KwaZulu Natal DestinationsPietermaritzburg, Natal Midlands
When the first Voortrekkers arrived in 1837, they found a tranquil countryside graced by forests, hills and valleys. They settled on a fertile tract of land beside the Umsindusi River and named it after two of their leaders, Gerrit Maritz and Piet Retief. Six years later, the British upgraded the village to a military garrison town. Today, numerous Victorian and Edwardian buildings, quaint pedestrian lanes and other landmarks reflect the substantial British contribution to the development of the town.
And in shady, tree-lined suburbs, spacious red brick bungalows and upper-crust boarding schools reinforce the colonial ambiance of "The Last Outpost of the British Empire" as Maritzburg is affectionately known. The city has a wide range of shops, hotels and restaurants, providing the ideal gateway to the exceptional country inns, recreational resorts and game reserves of the Midlands and the Drakensberg.