The museum will re-open to the members of the general public on 1 October 2020. Opening hours will be between 09:00 to 14:00 on weekdays and will be closed on weekends and public holidays. Our staff members started preparing for visitors on 25 September 2020 after approval for the re-opening was granted by the National Department of Sports, Arts and Culture. The museum will be operated under strict level 2 lockdown rules and regulations. For example, visitors without masks will be denied entry to the premises. Visitors’ temperature will be tested and those who have 38°C or more will not be allowed entry. The caravel will be closed until further notice. The aquarium touch tank at the Shell Museum will operate like other tanks, visitors will not be allowed to touch the animals. Only 50 visitors per building will be allowed at a time.
The first building was built around 1830 by Alexander Munro from Scotland for £25. He operated a canteen on the premises where unruly seamen met. His son got the first permit to catch whales on the beach below. The front house is one of Mossel Bay’s national monuments. However, these buildings are not open to the public.