The Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA) is fast becoming one of Cape Town’s top tourist attractions having opened on September 22 last year.

The museum can hold 1 200 people at any given time, according to Mark Coetzee, Executive Director and Chief Curator of Zeitz MOCAA, and often reaches full capacity. “Queues wrap around the building some days.

“There are not just a hundred visitors a day, but thousands.” Coetzee says it's helping combat the Cape’s seasonality issues, attracting tourists outside of traditional times, extending the region’s peak season.

Tour operators have informed Coetzee that they have seen clients extending their stay, just for the museum, mentioning that Cape Town is rapidly becoming an international cultural destination.

For an additional fee, tour operators can pre-purchase tickets and gain direct access to the museum, advises Coetzee. This includes a complimentary tour guide for booked groups.

Pre-booking confirms a slot and also allows their group to skip any queues. However, as Zeitz MOCAA is a non-profit institution, no preferential rates are offered for operators.

All reservations are sent to the museum’s Events Co-ordinator, Tiffany Andrews, and are based on availability. Once availability and pricing are confirmed, Andrews sends the operator a booking form to be completed before an invoice is sent out.

Architectural audio tours are currently available in English, with additional languages, as well as art and children's tours to be introduced later this year.  

Free curator-led tours are predominately conducted in English to cater to the museum's vast clientele, howver, for an additional fee, patrons can receive a private tour in one of the following South African languages: Afrikaans, English, Spedi, Tswana, Xhosa, and Zulu. French is currently also on offer with the Executive Director tour option.

He says the museum has created a continuous pull for tourists, and has received a significant amount of returning visitors. “I have never experienced such return visitorship. Zeitz MOCAA is not just a once-off destination.”

Zeitz MOCAA offers a range of activities, such as lectures, temporary exhibitions, and children’s readings. “It has become a lifestyle experience,” says Coetzee.

Coetzee has noticed an extended amount of time being spent in the museum by visitors, however for those pressed for time, there is a highlights tour that visits certain floors of the museum. These floors are home to Zeitz MOCAA’s permanent collection, and best represent African art and culture, says Coetzee.

Furthermore, there is an architectural tour and an educational tour, averaging around 40 minutes.

The museum has become an international attraction. Coetzee told Tourism Update that people flew in solely to visit the museum and flew out the next day. Some have chartered flights purely to visit Zeitz MOCAA.