Cape Town audio tour: Norval Foundation’s Sculpture Garden: A Guide to the Artwork

Norval Foundation’s Sculpture Garden: A Guide to the Artwork

Walking Tour

45 mins

About the Tour

Discover the world-class sculptures interspersed within Norval Foundation’s indigenous wetland garden, just behind the museum and restaurant. This walking tour leads you past thirteen powerful artworks by artists from across Africa, including the only large-scale Yinka Shonibare sculpture on the continent.

You’ll meet a man over six metres tall balancing on his head which the artist calls an ‘anti-monument’, and a hollowed-out woman with a cheeky smile. You’ll bump into a radically oversized film camera and a seven-metre tall handkerchief with a vibrant Dutch wax print, frozen in the wind.

Along the way you’ll hear from Keith Kirsten, who created the garden and is responsible for its thoughtful plant selection.

Keep a look out for the endangered western leopard toad! We’ve gone to great lengths to protect this winter resident by constructing concrete culverts for their safe passage from Steenberg Road to the wetland for mating season. Our garden has over 1,000 species of indigenous plants and countless creatures that hide among them, a kids’ play area and ample space to relax or take in the beautiful surroundings.

Whether you’re an art lover or a curious first-time visitor to the museum, this tour of Norval Foundation’s Sculpture Garden will give you fresh appreciation for art and nature. Give yourself at least an hour to enjoy the tour.

Tour Producer


Norval Foundation

Norval Foundation is a centre for art and cultural expression. We are dedicated to the research, education and exhibition of 20th- and 21st-century visual art from South Africa and beyond. Located in the Steenberg area of Cape Town, adjacent to Table Mountain National Park, the Norval Foundation combines the experience of art with an appreciation for nature. It is our mission to make art more accessible to our community.

Major Landmarks

  • Norval Foundation building

Directions to Starting Point

Norval Foundation can be found on Steenberg Road, shortly after the turn off to Ou Kaapse Weg when coming from the M3 highway. It is approximately a 30-minute drive from Cape Town’s city centre and is best reached by car, Uber or taxi. A bicycle stand is provided for cyclists. If you’re unfamiliar with Cape Town, search for ‘Norval Foundation’ in Google Maps, another navigational app or in a GPS unit, to find your way here.

The starting point of the tour begins on Norval Foundation’s exterior deck running along the western side of the building and overlooking the Sculpture Garden. When you arrive at the Foundation and if you haven’t purchased a ticket online or have a valid membership, you’ll need to locate the admissions desk to purchase a ticket or sign up for a membership. If you purchased a ticket online or have a valid membership, go straight to security check point on the ground floor in front of the lift, pass through the security check point where your admissions ticket or membership will be validated, walk to opposite side of the atrium, and exit the double glass doors that lead to the Sculpture Garden. Once outside, turn to your right and begin the tour.

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Places to stop along the way

Make the most of our in-house restaurant, The Skotnes, named after the legendary South African artist, Cecil Skotnes.

Best time of day

The Sculpture Garden can be enjoyed at any time of the day. In late spring, summer and early autumn, when it is sunny, it can be very warm so mid-morning or late afternoon is ideal and remember to bring a hat and sunscreen. Cloudy skies won’t diminish your experience. Norval Foundation’s Sculpture Garden, galleries and shop is open 10am - 6pm every day except Tuesday. The Skotnes Restaurant hours vary, so please check our website or speak to a member of staff.


The M3 at rush hour can be quite busy so please check Google Maps or your preferred navigation app, for details. Rush hour lasts from 6am to 10am in the morning and 3pm to 6:30pm in the evening, though visitors coming from the city centre will usually be against the traffic. You’re invited to make use of our secure parking for a minimal fee, as you may be ticketed if you choose to park outside of the facility.


I have been to Norval many times and this was a great way to learn about the sculpture garden! what an excellent guide

Posted by Anonymous Explorer , 4 months ago
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Norval Foundation’s Sculpture Garden: A Guide to the Artwork