The South African Naval Museum occupies two of the oldest buildings in Simon's Town, Cape Town. It contains collections and artefacts related to the maritime history of South Africa and the South African Navy. Exhibits include a life-size submarine control room, naval guns and torpedoes.
The museum displays the history of the South African Navy from its early origins in 1922 when the South African Naval Service was established, and show its involvement and expansion during and after the Second World War (1939-1945) with the establishment of the Seaward Defence Force and South African Naval Forces.
Exhibits illustrate the historical ties with the British Royal Navy; the age of sail; and South African involvement during the First World War (1914-1918). A Transformation Display details important political events of the 1990s which culminated in the establishment of the new South African National Defence Force in 1994 and the transformation of the South African Navy through the years.
The SA Navy Museum collection, established in 1965, was originally displayed in the Castle of Good Hope and later in Fort Wynyard above the present Victoria and Alfred Waterfront in Cape Town. Although some exhibits were placed in the historic Martello Tower in Simon's Town, it was only on 1 April 1993 that the Navy Museum was formally opened to the public.