Did you know?
The Comrades Marathon, an annual Pietermaritzburg to Durban or Durban to Pietermaritzburg event, is the world's oldest and largest ultra-marathon road race.
Pietermaritzburg is the capital and second-largest city in KwaZulu-Natal. It was founded in 1838 amid the forested hills and rolling countryside of the Natal Midlands. Pietermaritzburg has a strong colonial heritage and is one of the best-preserved Victorian cities in the world, yet today this vibrant city boasts an eclectic mix of Indian, isiZulu and English-speaking residents.
Pietermaritzburg entertainment includes sporting events, annual outdoor festivals and an agricultural show that is unparalleled in South Africa. It is a dynamic commercial, educational and industrial centre.
Timbered hills cradle the city and the Msunduzi River flows through its centre. It's from here that the famous Duzi paddlers depart on an annual three-day race to the coast.
Hike up the old Voortrekker wagon road to World's View plateau overlooking Pietermaritzburg from the northwest. Take in the panorama of the surrounds and the abundant parks and gardens that keep the city permanently green.
Pietermaritzburg attractions are linked to its history and one of the best ways to view the sites is on a self-guided Town Trails tour. These comfortable, easy-to-navigate walks through the city's historical centre take in 50 national monuments.
Look out for the hitching rails outside the Imperial Hotel, where Napoleon is said to have tethered his horse, as well as the handsome style of the Standard Bank building. The city's shopping area is in the CBD and provides a real treat for the avid buyer, albeit reminiscent of Victorian London.
Colourful azaleas contrast with the majestic indigenous trees that fill the National Botanic Gardens which become a riot of colour in summer.
Pietermaritzburg is an enchanting city with strong historical overtones and a great cultural heritage worth exploring. Its close proximity to Durban and the Natal Midlands makes it a pleasant detour from either the coast or the countryside.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Pietermaritzburg Tourism Office
Tel: +27 33 345 1348