Pietermaritzburg


The rich culture of a Victorian city


The wonderfully preserved Victorian architecture of Pietermaritzburg, in the Kwazulu Natal Midlands, sets the tone for a city known for its leafy suburbs awash in the glow of azaleas and its upper-crust boarding schools. However, despite the colonial feel of the city, it also contains a rich cultural diversity: the heritage of the Zulu and Indian communities show through in monuments such as the bronze statue of Mahatma Gandhi standing proudly in the city’s centre. 

Many of the Victorian buildings have been converted into museums including the Natal Museum, home to several of South Africa’s most important collections of heritage. Endangered indigenous plants are speckled all around the KwaZulu-Natal National Botanical Garden and are home to over 180 bird species. The Tatham Art Gallery is one of the country’s top art galleries and is a treat for art lovers who come to marvel at its collections.

Pietermaritzburg is located halfway between Durban and the Drakensburg mountain range making it an ideal base from which to explore the province’s natural riches. The city is also a great location from which to start the Midlands Meander: a collection of arranged routes through the Midlands.

 
Highlights
  • Leafy suburbs packed with azaleas and upper-crust boarding schools are dotted around the town
  • Wonderfully preserved Victorian buildings some of which have been converted into museums
  • Rich cultural diversity with strong Zulu and Indian communities found in the area 
  • The KwaZulu-Natal National Botanical Garden houses rare and endangered indigenous plants
  • The Tatham Art Gallery is one of the country’s top art galleries
  • Ideal location halfway between Durban and the Drakensberg mountain range

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