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Pietermaritzburg in South Africa
Accommodation in Pietermaritzburg
Protea Hotel Imperial
from: ZAR To be confirmed
The name construction of KwaZulu-Natal's capital city tell much about the history of its formation. It is a combination of the names of two of the greatest Voortrekker leaders, Piet Retief and Gerrit Maritz, and was formed in 1838. The British left an indelible mark with their architecture and many cultural landmarks. The city has a strong Islamic and Hindu culture and the city has the dubious place in history of being the train station where Mahatma Gandhi was thrown off the train in line with the apartheid policies of the time.
Albert Falls Nature Reserve - The reserve, established in 1975, includes the picturesque Peatties Lake, a popular recreational spot in the area. The lake was expanded to include the 2274ha Albert Falls Dam, which serves as a catchment area for the Umgeni, Doornfontein and Nculwane Rivers.
Baynesfield Estate - It belonged to farmer Joseph Baynes and was left to the state in the 1920s to foster scientific research, create agricultural schools and colleges and to seve as a public park.
Natal Lion & Game Park - A leisurely hour-long drive through the park in your own vehicle will bring you eye to eye with lions, giraffes, zebras, Impalas, Nyala and elephants.
Alexandra Park - This 65ha flagship of the city's parks, lying in a tranquil bend of the Duzi River, was named after Princess Alexandra of Denmark, who later became Queen Alexandra of England.
Natal National Botanical Garden - Lying on an ancient flood plain and hillside where the Dorpspruit joins the Msunduze River, this 49ha garden, establised in 1874, is a showcase for the indigenous flora of KwaZulu Natal.
Natal Museum - There is such a wide choice of historic themes at the museum that it will take you a full day to view it!
Queen Elizabeth Park - This small nature reserve also serves as the headquarters of KZN wildlife and as an enviromental education centre and outdoor recreational area.
Voortrekker Museum - This museum started out as a tiny church, named the Church of the Vow, which was built by the Voortrekkers in 1841 to commemorate their victory over the Zulus at the epic Battle of Blood River.
Wylie Park - This relatively small charming park was bequeathed to the city in 1954 by a local citizen, on condition that it be used as a place of quietness and peace.
Valley of a Thousand Hills - Where the vistas of mountain and valley seem to go on for ever!
City Hall - Reputedly the largest all-brick building in the southern hemisphere, it was built on the site of the old Voortrekker raadzaal and rebuild in 1901 after an 1898 fire. Its 48m clock tower makes it difficult to miss.
Gandhi Monument - A tribute to Mohandas K Mahatma Handhi, who practised as a lawyer in South Africa as a young man.
Garden of Remembrance - Commemorating South Africans who died in the two World Wars. Its 'weeping cross' reputedly oozes sap every year as though weeping for those who died in Delville Wood, one of WW1's most horrendous battles.
Bisley Nature Reserve - This reserve features archetypal savannah bush and is famous for birdwatching.