South African Airforce Museum (SAAF) / Ysterplaat Airbase

Did you know that you can find a working museum in the very heart of Cape Town? We just found out recently and went to visit the South African Air Force (SAAF) Museum, a place where history comes to life! Their main branch is located at Air Force Base Swartkop, where you can explore a fascinating collection of historical artifacts from the SAAF. These artifacts are showcased both in static displays and some even take to the skies in flying condition.

In Cape Town, you and the kids get a chance to visit the Air Force Base Ysterplaat, which becomes a top secret mission. Since it’s a real Airforce Base, security measures are in place and you need to present your ID before entering the gate and you cannot take any pictures of the area. You are only allowed to take out your cameras and cell phones in the holy halls of the museum and the hangar. Between those stations, friendly museum staff will escort you to and from places.

The museum collects, preserves, and exhibits articles and records that tell the incredible story of the South African air force and its contributions to the nation.

One of their most exciting initiatives is the SAAF Museum Airshow, a thrilling event that captures the imagination of aviation enthusiasts of all ages. You can expect a day filled with excitement, aerial displays, and a chance to get up close with some amazing aircraft. They even have a flight simulator on an old operational computer and a joy stick. So you can pick your preferred airplane and steer and take off yourself. It takes a little practice, but it’s a lot of fun for young and old!

So, whether you’re a history buff, an aviation enthusiast, or a family looking for an educational and exciting outing, go visit the SAAF Museum. Entrance is 100% free and they purely rely on donations of the general public.

Our Experience

Our son loves everything to do with airplanes, so he was in heaven when we visited the museum. There are many aircrafts on display and you can even walk and sit inside of them to fully experience them. Most of them are even still operational, so you better make sure to not press any buttons. Aircraft enthusiasts will absolutely enjoy it and there are many many items on display. They also serve snacks and drinks in case you get hungry during the tour. So we had a perfect time and definitely come back for another visit!

Rating: 5 out of 5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


  • Opening Times: Mon – Fri 08:00 – 15:00, Saturday 08:00 – 13:00
  • Age Group: 0 – 99
  • Baby Changing Facilities: No
  • Kids Menu: n/a
  • Fun Factor: 5/5
  • Free WIFI: No

Phone: +27 (0) 08 6561/6576 /

Find us online:

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