Pietermaritzburg

Description

Pietermaritzburg is the capital and second largest city in KwaZulu-Natal. One of its most attractive features is that it is a city in the country, surrounded by the forested hills and rolling pastures of the Natal Midlands. Centrally situated between Durban and Johannesburg, near the Drakensberg and several game reserves, Pietermaritzburg is a convenient stop over and base to explore KwaZulu-Natal.

Pietermaritzburg is the largest town in the Natal Midlands, a scenic retreat that boasts unmatched natural beauty, charming villages, and a wonderful arts and crafts route to explore. Butterflies for Africa is a top family attraction where visitors walk amongst butterflies from around the world as they fly freely in a lush environment. The complex also houses a craft shop, art gallery, and coffee bar. Pietermaritzburg is fondly known as the “city of flowers”. Come spring, a number of gardens open to the public, including a recreation of a formal Victorian garden, complete with statues and gazebos. The Sunday Tribune Garden and Leisure Show often coincides with the Open Gardens season, usually at the end of September or early October.

Pietermaritzburg boasts its very own rose. A specimen can be seen at Alexandra Park, the venue for international sports fixtures and monthly craft markets. Alexandra Park features a picturesque cricket pavilion, restaurant, and charming Chinoiserie-style bandstand that hosts regular concerts. Other parks and gardens include the Pietermaritzburg Botanical Gardens, Natal Zoological Gardens, Wylie Park, Ferncliffe and Bisley Nature Reserve, and Queen Elizabeth Park.

The city is close to several game parks and nature reserves. The Lion Park gives visitors the chance to see some of Africa’s larger game close up from the comfort of your car. Umgeni Valley Nature Reserve has trails, picnic sites, 260 species of birds, and game such as kudu, wildebeest, and giraffe. Tala Game Reserve is a birder’s paradise and offers unrivalled game viewing, as well as an a la carte restaurant. Albert Falls Nature Reserve has a wide variety of activities from water sports on the dam to game drives and camping.

Pietermaritzburg is one of the best-preserved Victorian cities in the world and one of South Africa's most historical places. Some of the most interesting landmarks include the Old Colonial Building, Basani Art and Craft Centre, Alexandra Park, Pietermaritzburg City Hall, and the Burger Street Jail. The Tatham Art Gallery is one of South Africa’s top 10 art galleries. Tourists with an interest in history can visit the KZN Railway Museum, Natal Museum, Msunduzi Museum Complex, and Macrorie House.

Pietermaritzburg hosts some of the country's top sporting events, including the Comrades Marathon, Dusi Canoe Marathon, Amashovashova Cycle Race, and the Midmar Mile. Comrades Marathon House is the headquarters of the road race and houses the official trophies, photographic and press releases, histories of the Comrades Marathon, as well as a route model and audio visual presentation.

Enjoy the best of city and country life by booking a stay in Pietermaritzburg.

Map

Attractions in Pietermaritzburg

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