Pietermaritzburg is the administrative capital of Kwazulu-Natal province set within the rolling countryside and forested of the Natal-Midlands. It is known for its dignity, charm, and historical aspect mainly due to the collection of Edwardian and Victorian buildings.
Pietermaritzburg is located between Durban, the Drakensberg and KwaZulu-Natal’s game reserves on the main highway that runs between Durban and Johannesburg. It is about 80Km north of Durban by road. Here are 7 things to do in Pietermaritzburg without breaking the bank
1. Ride a Steam Train
The Pietermaritzburg Model Engineering Society was established in 1922 and has been resurrected into an amusement train park that has been operational since 1970. This unique activity allows both children and adults to board the 4 locomotive trains powered by either steam or diesel. However, the venue only opens the first Sunday of the month from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
2. Touring the Old Prison
The Old Prison is an official national heritage site, which is also a national monument and museum that documents the history of South Africa. Various rooms in the Old Prison are still intact such as the gallows, cell rooms, torture room, and dark room, where it is impossible to even see your hand in front of you.
3. KwaZulu-Natal National Botanical Gardens
At the KwaZulu-Natal Gardens, you can have a picnic or simply take a stroll. The gardens host rare flora and fauna. There are guided walks, braai facilities, restaurants, night walks, and even a Farmer’s market hosted in the gardens each Saturday from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m.
4. Golden Horse Casino
Located in New England Road, the Golden Horse Casino provides a wide range of entertainment from horse racing to gaming. Fun filled for the whole family, Golden Horse casino is attached to the famous Scottsville Racecourse.
5. Voortrekker Msunduzi Museum
Voortrekker Msunduzi Museum is a tribute to the history of Voortrekkers as well as their struggle for democracy. You will find various items of interest in the museum such as a telescope belonging to Adulphe Delagorugue, a pistol belonging to Paul Maree, and various other temple artifacts.
6. Butterflies for Africa
If you walk through the Butterfly House, you will get up close and personal with butterflies from all over the world wearing different colors as you roam around the greenhouse. Other attractions include the Stick Insect and Green Iguana areas as well as the Monkey House.
7. African Bird of Prey Sanctuary
The sanctuary is committed to researching, conservation, breeding, and rehabilitation of various birds of prey. You can only view birds such as raptors, vultures, and eagles in a micro-environment, which means that you have to book visits in advance.
Pietermaritzburg is truly an amazing place with a lot to offer. It actually has so much to offer that it is impossible to list it all here. However, the 7 attractions listed here should provide a lot of fun and entertainment without having to break the bank.