The Boer settlers earmarked this site as their capital-to-be, having crossed over the Drakensberg Mountain range into Zulu territory on their Great Trek from British dominion in the Cape Colony and in 1838 laid the foundation of a neat grid of streets and lanes of Pietermaritzburg. Rival British expansionists were a safe distance away at Port Natal-Durban and the surrounding tribes were predominantly scattered, the result of King Shaka's empire-building exploits who posed no threat.
It was from this young settlement that Pieter Retief embarked on his ill-fated journey to negotiate for land with Shaka's co-assassin and heir, King Dingane. And gave Pietermaritzburg the firsy half of its name, Gert Maritz being the head of a second wave of Voortrekkers, gave town the other half of its name.
Within five years of establishing Pietermaritzburg, however, the Boers succumbed to British military might and vacated the area leaving their carefully-laid foundations to be stamped with a world-renowned legacy of Edwardian and Victorian architecture.
Pietermaritzburg remained capital of Natal province until the arrival of our non-racial democracy and the emergence of KwaZulu-Natal, where for a while it shared its status with Ulundi. However, Pietermaritzburg, recently 'regained' its status not as the capital of Natal, but the whole province of KwaZulu-Natal.
Accommodation in Pietermaritzburg
Places to stay with Accommodation in Pietermaritzburg which includes hotels, self catering accommodation, guest houses, bed and breakfast, lodges etc
A diverse range of activities are available.
A great selection of Restaurants, coffee shops and pubs to choose from!