Utrecht, Battlefields

Nestled within the untainted beauty of the Balele Mountain Range, the historical town of Utrecht may be small, but it boasts plenty of character and charm. This part of the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal is known for its vast green landscapes that rise up to meet the high African skies in impressive magnitude and unrivalled serenity.

Utrecht is one of only five of the original Voortrekker settlements that were set up before 1850. Thus, it carries with it a massive cultural and historical heritage that is quite special. It was the British headquarters for prominent lords and colonels during the 1870’s and has hosted some very significant personalities over the centuries. Today, it is a popular tourist spot.

Significantly, Utrecht is also part of the Balele Game Park, which means that wildlife can often be spotted roaming the town’s streets after dark, when they feel less threatened by the human population. This kind of proximity to the fauna and flora of South Africa is a true treasure and has proven to be a favourite amongst those who have included Utrecht in their itinerary.

The town and its surrounds are central hubs for the coal mining and cattle farming industries, both of which contribute to the local economy and produce world-class products to put it on the map. Just 50 kilometres from Utrecht is Newcastle, which is one of the biggest and most significant of cities in the province.

Some historical sites found in the town include the Dutch Reformed sandstone church, military museum, Old Parsonage Museum and a number of other buildings and colonial-style homes. There are also a range of activities in and around Utrecht, particularly since it is part of the game reserve. Those who love the outdoors should indulge in some hiking, cycling, bird watching, game viewing and trout fishing during their time here.

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