Pietermaritzburg is the capital and second-largest city in the province of KwaZulu-Natal. Founded in 1838 it is currently governed by the Msunduzi Loal Municipality. Halfway between Durban and the Drakensburg mountain range, PMB is one of the best–preserved Victorian cities in the world. 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 is also the start or end of Route 56, depending how you look at it.

Pietermaritzburg is a thriving, modern capital that has carried its history fully into the present, yet still encompasses a picturesque country feel. The town plays host to spectacular sporting events, annual outdoor festivals and an agricultural show without parallel in South Africa. 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 that cater for every tourist need.


The City plays host to spectacular sporting events, annual outdoor festivals and the Royal Show, an agricultural show without parallel in South Africa. It is between here and Durban that the famous and gruelling Comrades Marathon and the Dusi Canoe Marathon take place every year, drawing participants and spectators from around the world. The big Midmar Dam, near Howick on the outskirts of Pietermaritzburg, hosts the enormously popular annual Midmar Mile swim, as well as other activities such as sailing, windsurfing, water skiing, canoeing and boating. The Golden Horse Casino hosts the Tsogo Sun Sprint horseracing event annually at Scottsville Race Course.

How to get there

From Cape Town take the N1 to Hanover and then the N9 to Middelburg. (Odometer 796km).
Follow the R56 from Middelburg all the way through to Pietermaritzburg, (Odometer 765km).
From Johannesburg take the N3 all the way through to Pietermaritzburg, (Odometer 488km).
Note! This route has tolls. Or go via the R57 and N3 through to Pietermaritzburg, (Odometer 551km).
Note! This route has tolls.
From Bloemfontein go via the N5 and N3 through to Pietermaritzburg, (Odometer 556km).
Note! This route has tolls.
Or via the N6 all the way through to Aliwal North and down to the R56 route, follow through to Pietermaritzburg, (Odometer 916km).
From Durban you’ll go via the N3 through to Pietermaritzburg, (Odometer 78.2km).
Note! This route has tolls.

Getting Around

Self-drive would be best. Though there is public transport in and around the town.

Where to Stay

There are so many accommodation establishments available in and around Pietermaritzburg to choose from. These range from the international hotels and lodges to the more personal and charming B&B’s and guesthouses in and around Pietermaritzburg. Some options are: Matt’s Rest B&B, Wensleydale Guest Lodge, Lincoln Cottages, Logos Lodge, The Hilton Bed & Breakfast, Gateside Guesthouse, Taunton House, The Knoll, Brevisbrook, Ekhaya Lodge, Tracey's B&B, Bancroft Bed & Breakfast, Fountains Self Catering B&B, Abbots Cove, Gecko Hill, Burgershof B&B, Babbling Brook B&B, Dunranch House, Thembelihle Guest House, Jean-Lee Bed & Breakfast, Ascot Bush Lodge, Ascot Inn, Hilton View B&B, Valley Vista Lodge, The Jays Guest House, Beit Lechem Bed and Breakfast, Capulet Guest House, Valley Vista Lodge, Greenlands B&B, Holme Lodge, Acacia Bush Lodge, Victoria Guest House and the Mundees of Hilton.

Where to Eat

You are spoilt for choice in Pietermaritzburg. The City and suburbs all have shopping mall restaurants, fine dining, cultural restaurants, seafood and steak houses, the list goes on and on. Or you can just visit one of the many fast food joints in the city and surrounding suburbs.


Eastern Cape: Middelburg Karoo, Cradock, Schoombee, Hofmeyr, Venterstad, Steynsburg, Burgersdorp, Molteno, Aliwal North, Queenstown, Lady Grey, Dordrecht, Indwe, Elliot, Barkly East, Rhodes, Ugie, Maclear, Mount Fletcher, Matatiele, Cedarville.
KwaZulu-Natal: Swartberg, Kokstad, Harding, Umzimkulu, Ixopo, Bulwer, Richmond, Baynesfield, Camperdown, Pietermaritzburg.