Did you know?
Butterflies for Africa also houses rare cotton-top tamarin monkeys.
The Amble – also known as Route 33 – traverses north-eastern KwaZulu-Natal, leaving behind the rolling green hills of the Midlands to present the traveller with a thorny, bush-bedecked landscape.
Just 20 minutes from Pietermaritzburg you’ll find the hub of this region, the Albert Falls Dam, a favourite summer destination for those who enjoy water sports, fishing and wildlife.
Testament to the historical significance of the Amble is the museums of Pietermaritzburg, Baynesfield, Greytown and Hermannsburg that chronicle the historical conflicts between Anglo, Boer and Zulu.
A number of beautiful churches are worth adding to your historical itinerary. Pay a visit to the imposing Lutheran edifices of Wartburg, Harburg and Hermansburg, or pop into the quaint settler church in York.
If more lively pursuits excite you, try a spot of hiking in the Mpushini valley, zipline sliding on the Karkloof Canopy Tour, mountain biking along the Blinkwater trails, or brave the white-water rafting near Weenen.
You can also take in the beautiful scenery while birding in Cumberland and the Mpushini valley, or relax in comfort while observing the wildlife at Montello Safari Lodge outside Greytown.
The area also offers golf (St Cathryn's Golf Estate or Greytown Golf Course), as well as numerous arts and crafts outlets.
The Amble also has plenty for children. In Pietermaritzburg there’s Claridge's Fun Farm and the Crafty Duck Village complete with farmyard, reptile park and animal sanctuary. For an intoxicating visual treat, visit Butterflies for Africa, a walk-through sanctuary housing thousands of indigenous and exotic butterflies of all shapes and colours.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
How to get here
The Amble begins just outside Pietermaritzburg. The closest airport is King Shaka International, about half-an-hour's drive along the N3 north of Durban.
Best time to visit
All year round, but winter (June to August) often includes snow on the Drakensberg mountains.
Tours to do
White-water rafting, kayaking and safari tours at Zingela Safari & River Company near Weenen.
Hiring your own vehicle would be best so you can explore the area at your own pace.
Where to stay
Pietermaritzburg has a number of hotels and guest houses to choose from. Most of the smaller towns offer a limited choice of B&Bs and guest houses.