and the men and women who made it.

Lonely monuments, a quiet cemetery and a magnificent museum in  parklike grounds display our history for your education and enjoyment.

Nestled at the base of Talana Hill, the museum is set in a heritage park. The museum exhibits are  dedicated to subjects as diverse as war and agriculture, mining, industry and domestic life.

Started in 1979 to commemorate the Anglo Zulu war, the small collection moved to the present site in 1983.  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 farmstead 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 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.

The exhibits on coal mining preserve this proud and unique heritage. The magnificent collection of glass from around the world and South Africa and the superb collection of beadwork represents the cultures of our country.

The Smith cottage provides an evocative picture of the lives of the hardy pioneer farmers.  A founder of Dundee, Peter Smith, farmed and mined coal on this site.  His restored home and farm building house cultural, agricultural and transport displays.

The superb bronze statue of Mahatma  offers a place of quiet contemplation and reflection of his contribution to humanity.

They offer research archives, conference venues, registered guides for tours of the museum and battlefields, quality locally produced items in the museum shop and delicious meals in the Miners’ Rest restaurant.

Spread over 180 acres and with numerous buildings, Zulu village and craft centres, you are welcome to sit quietly on one of the many benches placed around the museum, absorb the serenity of the beautiful and historic surroundings or just admire the prolific birdlife and indigenous trees.

Annual events include “Creations” Arts and Crafts show in October; the Ghost walk on the anniversary of the battle 20 October; the Ghandi walk on the first Saturday of August and the Christmas in Africa programme of lights in the museum buildings and grounds for the month of December.

  • Talana Museum:  +27 34 212 2654
  • Miners Rest Restaurant:  +27 34 212 1704
  • Fax: +27 34 212 2376
  • E-mail:  info@talana.co.za
  • Website:  www. talana.co.za

Visiting hours:

  • Monday – Friday:  08:30–16:30;
  • Saturdays, Sundays and Public holidays:  9:00 – 16:30; and
  • Closed on 25 & 26 December.

Facilities and activities:

Restaurant and catering:  The Miner’s Rest Restaurant on the museum premises provides delicious meals and teas in a pre-1914 corrugated iron, miners’ home that was relocated from Ballengeich mine in the district.  Catering for tour groups, functions both on and off museum premises can be arranged. The Sunday carvery is very popular. It is advisable to book a table.


  • The museum shop also has a wide variety of interesting and unusual souvenirs and gifts;
  • Information pamphlets and CD’s about the history of the area;
  • Many of the items are locally produced, thus providing a unique variety of items on offer;
  • Superb range of African beadwork;
  • Wide range of books on military history of this area. The shop stocks many books that are out of print or not generally available;
  • Day of the Dead Moon” CD and tapes by the world renowned David Rattray; and
  • Anglo Boer and Anglo Zulu war military prints.

Guided educational tours:  The museum tourist guide is available to conduct tours of the museum and surrounding battlefields for school groups. Please contact them to discuss requirements, prices and please remember to book in advance.

Guided Battlefield Guides:  The museum has a number of specialist guides available to conduct tours to the battlefields and places of cultural interest in the area. Tours are organised to suit individual requirements, contact the museum – info@talana.co.za                                                      

We will not forget – the brave fighting men of the British and Colonial forces and the fallen, in a soldiers’ grave.  “Let battle pride and warrior lust henceforth lie silent in the dust”.

ANGLO BOER WAR 1899–1902

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