Once you've booked your Estcourt accommodation explore our pages for info on attractions and what to do in Estcourt.
Lower down in the valley from Van Reenen’s Pass, and in the heart of the Anglo-Boer War territory, Estcourt is a fairly large town that serves as the gateway to the central Drakensberg, together with Winterton just 40 kilometres to the north. Initially known as Bushman’s River, due largely to its location near water, Estcourt was renamed in honour of Thomas Estcourt, an English parliamentarian who sponsored the immigration of settlers to the area. Aside from its obvious Anglo-Boer War connections, Estcourt is also popular because it is close to the Weenen Game Reserve, a KwaZulu Natal conservation park, and the Thukela Biosphere – about 100 000 hectares of valley bushveld that supports a range of wildlife elephant, white rhino, wildebeest, leopard, warthog, hyena and some buck.
Estcourt’s turbulent past began with the murder of Piet Retief and his followers at the hands of Dingane, followed by the murder of Boer families near Estcourt, where a memorial now stands. Other sites include the Armoured Train Cemetery, where a young Winston Churchill was captured, and Brynbella Hill, 10 kilometres from Estcourt, which represented high ground for the Boers as they pressed further south. The stone wall used by both the Boer and British forces during the skirmish on 23 Nov 1899 is still visible, and is a national monument.
Hiking and walking trails in and around Estcourt include the New Formosa Nature Reserve, which is great for viewing game, the old Furrow Walking trail and the Moor Park Nature Reserve, which offers interesting trails and excellent bird watching.
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"We found Estcourt to meet our accommodation needs. Some of the scenery was very pretty and it was close to the attractions we really wanted to see. ..." - Dana, Redcliff Vale
Featured Attractions in (or near) Estcourt
The source of the uMngeni River lies in the uMngeni Vlei area, an ancient wetland bounded by hills. From here it meanders eastward through undulating pastoral countryside until just before Midmar Dam, where it is joined by the Lions River. Below Midmar Dam the river plunges some 111 metres down ... more information
The Bloukrans Monument marks the communal grave of those Voortrekkers - men, women and children, along with their servants - killed on the banks of the Bloukrans River in what went down in history as nothing short of a massacre by the Zulus, in the year 1837. The monument today ... more information
The Chelmsford Nature Reserve, situated on the Ngagane River, lies just 70 kilometres from Ladysmith and is the site of the third largest dam in KwaZulu Natal, a wonderful venue for swimming, soaking up the sun and enjoying various water sports. The dam, which takes three hours to circumnavigate ... more information
Fort Durnford was built out of local sandstone in a strong rectangular shape with thick, high walls and a couple of prominant towers. It was built to serve as a stronghold on a rise overlooking the old military post at Bushman's River drift. It is said to rest where the Voortrekker ... more information
Nambiti's chief appeal is its exclusivity as the only reserve in Kwazulu-Natal with big 5 viewing. Lion, elephant, leopard, buffalo and rhino are included in the 30 species of game the malaria-free 22 000 acre reserve offers in Ladysmith close to the southern Drakensberg, just three hours from ... more information
Lying virtually at the foot of the rugged Spioenkop Mountain, the dam was the site of one of the most bloody battles to ensue during the Anglo-Boer War in an attempt to lift the Siege of Ladysmith, Spioenkop Dam Nature Reserve is 4 400 hectares of thorn savannah that contrast magnificently with the ... more information
Situated on the other side of the N3 from Estcourt, Wagendrift Nature Reserve surrounds the dam of the same name. With a resident yacht club, and popular for boating and fishing, the pretty reserve is 980 hectares of beautiful scenery, quiet, time out and a three kilometre self-guided trail along the Bushman's ... more information
Weenen Game Reserve covers an area of typical inland KwaZulu Natal acacia grassland with occasional thickets. There are extensive game viewing facilities, guided walks and environmental education in the Weenen Game Reserve. More than 230 species of birds have been recorded (there are two hides ... more information
Things To Do in Estcourt
Events and/or Festivals in Estcourt
Duration: 1 day