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Fascinating history and unexpected good museums
Pervasive litter and a particularly vicious one way system in the CBD
In a nutshell
The ultramarathon capital of South Africa - but fascinating even for the chronically unfit!
CatherineReichardt Says: Unlikely though it might seem, Pietermaritzburg is the place where Mahatma Gandhi first flexed his political muscles and embarked on his lifelong struggle to stand up to social inequality and defend the rights of the oppressed using non violent methods.Gandhi came from India...
CatherineReichardt Says: (work in progress)Fortuitously, the reason for me being in 'Maritzburg was to liaise with one of the Natal Museum staff on a work-related project, which gave me a legitimate excuse to spend a little time exploring the museum.The Natal Museum is a curiously endearing blend of...
CatherineReichardt Says: (work in progress)Despite his diminutive stature, Mahatma Gandhi was a towering figure of 20th century history, and despite the multi Oscar winning biopic of his life, relatively few people realise how much of his adult life he spent in South Africa.Gandhi arrived from India...
CatherineReichardt Says: (work in progress)Maritzburg is a city that has more than its fair share of beautiful buildings ... unfortunately this is not one of them!This hideous confection is hard to miss as it's right on Alan Paton Drive, which links the N3 highway to the Maritzburg CBD. To my mind,...
Hi there. I am a newcomer to VT, but have taken note of he various responses to your e-mail. For simplicity sake I advise that, for now, you ignore the hot-headed males (politics in SA, as in America tends to encrouch on all areas of life - even religion - where it has no place!) and enjoy preparing for your upcoming adventure! The fact that you have posed the question about safety in SA tells me that you ARE aware of the possible risks and that you have read at least some reports on crime in SA. The world it is a changing, and not for the better. So I will address the safety issue merely by agreeing that you should be vigilent and aware. You do not state where in America you stay. This I believe could affect your perceptions. If you are use to city life, then you would know more or less what to expect. As a young student you should take care to socialise in groups and not travel excessively far at night. You should take care to lock your doors and not "be" a victim/soft target. I am a mother of two living in Pretoria and drive around a lot. I do so freely, but vigilently.
Make sure your vehicle is always road worthy and that you have a mobile at hand. It is not advisable to stop alongside the road if you are travelling alone. Also, when driving in SA, it is required by law that you always have your driver's license with you.
As it is winter now in the US, I am sure you are going to thoroughly enjoy the warm, balmy climate in Natal in Jan/Feb/March and April. Pietermaritzburg is reasonably close via the freeway to some beautiful midland sites. Natal is wonderfully green and lush in summer. Enjoy!
Updated Dec 10, 2008
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: You know what a pain in the neck laundry is when you are on holiday - who has time for it??
Well, if you are staying in Pmburg there is a really great place to take your dirty washing... it's called the Orange Ring and you pay by weight - something like R15 per kilo for same day service.
You just drop your smelly stuff off and pay and when it's ready they send you a SMS message and you just drop by and pick it up when you like. If you want to do the washing yourself you can also do that.
And not only do they do service washes, but they also have an internet cafe, coffee shop and they are right next door to a pizza and a burger fast food restaurant! What more could you want or need??
Oh! a trainer/sneaker/takkie cleaning service? Well they do that as well!!
They are open from 7am to 8pm Monday to Saturday, and 8am to 8pm Sundays & Public Holidays.
Written May 23, 2009
Phone: 033 342 9254
If you visit Pietermaritzburg in summer, go to Darvill Nature Reserve in the morning and watch the sun coming up it is WOW!!
There is a lot of birds, particularly water birds. In Summer you can see the Warblers & the Cape Otter. An excellent hide has be been built over the water for viewing. There are marked paths. No accommodation is available.
To go there:
Midlands, Pietermaritzburg. Take New England Road from the city with Scottsville racecourse on the left. Cross the N3, pass the Pietermartizburg Golf Club.
Written Feb 25, 2003
Phone: +27 33 396 1315 City Engineer)
CatherineReichardt Says: Maritzburg (along with Durban) co-hosts the world's largest - and arguably greatest - ultramarathon events - the legendary Comrades marathon.I first witnessed Comrades a couple of days after I arrived in South Africa in 1987, and my considered (armchair) opinion at the time...
CatherineReichardt Says: (work in progress)Unlikely though it might seem, sleepy Pietermaritzburg is the undisputed ultrasports capital of South Africa, hosting three of the country's major ultrasports events: the Comrades marathon, the Midmar Mile and the Dusi canoe marathon.The Dusi is a gruelling...