Welcome to the Waterberg Living Museum

Over the many years of Clive Walker’s career, as a conservationist and wildlife artist, he collected many interesting natural and cultural items. These items led to the creation of the original Waterberg and Rhino Museum in 1997, in the Melkrivier area.

The Waterberg Living Museum began in 1997 as the Waterberg Environmental Centre at Melkrivier, 50km north of Vaalwater, housing the Waterberg & Rhino Museums. The Waterberg Institute for Sociology & Ecology (WISE) came into being in 1998 as the research arm of the Museum. The Museum housed the offices of the Waterberg Biosphere Reserve as well as the Waterberg Nature Conservancy and for many years was the hub of conservation activities in the Waterberg.

In 2002, the Clive Walker Foundation was formed as a registered non-profit organisation (NPO #017-734) with the primary objective of managing the Museum. A living component was introduced in 2005, with the relocation of an orphaned black rhino. The foundation ran the museum until mid-2008 when, as the result of a Land Claim on the museum property, the foundation was forced to close the Museum. From the inception until its closure over 55,000 visitors passed through the museum, many of them children.

The Old Waterberg & Rhino Museum

What is the Waterberg Living Museum?

The Waterberg Living Museum is a living classroom, a natural & cultural history museum, an exhibit of living creatures, and a botanical garden, all in one place!

The Museum is a registered member of the South African Museums Association and aspires to the International Museum Councils definition of a museum: A museum is a non-profit, permanent institution in the service of society and its development, open to the public, which acquires, conserves, researches, communicates and exhibits the tangible and intangible heritage of humanity and its environment for the purposes of education, study and enjoyment.


To positively affect society and the environment by exhibiting treasures of the natural world and of our heritage, by educating and inspiring visitors, by seeking and imparting knowledge of the biosphere and by caring for and rehabilitating animals in need, in a self-sustaining manner.


To provide a unique, enriching educational experience to visitors of all ages, particularly the youth, by bringing together the past and the present through established and conserved living, organic and anthropomorphic collections.

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Contact Details

Opening Hours:  Tuesday to Saturday 10am to 4pm

We are a non-profit, South African Museum Association registered as a Natural and Cultural History Museum
NPO 017/734 / SAMA