Pietermaritzburg, set amidst forested hills and the rolling countryside of the Natal-Midlands, is one of the best-preserved Victorian cities in the world.
The city is the administrative capital of the province and is centrally situated between Durban, the Drakensberg and KwaZulu-Natal's game reserves on the main N3 highway between Johannesburg and Durban; Pietermaritzburg is approximately 80km north of Durban by road.
One thing that has become apparent is the expansion of the Bird Sanctuary area with all the major automotive outlets located in an area of just under one square kilometer. Barons Volkswagen, Volvo, Peugeot, Garden City Motors who are the current agents for Mitsubishi, Land Rover and Mercedes Benz, SNG BMW, Nissan, Toyota, and others who specialize in second hand car deals.
What used to be the horse riding area directly opposite the Royal Show Grounds as developed into a brand new center with many restaurants, shopping outlets and high tech and appliance stores such as Hi Fi Corporation and Hirches.
Complete with a Macdonald's outlet as well as Emiles Hair, its fast becoming a preferred stop for window shoppers.
The Liberty Midlands Mall is always a draw card for visitors and residents alike in Pietermaritzburg, the new play center just outside the main food court is under cover and offers a wide variety of rides for children and adults.
If one was to visit Ededale, the new Greater Edendale Mall would be a worthwhile visit. The new mall offers many ongoing specials as well as a wide choice of clothing, furniture, appliance and grocery stores.
The Golden Horse Casino has just undergone a major revamp, interior design by Samantha Esra of Real Visions. The entrance has been redesigned and is one of two casinos in the World which is situated on a Racecourse.
The Golden Horse boasts state-of-the-art conference facilities, equipped with ultra-modern audio and visual facilities, so you can be sure your conference will run smoothly. When business is over, invite your colleagues to stay in the luxurious Golden Horse Casino Hotel. Or treat them to a delectable meal at the renowned Boston BBQ, the new Diamond Ladies Bar or have a family mean at the Ocean Basket Restuarant, then spend the night playing everything from Blackjack through to Roulette.
Butterflies for Africa
A complex housing a butterfly craft shop, art gallery, coffee bar, African art & craft centre and a garden planted with a large range of butterfly food plants. The prime attraction is an impressive walk through the butterfly house where visitors can come into close contact with butterflies from around the world as they fly freely in a lush environment. An outdoor butterfly garden complements the enclosed house, enabling guests to observe these magnificent jewels of the air in their natural habitat.
A butterfly nursery, where gardeners are able to buy plants specifically suited to butterflies, is soon to open. A butterfly museum houses bright, attractive displays, taking the visitor into the butterfly's world and encouraging them to spend time exploring and learning.
Additionally, a high impact audio-visual presentation enhances the entertainment value of the experience whilst encouraging visitors to take a pro-active stance in butterfly conservation.
Butterflies for Africa aims to be one of the finest facilities of its kind worldwide, spreading its conservation message whilst at the same time providing a world-class attraction in Pietermaritzburg.
Pietermaritzburg Botannical Gardens:
The beautiful and tranquil KwaZulu-Natal National Botanical Garden specialises in the conservation of plants from the eastern region of South Africa and of rare and endangered species from elsewhere.
Established in 1874, the Garden's Victorian past is evident in its magnificent specimens of northern hemisphere plants, such as the swamp cypress, tulip trees, camphor trees, plane trees, giant figs and magnolias. One of the finest features of the Garden is the avenue of London Plane trees, which has been stunning visitors since 1908.
The focus of the Garden is to collect, display and promote the conservation of plants of the eastern grasslands, in particular the genera Clivia, Gerbera, Kniphofia and Watsonia.
A section of the Garden is planted specifically to attract birds which, along with other diverse habitats, makes the Garden rich in bird life, with over 150 species recorded.
A special feature is the fascinating Useful Plants Garden, displaying plants used culturally by the Zulu people for medicine, craft, food and other uses.
Telephone +27(0)33 344 3585
Fax +27(0)27 33 344 1284
1 May-30 Sept: 08h00-17h30
1 Oct -30 Apr: 08h00-18h00
Senior Citizens: R10
Children under 6: Free
BOTSOC members: Free
Restaurant only: R8
Annual dog permit: R60
Wedding Groups taking photographs
Group of 1-5: R200
Group of 6-15: R350
2 Swartkops Rd, Prestbury
P.O Box 21667, Mayor's Walk, 3208
30°20'50.4"E 29°36'24.8" S
Long 30.34734 Lat -29.60690
View Pietermaritzburg Botanic Gardens in a larger map
Comprising 86.5ha, Alexandra Park was established in 1863 and named after Princess Alexandra of Denmark who later became Queen Alexandra of Great Britain. It features the picturesque cricket Pavilion built in 1898 to commemorate 50 years of British history in Pietermaritzburg. Today it houses a restaurant. There is also a charming Chinoiserie-style bandstand, recently renovated to its former glory, which is the venue of regular concerts. Alexandra Park is a centre for international sports fixtures and the venue for monthly craft markets.
Alexander Park Flea Market:
Tel: 033 386 5055.
This is one of the oldest flea markets in KwaZulu-Natal held ever first sundy of the month. One can find everything from second hand books at numerous stores, one of them being Clarendon Books for those who enjoy reading, there is a tool shop which swops and sells second hand tools, various curio and ethnic art stalls, a funfare for the kids and much more.
Victoria Country Club Golf Course:
Less than five minutes from the CBD of Pietermaritzburg, the Victoria Country Club is superbly located in the scenic parklands adjoining the Queen Elizabeth Nature Reserve, and above all, boasts one of South Africa’s most picturesque golfing venues.
The course meanders attractively through rolling terrain combining parkland and grassland habitats saturated with scenic beauty. Spectacular views of the surrounding escarpments and verdant valleys provide for an uplifting and rewarding golfing experience.
The recently upgraded course is a true test of golf, and contains some of the prettiest holes in the Province.
A prolific wildlife community including Crowned Eagles, African Goshawks, Black Sparrow hawks, nesting Thick billed weavers and Duiker and Impala enhance the club’s magnificent views.
Victoria Country Club provides world-class conference, function and dining facilities, up-market accommodation, a champion golf course, squash, tennis and swimming.
Telephone: 033 347 1942
;033 347 1943;
033 347 1996;
033 347 2774
Pro Shop: 033 347 1394
Fax: 033 347 0023
;PRO and Functions Coordinator email@example.com;
Pro Shop firstname.lastname@example.org
Queen Elizabeth Park:
This small nature reserve serves as the headquarters of KZN Wildlife (KwaZulu-Natal Nature Conservation Service). Situated on the northern slopes of Pietermaritzburg, this reserve provides an environmental education and outdoor recreation area for the people of the Natal Midlands. Impala, zebra, blesbok, bushbuck, grey and blue duiker, rock hyrax and crown eagle inhabit the reserve.
Of special interest amongst the large number of indigenous and exotic plants growing throughout the park, are the numerous species of cycads growing around the Douglas Mitchell Centre and the endangered Hilton daisies which grow naturally in the grasslands in the park. A model 'environmentally friendly' bird garden and the iDube trail, a circular self-guided walk are available to visitors.
The park is equipped with a small resource centre and regular environmental education workshops are run throughout the year. There is no accomodation in the reserve. Visitors can make use of three picnic areas with barbecue and ablution facilities. Enquiries and bookings for educational facilities can be made by writing to the Officer-in-Charge, Queen Elizabeth Park, P.O. Box 13053, Cascades 3202 Tel : 033 8451344 or 033 3433184
The KZN Wildlife Design Studio is at 174 Peter Browne Drive, just before the Victoria Country Club.
Wylie Park is located in the Pietermaritzburg suburb of Wembley, and is situated high up overlooking the city. The eight hectare park was entrusted to the city to the city in 1954 by a local citizen on condition that the space remained a place of quiet reflection and contemplation.
The park contains many fine examples of indigenous plants. The magnificently landscaped gardens display an abundance of proteas and azaleas, which are featured on the city of Pietermaritzburg's emblem. In springtime the gardens come to life with a profuse display of vibrant colour, definitely not to be missed.
Over the years Wylie Park has become a favourite destination for family picnics and wedding photographers throughout the year. Visitors to Wylie Park can partake in gentle strolls along the Dorpspruit, or hike along the Linwood Hiking Trail to the top of World's View, taking the route used by the Voortrekkers. In some places wagon wheels have left visible signs of the great trek up this steep climb.