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Things to do in Pietermaritzburg

Our most recommended things to do in Pietermaritzburg

From Durban: Sani Pass and Lesotho by 4WD Vehicle

1. From Durban: Sani Pass and Lesotho by 4WD Vehicle

Benefit from pickup at a location of your choice in Durban, and then make your way to the historic city of Pietermaritzburg, capital of KwaZulu Natal. Take a short sightseeing tour to see the statue of Mahatma Gandhi by City Hall. Then, venture into the Drakensberg Mountains on the amazing Sani Pass into Lesotho. Travel along the 33-kilometer gravel road that straddles the sheer cliffs in a series of tight zig-zag curves. Marvel at the dramatic landscape as you head from the Sani Pass Hotel, 1,566 meters above sea level. Be amazed as your 4WD Land Rover navigates the narrow road across the border post with Lesotho. Get spectacular views of the rolling hills and endless sky. Reach the top of the Sani Pass, 3,240 meters above sea level. Enjoy a hot lunch at the highest pub in Africa, and then meet the native Basotho people in a local village to learn about their everyday lives. Make your way back down the mountain to cross the boarder back into South Africa.

Drakensberg Giants Castle Cave Art & Mandela Capture Site

2. Drakensberg Giants Castle Cave Art & Mandela Capture Site

The tour starts off with a visit to Pietermaritzburg, the capital of KwaZulu-Natal. Stop at Pietermaritzburg's City Hall, which claims to be the largest brick building in the southern hemisphere. Visit the Gandhi statue also before heading towards the Drakensberg mountains and Giants Castle Reserve. Giant's Castle is situated on a grassy plateau among the deep valleys running down from the face of the High Drakensberg, offering glorious views. At Giants Castle reserve, there is a large sandstone cave containing prehistoric San rock art. The San and Khoekhoe people were hunters and gatherers who roamed South Africa for thousands of years. This cave is one of the biggest and best-preserved painted sites in southern Africa. This cave is an easy 30 minutes’ walk from the camp office and regular guided tours are taken through this unique exhibition. A visit to Giant's Castle offers the privilege of entering the world of the San as well as the opportunity to study a varied and exciting range of habitats. From there, head to the small town of Howick and visit its waterfall. Howick Falls is approximately 95m in height and lies on the Umgeni River. The Zulu people called the falls KwaNogqaza, which means "Place of the Tall One".   Then visit the Nelson Mandela Capture Site Statue and Apartheid Museum. The Nelson Mandela sculpture comprises of 50 steel column constructions, each between 6.5m and 9.5m tall, set into the Midlands landscape. The approach to the site leads you down a path towards the sculpture where, at 35 meters, a portrait of Nelson Mandela, looking west, comes into focus. The 50 linear vertical units, line up to create the illusion of a flat image. The museum is dedicated to Nelson Mandela’s life and his struggle against Apartheid. After the tour, head back to Durban by late afternoon.

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Frequently asked questions about Pietermaritzburg

What top attractions are a must-see in Pietermaritzburg?

The must-see attractions in Pietermaritzburg are:

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What people are saying about Pietermaritzburg

Overall rating

4.9 / 5

based on 29 reviews

I'm so happy my husband and I decided to do this tour. I'm not sure I even have words to describe how wonderful the experience was, but it was definitely worth it. Our guide, Freddy, was prompt, professional and most courteous and gracious. He was very informative and educated us along the trek. He stopped to allow us to take photos, take restroom/snack breaks and answered any questions we had. The views along the Sani Pass are out of this world! You cannot visit Durban without this experience, please trust me. Finally, the icing on the cake was meeting the beautiful Besotho people and learning about their culture. Again, my words can't do it justice, but I highly recommend this tour. Don't second guess it for another moment. Book right now!

I cant reccomend this tour and this tour company enough! Drakensberg and the cave paintings made for such a unique and picturesque experience that was made only better by the insightful observations of our guide, Satiri. The Mandela capture site was also located in a beautiful landscape with the monument at the end of a gentle walk. Lastly our guide surprised us by taking us to the Howick falls! I would reccomend this experience to anyone who is in the area and will absolutely be booking our activities with 1st Zulu Safari!

The experience has been incredible. I totally recommend it. In addition, the guide not only shows you the area, but also makes you live a true experience with the people who live in the area and takes the best photos! He is a charming person and always has things to teach you. I totally recommend doing the tour with him!

The best experience ever. Mr. Sotiri was amazing. He shared a lot of history throughout the tour. He stopped at all the best places and took a lot of beautiful photos. I enjoyed every bit of the tour. If I was to do it again, will definitely be with him. Such a kind and charming person.

Departure at dusk from Durban to chain breathtaking landscapes. A little snow at the top and lots of animals on the way. My guide was awesome and above all very good driver. Cheer !