Museums are an essential part of our civilisation as they house materials and artifacts from time past.

Africa is a continent with very rich cultural heritage and history, ranging from the flourish of the various empires across various times to the colonial era.

Echoes from these times lay immortalised in various locations across the continent including the following museums.

Here are 6 important African museums every culture enthusiast should visit in their lifetime.

1. Apartheid Museum: The Apartheid movement stands as one of the darkest periods in South Africa, and indeed, the continent. Located in Johannesburg, the museum is dedicated to illustrating apartheid and the 20th century history of South Africa, one of the most significant times in Africa's long history.

2. Benin City National Museum: The Benin empire in Nigeria was one of the most oldest and most developed civilisations in Nigeria, and West Africa. As such, the museum has a significant number of artifacts related to the Benin Empire such as terracotta, bronze figures and cast iron pieces.

3. Egyptian Museum: Undoubtedly the most advanced civilisation in Africa, ancient Egypt has played a significant role in modern history and culture. The museum is home to no fewer than 120,000 antiquities.

4. Ouidah Museum of History, Benin Republic: This museum was last year nominated for the prestigious Leading Culture Destinations 2015 awards, in the Best Emerging Culture Destination of the Year, Africa category. The museum displays artifacts on the history of Dahomey Kingdom, Voodoo religion and slave trade amongst others.