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The Garden Province, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa – a Travelogue

Updated on April 29, 2017
Source

En route from Klerksdorp to Durban

This is the second phase of our journey from Klerksdorp to Durban.

The first phase was through the tranquil Northern and Eastern Free State where grazing cattle, bright-yellow sunflowers and crops of all sorts fill the ± 50 km (31 miles) spaces between towns that were established between 1840 and 1910.

Including the hour spent taking pictures of historical buildings and interesting sites, it took us five hours to travel from Klerksdorp to Harrismith - the end of the first phase of our journey.

First Phase: From Klerksdorp to Kroonstad to Bethlehem to Harrismith

A picture tour of our journey through the northern and eastern parts of the Free State
A picture tour of our journey through the northern and eastern parts of the Free State | Source

From Klerksdorp to Harrismith

From Johannesburg to Durban
From Johannesburg to Durban | Source

From Harrismith to Durban (Second Phase)

From Harrismith to Durban
From Harrismith to Durban | Source

Drakensberge

Between the last town in the Free State - Harrismith - and the province of Kwazulu-Natal is the Drakensberge (Dragon Mountains). This mountain range is in fact the entire eastern portion of the Great Escarpment that stretches for over 1,000 kilometres (600 miles) from the south to the north of South Africa - a structure that began to develop about 180 million years ago. The mountains are extensive erosion of the central plateau over a period of 20 million years. The rate of the erosion was an average of about 1.5 m (5 ft) per 1000 years, which amounts to 1.5 millimetres (116 in) per year.

Drakensberge, Kwazulu-Natal

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Drakensberg-routeDrakensbege, Tugela River valley, Tugela Falls vicinity, KZN Drakensberge, KZN, South Africa Me on the Drakensberge at Van Reenen, KZN, South AfricaDrakensbege, South Africa Drakensbege, South Africa Sunrise over the Drakensberge, KZN, South Africa
Drakensberg-route
Drakensberg-route | Source
Source
Drakensbege, Tugela River valley, Tugela Falls vicinity, KZN
Drakensbege, Tugela River valley, Tugela Falls vicinity, KZN | Source
 Drakensberge, KZN, South Africa
Drakensberge, KZN, South Africa | Source
Me on the Drakensberge at Van Reenen, KZN, South Africa
Me on the Drakensberge at Van Reenen, KZN, South Africa | Source
Drakensbege, South Africa
Drakensbege, South Africa | Source
Drakensbege, South Africa
Drakensbege, South Africa | Source
Sunrise over the Drakensberge, KZN, South Africa
Sunrise over the Drakensberge, KZN, South Africa | Source

Crossing the Drakensberge

From Harrismith, two mountain passes provide entrance to Kwazulu-Natal -

Van Reenen Pass

On the N3 national highway that connects Johannesburg with Durban, between Harrismith and Ladysmith, is the Van Reenen Pass with a peak of 1100 meters (3609 ft). This pass could be temporarily closed, as it is prone to heavy mist and fog, and snow during winter. Although the pass doesn't look as dangerous as some other mountain passes in SA, it has the reputation of being the most dangerous due to many car- and truck accidents.

Oliviershoek Pass

On the R74 road, between the Sterkfontein Dam (just before Harrismith) and Bergville, is the Oliviershoek Pass, which is also subjected to road closures due to trucking accidents and snow. This pass provides routes to a significant number of holiday resorts in the mountains.

Views from the Van Reenen Pass, KZN, South Africa

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Van Reenen Pass, Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa Van Reenen Pass, Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa Van Reenen Pass, KZN, South Africa during snow fall, July
Van Reenen Pass, Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa
Van Reenen Pass, Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa | Source
Van Reenen Pass, Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa
Van Reenen Pass, Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa | Source
Van Reenen Pass, KZN, South Africa during snow fall, July
Van Reenen Pass, KZN, South Africa during snow fall, July | Source

Van Reenen Pass - from beginning to end - a virtual experience

Views from the Oliviershoek Pass

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The Boarder Post, Olieviershoek Pass, Kzn, South Africa Olieviershoek Pass, Kzn, South Africa @ blog.sa-venues.com/provinces/kwazulu-natal/things-to-do-in-oliviershoek-pass/Olieviershoek Pass, Kzn, South Africa Olieviershoek Pass, Kzn, South Africa Olieviershoek Pass, Kzn, South Africa Olieviershoek Pass, Kzn, South Africa
The Boarder Post, Olieviershoek Pass, Kzn, South Africa
The Boarder Post, Olieviershoek Pass, Kzn, South Africa | Source
Olieviershoek Pass, Kzn, South Africa @ blog.sa-venues.com/provinces/kwazulu-natal/things-to-do-in-oliviershoek-pass/
Olieviershoek Pass, Kzn, South Africa @ blog.sa-venues.com/provinces/kwazulu-natal/things-to-do-in-oliviershoek-pass/
Olieviershoek Pass, Kzn, South Africa
Olieviershoek Pass, Kzn, South Africa | Source
Olieviershoek Pass, Kzn, South Africa
Olieviershoek Pass, Kzn, South Africa | Source
Olieviershoek Pass, Kzn, South Africa
Olieviershoek Pass, Kzn, South Africa | Source
Olieviershoek Pass, Kzn, South Africa
Olieviershoek Pass, Kzn, South Africa | Source

Gliding above Oliviershoek Pass

Van Reenen

Van Reenen is a small town situated at the top of the Van Reenen Pass. It is named after Frans Van Reenen who used to trek his oxen inland, using the paths worn by migrating animals. Frans played a significant role in the planning of the Van Reenen Pass.

The Van Reenen Hotel, later renamed to “The Green Lantern Hotel”, was built in 1892. During the Second Anglo Boer War (1899-1902) the British commandeered the town as their headquarters. During the Second World War (1939-1945) four hotels in this little town accommodated tourists from all over the world.

The smallest church in the Southern hemisphere - a fully consecrated Catholic Church and the only privately-owned Catholic Church in the World - is situated opposite the Green Lantern Hotel. Known as “The World’s Smallest Church”, it was built by Maynard Mathew in honor of his son, the 28-year-old Llandaff Mathew who was killed in a rock fall at a coal mine near Dundee (KZN), after he had saved eight other trapped miners in 1925. The same number of seats is available in the oratory.

In 1960, Charles West-Thomas bought the church and had it declared a National Monument. In 1974, as a wedding present, he gave it to his wife, Mims West-Thomas.

The World's Smallest Church at Van Reenen

Smallest Church, Van Reenen, KZN
Smallest Church, Van Reenen, KZN | Source
Smallest Church, Van Reenen, KZN
Smallest Church, Van Reenen, KZN | Source

Photos of Van Reenen taken in August (winter)

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Van Reenen Tea Garden next to Smallest Church, KZN, South Africa Gift shop in Tea Garden, Van Reenen, KZN, South AfricaView on Drakensberge, Van Reenen Tea Garden, KZN, South Africa (winter)View on Drakensberge, Van Reenen Tea Garden, KZN, South Africa (winter)View on Drakensberge, Van Reenen Tea Garden, KZN, South Africa (winter)View on Drakensberge, Van Reenen Tea Garden, KZN, South Africa (winter)View on Drakensberge, Van Reenen Tea Garden, KZN, South Africa (winter)Van Reenen Tea Garden next to Smallest Church, KZN, South Africa Green Lantern Hotel, Van Reenen, KZN, South Africa Green Lantern Hotel, Van Reenen, KZN, South Africa Green Lantern Hotel, Van Reenen, KZN, South Africa Our accommodation at Van Reenen, KZN, South AfricaOld railway station, Van Reenen, KZN, South Africa
Van Reenen Tea Garden next to Smallest Church, KZN, South Africa
Van Reenen Tea Garden next to Smallest Church, KZN, South Africa | Source
Gift shop in Tea Garden, Van Reenen, KZN, South Africa
Gift shop in Tea Garden, Van Reenen, KZN, South Africa | Source
View on Drakensberge, Van Reenen Tea Garden, KZN, South Africa (winter)
View on Drakensberge, Van Reenen Tea Garden, KZN, South Africa (winter) | Source
View on Drakensberge, Van Reenen Tea Garden, KZN, South Africa (winter)
View on Drakensberge, Van Reenen Tea Garden, KZN, South Africa (winter) | Source
View on Drakensberge, Van Reenen Tea Garden, KZN, South Africa (winter)
View on Drakensberge, Van Reenen Tea Garden, KZN, South Africa (winter) | Source
View on Drakensberge, Van Reenen Tea Garden, KZN, South Africa (winter)
View on Drakensberge, Van Reenen Tea Garden, KZN, South Africa (winter) | Source
View on Drakensberge, Van Reenen Tea Garden, KZN, South Africa (winter)
View on Drakensberge, Van Reenen Tea Garden, KZN, South Africa (winter) | Source
Van Reenen Tea Garden next to Smallest Church, KZN, South Africa
Van Reenen Tea Garden next to Smallest Church, KZN, South Africa | Source
Green Lantern Hotel, Van Reenen, KZN, South Africa
Green Lantern Hotel, Van Reenen, KZN, South Africa | Source
Green Lantern Hotel, Van Reenen, KZN, South Africa
Green Lantern Hotel, Van Reenen, KZN, South Africa | Source
Green Lantern Hotel, Van Reenen, KZN, South Africa
Green Lantern Hotel, Van Reenen, KZN, South Africa | Source
Our accommodation at Van Reenen, KZN, South Africa
Our accommodation at Van Reenen, KZN, South Africa | Source
Old railway station, Van Reenen, KZN, South Africa
Old railway station, Van Reenen, KZN, South Africa | Source

Hartbees house (±1850)

Painting of old Hartbees house at the foot of the Drakensberge (found inside our accommodation, Van Reenen, KZN, South Africa)
Painting of old Hartbees house at the foot of the Drakensberge (found inside our accommodation, Van Reenen, KZN, South Africa) | Source

Holiday resorts in the Drakensberge

A significant number of holiday resorts offer exquisite holidays in the Drakensberge. Covered with snow during winter, this region is regarded as South Africa's own Switzerland.

Drakensberge during winter

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Drakensberge, South Africa Drakensberge, South Africa Drakensberge, South Africa Drakensberge, South Africa Little Switzerland, Drakensberge, South Africa
Drakensberge, South Africa
Drakensberge, South Africa | Source
Drakensberge, South Africa
Drakensberge, South Africa | Source
Drakensberge, South Africa
Drakensberge, South Africa | Source
Drakensberge, South Africa
Drakensberge, South Africa | Source
Little Switzerland, Drakensberge, South Africa
Little Switzerland, Drakensberge, South Africa | Source

Holiday resorts in the Drakensberge

Click thumbnail to view full-size
The Cavern, KZN, South AfricaMount Champagne, Drakensberge, KZN, South Africa Qunu Lodge, Drakensberge, KZN, South Africa Qunu Lodge, Drakensberge, KZN, South Africa Qunu Lodge, Drakensberge, KZN, South Africa Qunu Falls, Drakensberge, KZN, South Africa King's Grant, Drakensberge, KZN, South Africa Little Switzerland, Drakensberge, KZN, South Africa Little Switzerland, Drakensberge, KZN, South Africa Little Switzerland, Drakensberge, KZN, South Africa Little Switzerland, Drakensberge, KZN, South Africa Little Switzerland, Drakensberge, KZN, South Africa At Witsieshoek, Drakensberge, South Africa
The Cavern, KZN, South Africa
The Cavern, KZN, South Africa | Source
Mount Champagne, Drakensberge, KZN, South Africa
Mount Champagne, Drakensberge, KZN, South Africa | Source
Qunu Lodge, Drakensberge, KZN, South Africa
Qunu Lodge, Drakensberge, KZN, South Africa | Source
Qunu Lodge, Drakensberge, KZN, South Africa
Qunu Lodge, Drakensberge, KZN, South Africa | Source
Qunu Lodge, Drakensberge, KZN, South Africa
Qunu Lodge, Drakensberge, KZN, South Africa | Source
Qunu Falls, Drakensberge, KZN, South Africa
Qunu Falls, Drakensberge, KZN, South Africa | Source
King's Grant, Drakensberge, KZN, South Africa
King's Grant, Drakensberge, KZN, South Africa | Source
Little Switzerland, Drakensberge, KZN, South Africa
Little Switzerland, Drakensberge, KZN, South Africa | Source
Little Switzerland, Drakensberge, KZN, South Africa
Little Switzerland, Drakensberge, KZN, South Africa | Source
Little Switzerland, Drakensberge, KZN, South Africa
Little Switzerland, Drakensberge, KZN, South Africa | Source
Little Switzerland, Drakensberge, KZN, South Africa
Little Switzerland, Drakensberge, KZN, South Africa | Source
Little Switzerland, Drakensberge, KZN, South Africa
Little Switzerland, Drakensberge, KZN, South Africa | Source
At Witsieshoek, Drakensberge, South Africa
At Witsieshoek, Drakensberge, South Africa | Source
Kwazulu-Natal - the red part
Kwazulu-Natal - the red part | Source

Kwazulu-Natal

With the Drakensberge behind us, we entered the Midlands of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) - the homeland of the Zulus.

In 1837, when the first European settlers entered the region known today as KwaZulu-Natal, the northern part was already the homeland of the Zulus. The name Natal, which means ‘Christmas’, was given to the region by the Portuguese explorer, Vasco da Gama, when he sailed parallel with the coastline during Christmas 1495, searching for a sea route from Europe to India.

KZN has three different geographic areas – the lowland along the Indian Ocean, the central Midlands, which is an undulating hilly plateau, and two mountainous areas - the Drakensberg Mountains in the west – with several peaks over 3,000 meters (almost two miles), and the Lebombo Mountains in the north.

Dubbed “The Garden Province” because a subtropical climate and well-watered valleys encourage the growth of a large variety of flower plants throughout the year, KZN is one of the most beautiful provinces of SA.

KZN is also one of SA’s most popular tourist destinations as it borders the warm Indian Ocean. Although Pietermaritzburg is the capital, the largest and most popular city is the port city, Durban.

First languages spoken by the ± eleven-million permanent residents are Zulu (77.8%); English (13.2%); Xhosa (3.4%); Afrikaans (1.6%); and others, such as the languages of Greeks, Portuguese, Indians, Jews and Asians, (4%).

Midlands

The inland area between Pietermaritzburg and the Drakensberge is known as the Midlands. During summer this region's landscapes resemble countries in Northern Europe.

The Midlands Meander comprises five routes to several tourist attractions. When looking at the map, the traveler get the idea that the entire KwaZulu-Natal is composed of tourist attractions including the largest concentration of battles and war related sites in SA.

The Midlands produce among other products wine, milk products, cheese, wood, and sugar. Its fascinating history - about the Zulu Kingdom, the Voortrekkers, the Republic of Natalia, and the Colony of Natal, shed light on South Africa's current existence.

Landscapes in the Midlands and mountain regions of KZN

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En route to Ixopo, KZN, South AfricaMidlands, KZN, South AfricaEn route to Ixopo, KZN, South AfricaEn route to Ixopo, KZN, South AfricaEn route to Ixopo, KZN, South AfricaEn route to Ixopo, KZN, South AfricaEn route to Ixopo, KZN, South AfricaEn route to Ixopo, KZN, South AfricaEn route to Ixopo, KZN, South AfricaEn route to Quno, KZN, South AfricaMidlands, KZN, South AfricaMidlands, KZN, South AfricaMidlands, KZN, South AfricaMidlands Meander, KZN, South AfricaMidlands Meander, KZN, South AfricaMidlands Meander, KZN, South AfricaMidlands Meander, KZN, South AfricaMidlands Meander, KZN, South AfricaMidlands Meander, KZN, South AfricaMidlands Meander, KZN, South AfricaMidlands Meander, KZN, South AfricaMidlands Meander, KZN, South AfricaMidlands Meander, KZN, South AfricaMidlands, KZN, South AfricaMidlands, KZN, South AfricaMidlands, KZN, South Africa
En route to Ixopo, KZN, South Africa
En route to Ixopo, KZN, South Africa | Source
Midlands, KZN, South Africa
Midlands, KZN, South Africa | Source
En route to Ixopo, KZN, South Africa
En route to Ixopo, KZN, South Africa | Source
En route to Ixopo, KZN, South Africa
En route to Ixopo, KZN, South Africa | Source
En route to Ixopo, KZN, South Africa
En route to Ixopo, KZN, South Africa | Source
En route to Ixopo, KZN, South Africa
En route to Ixopo, KZN, South Africa | Source
En route to Ixopo, KZN, South Africa
En route to Ixopo, KZN, South Africa | Source
En route to Ixopo, KZN, South Africa
En route to Ixopo, KZN, South Africa | Source
En route to Ixopo, KZN, South Africa
En route to Ixopo, KZN, South Africa | Source
En route to Quno, KZN, South Africa
En route to Quno, KZN, South Africa | Source
Midlands, KZN, South Africa
Midlands, KZN, South Africa | Source
Midlands, KZN, South Africa
Midlands, KZN, South Africa | Source
Midlands, KZN, South Africa
Midlands, KZN, South Africa | Source
Midlands Meander, KZN, South Africa
Midlands Meander, KZN, South Africa | Source
Midlands Meander, KZN, South Africa
Midlands Meander, KZN, South Africa | Source
Midlands Meander, KZN, South Africa
Midlands Meander, KZN, South Africa | Source
Midlands Meander, KZN, South Africa
Midlands Meander, KZN, South Africa | Source
Midlands Meander, KZN, South Africa
Midlands Meander, KZN, South Africa | Source
Midlands Meander, KZN, South Africa
Midlands Meander, KZN, South Africa | Source
Midlands Meander, KZN, South Africa
Midlands Meander, KZN, South Africa | Source
Midlands Meander, KZN, South Africa
Midlands Meander, KZN, South Africa | Source
Midlands Meander, KZN, South Africa
Midlands Meander, KZN, South Africa | Source
Midlands Meander, KZN, South Africa
Midlands Meander, KZN, South Africa | Source
Midlands, KZN, South Africa
Midlands, KZN, South Africa | Source
Midlands, KZN, South Africa
Midlands, KZN, South Africa | Source
Midlands, KZN, South Africa
Midlands, KZN, South Africa | Source
Near Quno, KZN, South Africa
Near Quno, KZN, South Africa | Source

Rural areas, Kwazulu-Natal

While traveling through the rural areas of KwaZulu-Natal, we noticed significant differences compared to the rural areas of other provinces in South Africa. We saw no squatter camps (informal settlements), and no houses of corrugated iron, and no rubbish lying and flying around. The colorful brick houses built on plots big enough for small crops of maize and/or vegetables, contribute to the region's beauty. Unfortunately, quite a large number of modern mansions disturb the aesthetic balance and prove the existence of social stratification in a socialist system.

Land ownership in rural Kwazulu-Natal is still rooted in the laws of pre-colonial South Africa when land used to belong to the king of the region, and the chief of tribes had power to allot land to their people and whomever managed to find favor with them. When SA became a democracy in 1994, the Zulu leaders (king and chiefs) didn’t lose their historical status. Kwazulu, which was the homeland of the Zulus during Apartheid, retained some degree of regional autonomy within the province of Kwazulu-Natal.

The Ingonyama Trust was established (in 1994) to hold all the land that was hitherto owned by the KwaZulu Government – land which has always been part of the Zulu Kingdom. The King of the Zulus is the sole Trustee of the land. The Ingonyama Trust Board issues long-term lease agreements to members of the Zulu nation. In July 2016, the Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini announced that title deeds would be issued to households. This has not yet occurred as it may, according to analysts, lead to the end of the Zulu hierarchy.

Rural, KwaZulu Natal

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Rural KwaZulu-Natal, South AfricaRural KwaZulu-Natal, South AfricaRural KwaZulu-Natal, South AfricaRural KwaZulu-Natal, South AfricaRural KwaZulu-Natal, South AfricaRural KwaZulu-Natal, South AfricaRural KwaZulu-Natal, South AfricaRural KwaZulu-Natal, South AfricaRural KwaZulu-Natal, South AfricaRural KwaZulu-Natal, South AfricaRural KwaZulu-Natal, South AfricaRural KwaZulu-Natal, South AfricaRural KwaZulu-Natal, South AfricaRural KwaZulu-Natal, South AfricaRural KwaZulu-Natal, South AfricaRural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa | Source
Rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa | Source
Rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa | Source
Rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa | Source
Rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa | Source
Rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa | Source
Rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa | Source
Rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa | Source
Rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa | Source
Rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa | Source
Rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa | Source
Rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa | Source
Rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa | Source
Rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa | Source
Rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa | Source
Rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa | Source

The capital, Pietermaritzburg

The capital of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, called Maritzburg by the locals and dubbed "City of Flowers", was established in 1938 by the Voortrekkers and named after their leader Piet Mauritz Retief, who was executed by the Zulus King Dingane on February 6th 1838. The town was established after the Zulus were defeated during the Battle of Blood River.

Pietersmaritzburg has a large ethnic Indian population, descended from indentured Indian laborers and slaves, who were brought into the country by the British from India in the mid-19th century to work in the sugar plantations and coal mines. Most Indian South Africans live in KwaZulu-Natal, particularly in the cities of Durban, Pietermaritzburg and surrounding areas. Mahatma Gandhi, who fought for the rights of Indians between 1893 and 1915, is equivalent to Nelson Mandela and his fellow-leaders who had fought for the rights of Africans between 1910 and 1994.

Pietermaritzburg has a population of 223,448. First languages spoken are Zulu (57.0%); English (28.9%); Afrikaans (4.2%); Xhosa (3.5%); Indian and Others (6.3%).

A wide variety of tourist attractions exist in the region of Pietermaritzburg, among others, the African Bird of Prey Sanctuary, the Tala Private Game Reserve, the KwaZulu-Natal National Botanical Garden, the Tatham Art Gallery, the Natal Museum, the Voortrekker Museum, the Scottsville Racecourse, and the Natal Zoological Gardens.

Pietermaritzburg

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Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal, South AfricaPietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal, South AfricaPietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal, South AfricaPietermaritzburg Town Hall, KwaZulu-Natal, South AfricaPietermaritzburg Town Hall, KwaZulu-Natal, South AfricaSt Peters Church, PietermaritzburgOld Natal Houses of Parliament, PietermaritzburgCity Oval (formerly Alexandra Park and sometimes called the Pietermaritzburg Oval) - multi-purpose stadium in PietermaritzburgTrain Station, Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal, South AfricaAt Train Station, Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal, South AfricaPietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal, South AfricaPost Office, PietermaritzburgAlbert-Falls-waterfall-PietermaritzburgKarkloof Falls, Pietermaritzburg
Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa | Source
Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa | Source
Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa | Source
Pietermaritzburg Town Hall, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Pietermaritzburg Town Hall, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa | Source
Pietermaritzburg Town Hall, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Pietermaritzburg Town Hall, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa | Source
St Peters Church, Pietermaritzburg
St Peters Church, Pietermaritzburg | Source
Old Natal Houses of Parliament, Pietermaritzburg
Old Natal Houses of Parliament, Pietermaritzburg | Source
City Oval (formerly Alexandra Park and sometimes called the Pietermaritzburg Oval) - multi-purpose stadium in Pietermaritzburg
City Oval (formerly Alexandra Park and sometimes called the Pietermaritzburg Oval) - multi-purpose stadium in Pietermaritzburg | Source
Train Station, Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Train Station, Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa | Source
At Train Station, Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
At Train Station, Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa | Source
Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa | Source
Post Office, Pietermaritzburg
Post Office, Pietermaritzburg | Source
Albert-Falls-waterfall-Pietermaritzburg
Albert-Falls-waterfall-Pietermaritzburg | Source
Karkloof Falls, Pietermaritzburg
Karkloof Falls, Pietermaritzburg | Source

Random Photos, Towns, Midlands, KwaZulu-Natal

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Estcourt, KZN, South Africa Ixopo, KZN, South AfricaIxopo, KZN, South AfricaBuddhist Retreat Centre, Ixopo, KZN, South Africa Howick, KZN, South Africa Howick, KZN, South Africa Howick, KZN, South Africa Howick, KZN, South Africa Winter in Winterton, KZN, South Africa Winter in Winterton, KZN, South Africa Winter in Winterton, KZN, South Africa Winter in Winterton, KZN, South Africa Estcourt, KZN, South Africa Guest house, Estcourt, KZN, South Africa Estcourt, KZN, South Africa Estcourt, KZN, South Africa Estcourt, KZN, South Africa Estcourt, KZN, South Africa Estcourt, KZN, South Africa Estcourt, KZN, South Africa Estcourt, KZN, South Africa Estcourt, KZN, South Africa Estcourt, KZN, South Africa Estcourt, KZN, South Africa
Estcourt, KZN, South Africa
Estcourt, KZN, South Africa | Source
Ixopo, KZN, South Africa
Ixopo, KZN, South Africa | Source
Ixopo, KZN, South Africa
Ixopo, KZN, South Africa | Source
Buddhist Retreat Centre, Ixopo, KZN, South Africa
Buddhist Retreat Centre, Ixopo, KZN, South Africa | Source
Howick, KZN, South Africa
Howick, KZN, South Africa | Source
Howick, KZN, South Africa
Howick, KZN, South Africa | Source
Howick, KZN, South Africa
Howick, KZN, South Africa | Source
Howick, KZN, South Africa
Howick, KZN, South Africa | Source
Winter in Winterton, KZN, South Africa
Winter in Winterton, KZN, South Africa | Source
Winter in Winterton, KZN, South Africa
Winter in Winterton, KZN, South Africa | Source
Winter in Winterton, KZN, South Africa
Winter in Winterton, KZN, South Africa | Source
Winter in Winterton, KZN, South Africa
Winter in Winterton, KZN, South Africa | Source
Estcourt, KZN, South Africa
Estcourt, KZN, South Africa | Source
Guest house, Estcourt, KZN, South Africa
Guest house, Estcourt, KZN, South Africa | Source
Estcourt, KZN, South Africa
Estcourt, KZN, South Africa | Source
Estcourt, KZN, South Africa
Estcourt, KZN, South Africa | Source
Estcourt, KZN, South Africa
Estcourt, KZN, South Africa | Source
Estcourt, KZN, South Africa
Estcourt, KZN, South Africa | Source
Estcourt, KZN, South Africa
Estcourt, KZN, South Africa | Source
Estcourt, KZN, South Africa
Estcourt, KZN, South Africa | Source
Estcourt, KZN, South Africa
Estcourt, KZN, South Africa | Source
Estcourt, KZN, South Africa
Estcourt, KZN, South Africa | Source
Estcourt, KZN, South Africa
Estcourt, KZN, South Africa | Source
Estcourt, KZN, South Africa
Estcourt, KZN, South Africa | Source
Wagendrift Dam, Wagendrift Nature Reserve, Estcourt, KZN, South Africa
Wagendrift Dam, Wagendrift Nature Reserve, Estcourt, KZN, South Africa | Source

Some of the game reserves in Kwazulu-Natal, Midlands

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Phinda Private Game Reserve, KZN, South Africa ZuluWaters Game Reservenear Mooi River, KZN, South Africa @ www.sa-venuesZuluWaters Game Reservenear Mooi River, KZN, South Africa Nelson Mandela Capture SiteZeekogat, KwaZulu-Natal, South AfricaNambiti Private Game Reserve, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa Zululand Rhino Reserve, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa Emanzini Reserve, KZN, South Africa
Phinda Private Game Reserve, KZN, South Africa
Phinda Private Game Reserve, KZN, South Africa | Source
ZuluWaters Game Reservenear Mooi River, KZN, South Africa @ www.sa-venues
ZuluWaters Game Reservenear Mooi River, KZN, South Africa @ www.sa-venues
ZuluWaters Game Reservenear Mooi River, KZN, South Africa
ZuluWaters Game Reservenear Mooi River, KZN, South Africa | Source
Nelson Mandela Capture Site
Nelson Mandela Capture Site | Source
Zeekogat, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Zeekogat, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa | Source
Nambiti Private Game Reserve, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Nambiti Private Game Reserve, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa | Source
Zululand Rhino Reserve, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Zululand Rhino Reserve, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Emanzini Reserve, KZN, South Africa
Emanzini Reserve, KZN, South Africa | Source

The Battlefields Route

In KwaZulu-Natal tourists may decide to take The Battlefields Route, which leads to historical sites such as museums, old fortifications, and places of remembrance, including eighty-two battlefields where battles between British and Zulus, and between Voortrekkers and Zulus, have determined the future of South Africa.

This route has the largest concentration of significant Battles and war related sites than anywhere in South Africa.

Among others, the traveler will see –

The Barefoot Lady – The Voortrekkers (European settlers) left the Cape Colony in 1836 to escape British rule. After many traumatic battles with the Zulus, they managed to establish a republic in Natal. But in 1842 the British also occupied Natal. One of the Trekker women – Johanna Smit – said she would rather walk barefoot back over the Drakensberg than live under British rule. Some Voortrekkers then decided to migrate back over the Drakensberg into what later became the Boere Republics, Orange Free State, and Transvaal. Some of the Voortrekkers moved north to the present Vryheid, where the then king of the Zulus, King Mpande had offered them land.

Kerkenberg - where the Voortrekker leader Piet Retief and his group consisted of some 66 ox wagons had arrived on December 14th, 1837. From here Retief, his son, and party of about 100 men went to Zululand to parlay with the Zulu king, Dingane for land. They left on January 25th, 1838 and never returned. Dingane had taken them to a nearby ridge, Hlomo amabuto, which means "mustering of the soldiers", and ordered that they be clubbed to death. Retief was kept alive until the end to witness the deaths of his comrades. All bodies were left on the KwaMatiwane hillside to be eaten by vultures and scavengers, as was Dingane's custom with his enemies.

The Battlefield Route

Click thumbnail to view full-size
The Battlefield Route, KZN, South AfricaDie Kaalvoet Vrou (The Barefoot Lady), KZN, South Africa Retief se Klip (Retief's Rock), Kerkenberg, KZN, South Africa Retief se Klip (Retief's Rock), Kerkenberg, KZN, South Africa Retief se Klip (Retief's Rock), Kerkenberg, KZN, South Africa Retief se Klip (Retief's Rock), Kerkenberg, KZN, South Africa Road to Kerkenhof, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
The Battlefield Route, KZN, South Africa
The Battlefield Route, KZN, South Africa | Source
Die Kaalvoet Vrou (The Barefoot Lady), KZN, South Africa
Die Kaalvoet Vrou (The Barefoot Lady), KZN, South Africa | Source
Retief se Klip (Retief's Rock), Kerkenberg, KZN, South Africa
Retief se Klip (Retief's Rock), Kerkenberg, KZN, South Africa | Source
Retief se Klip (Retief's Rock), Kerkenberg, KZN, South Africa
Retief se Klip (Retief's Rock), Kerkenberg, KZN, South Africa | Source
Retief se Klip (Retief's Rock), Kerkenberg, KZN, South Africa
Retief se Klip (Retief's Rock), Kerkenberg, KZN, South Africa | Source
Retief se Klip (Retief's Rock), Kerkenberg, KZN, South Africa
Retief se Klip (Retief's Rock), Kerkenberg, KZN, South Africa | Source
Road to Kerkenhof, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Road to Kerkenhof, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa | Source

Coastal towns, KwaZulu-Natal

Our next stop was Durban - the largest city in KwaZulu-Natal.

Travelogue will be published soon....


Durban

Source

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    • MartieCoetser profile image
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      Martie Coetser 2 months ago from South Africa

      Hi, bravewarrior! I am so glad you enjoy these virtual tours of my homeland. Although we do recognize some similar landscapes in each other’s countries, each and every country is unique, and I think this is totally amazing. We are so privileged to have the opportunity to appreciate and enjoy this beautiful planet of ours.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 2 months ago from Central Florida

      Martie, I love travelling the countryside with you. The tidbits of history you offer as we go, proves for an interesting trip.

      The architecture of SA is quite diverse, from simple and plain to very ornate and intricate. Because the US is so young, I'm always amazed by how far back your and many other countries history can be seen.

      Thanks for providing an interesting way to learn about your homeland, Martie!

    • MartieCoetser profile image
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      Martie Coetser 3 months ago from South Africa

      Peggy W – The purpose of these travelogues is to expand people’s perspective on, and perception of, SA. At the same time they are virtual holidays. I am so glad you enjoy learning about my country. I only wish we could get rid of the bad that makes SA one of the most dangerous countries to live in. Take care, dear Peggy :)

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 3 months ago from Houston, Texas

      I learn so much by reading your descriptions and viewing your photos of your beautiful country. Interesting how Gandhi was motivated to take on his life mission. Thanks for all that you put into these hubs for those of us who will probably never get the chance to visit Africa.

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      Martie Coetser 3 months ago from South Africa

      mckbirdbks – I’m glad you enjoy the photos. For the next two hubs you’ll have to pack a bathing suit and sun block :)

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 3 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hi Martie - I should learn to pack an overnight bag and a safari hat before beginning a journey through your country via a travel log so well put together. Such a beautiful area. The photo galleries are spectacular. Thank you.

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      Martie Coetser 3 months ago from South Africa

      FlourishAnyway – Yes, Zuma and his cronies are enriching themselves and destroying the country ad nauseam. We can but only hold on to our faith in the acts of divine Providence.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 months ago from USA

      How beautiful! When people think of SA snow certainly doesn't come to mind. It's unfortunate that such a beautiful country has the problems that it does with government. A true treasure.

    • MartieCoetser profile image
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      Martie Coetser 4 months ago from South Africa

      PegCole17 – Thank you so much for seeing these travelogues in such a positive light.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 4 months ago from Dallas, Texas

      These are lovely views on your interesting journey. It's an education looking at other parts of our small world. You've captured it beautifully. It really brings history alive when seeing it from this pictorial perspective. Thank you for the insight into another beautiful country.

    • MartieCoetser profile image
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      Martie Coetser 4 months ago from South Africa

      kallini2010 – To allow scavenging animals to prey on my beloveds is totally unthinkable and inconceivable to me. We think and conceive, therefore we are humans. Or what the heck am I saying?

      All corpses, whether buried six feet underground, or in the ocean, are being devoured by prey animals. So what’s the difference? Above ground, or underground, we will be eaten, unless burned to ashes.

      So, what about sky burials repel humans in general? We are all indoctrinated with the beliefs and ideas of our predecessors.

      I would love to travel more!

    • MartieCoetser profile image
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      Martie Coetser 4 months ago from South Africa

      Dearest marcoujor, I had a wonderful birthday, thanks to you and all my friends and relatives who have sent me the most beautiful cards and best wishes. I believe the pictures in my travelogues are the most important component, as they provide that magic illusion of seeing things with one’s own eyes, although I remember my surprise when I saw Cairo and the pyramids, and Holland for the first time in real life. Pictures and videos can never reveal reality in all its glory. They are but only second best to a real experience, and often all we will ever have from the world outside our personal zone.

    • MartieCoetser profile image
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      Martie Coetser 4 months ago from South Africa

      fpherj48 – Thank you so much for the birthday wishes! You have touched a very sensitive truth: While everything in nature amazes us in a positive way, humans keep us in a state of confusion and disappointment. Humans seem to be the natural predator of everything, including fellow-humans. What a dangerous species we are! While most of us are inherently good, we can easily turn bad when prompted by something or someone. I believe my ‘noteworthy trend of events in SA’ series has covered the major issues that keep SA from growing into a 1st World country. I actually believe that SA will soon be just another 3rd World country in Africa. I can but only hope and pray that my grandchildren will find their way out of here. Thank you so much for your continues support, dear fpher.

    • kallini2010 profile image

      kallini2010 4 months ago from Toronto, Canada

      I enjoyed the Van Reenen's virtual driving experience - it's truly fascinating. South Africa is so different that it is hard to imagine it.

      Of course, I had a weird thought - surely no one else will say it.

      When I watched my course on "Death and Dying" - leaving bodies to be eaten, let me put it this way, by wildlife is called sky burial (of course, it doesn't include being clubbed to death). If it's any consolation, cruelty and tribalism is human nature - I did not understand it before.

      Sky burials are practiced in Tibet.

      It would be interesting to see South Africa with my own eyes and to have a first-hands-feet-and other available body parts experience.

      I think you should travel more!

      Cheers!

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 4 months ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Dear Martie,

      I also need "Vitamin Sea" and a regular dose of your travelogues - this is my second trip back to really absorb the beauty of your photography.

      Hope you had a birthday that is as special as you. Love you and big hugs too, mar

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 4 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Ah...yes...GF....First of all, Happy Birthday, beautiful Aries Princess. This is a nice switch from the disturbing political difficulties, although we all must deal with them.

      I remember the gorgeous photos you shared with us as you traveled throughout various fascinating areas of S.A. I'm glad you've chosen to share more. There is something so exquisite about the huge feline of the wild that never fails to take my breath away.

      I know what you must be thinking as you gaze upon the natural beauty of your country and appreciate living in and around it all. The same things that enter my mind as I walk through a lovely wooded area filled with wild flowers and every color & shape of birds, squirrels scurrying up trees and the Mama goose leading her goslings in a swim downstream.....How in God's name, can corruption, greed and danger be prevalent as it looms over our heads, threatening to choke the peace in our hearts? What is truly wrong with so much of humanity, my friend? I'm grateful for human beings like you. Peace & hugs, Paula

    • MartieCoetser profile image
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      Martie Coetser 4 months ago from South Africa

      always exploring – You remind me of the Abba song, “I have a dream”. Even when dreams never come true, it is so wonderful to have them. What besides wars are going to put a (temporary) end to all the dangers in this world? The leaders of most, if not all, countries are impulsive and reckless!

    • MartieCoetser profile image
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      Martie Coetser 4 months ago from South Africa

      AliciaC – All nine provinces in SA have their own unique paradises. Some have more than others. Thanks for enjoying this tour with us, Alicia :)

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 4 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Martie I can't imagine you leaving your beautiful homeland, but I do wish we could meet in person someday. With the danger the world over, I don't see that happening, but there's always hope. Stay safe my friend...

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 4 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      There are some beautiful photos in this article, Martie. What an interesting place to explore! South Africa has some lovely scenery.

    • MartieCoetser profile image
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      Martie Coetser 4 months ago from South Africa

      Dear always exploring, I know that if you know about the beauty, you will understand how difficult it would be to pull out my roots and emigrate. The beauty is still much more than the ugly. I wish I could take you on real tours.

    • MartieCoetser profile image
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      Martie Coetser 4 months ago from South Africa

      billybuc – I enjoy taking my friends on virtual tours through my beloved country and show them the beauty (and ugly) they would never know anything about. I’m so glad you enjoy these tours. Take care, dear Billy!

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 4 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Martie, your country is very beautiful. The man on the bike in the first video has more courage than I do. The roads were full of curves and the big trucks were speeding. I loved the little church. Like Bill said, we really would never know about Africa if it were not for your hub's. Thank you again for sharing your country. Hugs..

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      You do live in a beautiful country, Martie, one I would never see or know anything about if not for you, so thank you kindly.