Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
Pietermaritzburg is the capital city of KwaZulu Natal in South Africa. The city looks very beautiful in spring, when huge amounts of azaleas bloom. It boasts of a range of hotels, restaurants, shops, recreational resorts and game reserves. Mahatma Gandhi’s unique struggle Satyagraha emerged in this city.
Alexandra Park is one of the beautiful parks in the city, which contributes to the fame of Pietermaritzburg as “the Garden city”. The park is bordered by Msunduzi River and is ideal for enjoying a range of activities, including jogging, cycling and strolling through the magnificent rose and azaleas garden.
Burger Street Jail - Some sections of the Burger Street Jail are open for tourists. The jail structure is unique with its red brick and sandstone construction. The jail once housed more than 1800 prisoners.
Church Street in the city has been transformed into an excellent pedestrian shopping mall. You can visit the African Arts and Craft center here, which displays traditional and contemporary works like sculpture, tapestries, jewelry, batiks, hand woven rugs and much more.
Pietermaritzburg Botanical Gardens in the city are filled with lush vegetation and seasonal flowers. You can see rare and endangered indigenous plants here. Northern hemisphere plants like camphor trees, tulip, swamp cypresses and magnolia can be found here. The Gardens are home to more than 150 bird species.
Natal Zoo is located 25 kms away from Pietermaritzburg. You can find a collection of local and unusual animals, including leopards, fossas and lions here. You can also see bird species like peacock, black swan, lemurs, blue crane, kookaburras and parrots here. The Zoo also houses white tigers, Bengal tigers, tapirs and llama.
Natal Museum is one of the main attractions of the city. It has unique collections. You can see eight natural history and ten cultural history galleries here. A life size T-Rex model can be seen here.
How to get to Pietermaritzburg
The closest airport of course is Pietermaritzburg Airport. Closest international airport is Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg. You can also take a train from Johannesburg to get here. The harbor city Durban is located just 90 kms from the city.