Few cities personify the vibrancy of a contemporary African city better than Pietermaritzburg. Steeped in a history that speaks of Zulu, Boer, British and Indian influences, the city is a cultural treasure trove brimming with diversity and colour.

Offering a full spectrum of cultural engagements, it comes as no surprise that Pietermaritzburg lays claim to being the city of choice for culture. Much as its architectural structures and statues reflect a rich historical legacy, Pietermaritzburg and its surroundings offer a veritable feast of present-day experiences.

 

Voortrekker/Msunduzi Museum
Tel: 033 3946834
Fax:033 3946797 
E-mail:info@msunduzimuseum.org.za
Details:History Museum
 
 
Baynesfield Estate Museum
Tel: 033 2510001
Fax:033 2510045 
Location:Baynesfield
E-mail:curator.jbe@mwebbiz.co.za
Details :  
 
Ecabazini Zulu Home
Tel: 033 3421928
Fax:033 3421928 
Location:Albert Falls
E-mail:ecabazini@futurenet.co.za
Details : Cultural Village
 
Macrorie House Museum
Tel: 033 3942161 
E-mail:mhm@sai.co.za 
Location:City Centre
Details : Historical Museum
 
The Natal Museum
Tel: 033 3451404
Fax:033 3450561 
E-mail:reception@nmsa.org.za
Details : Natural Science Museum
 
The Old Prison
Tel: 033 8450400
Fax: 033 8450455  
Location: 4 Burger Street
E-mail: perumalm@projectgateway.co.za
Details: Tourism Museum
 
DCO Matiwane Memorial Project
Tel: 084 519 9438  
Fax: n/a  
Location: Willowfontein
E-mail: shange_thami@yahoo.co.uk
Details: Eco Tourism/Memorial park
 
Zulu Mpophomeni Tourism Experience
Tel: 033 2380288
Fax:033 2380288 
Location:Mpophomeni
E-mail:info@zmte.co.za
Details : Tourism Experience
 
For a contemporary Zulu experience
Visit Mpophomeni township outside Howick and partake in activities traditional and modern that are intrinsically part of Zulu culture. Or plan a visit to the city during the annual Umphithi Music Festival in September that showcases resident and national talent. Consider a tour of Edendale, Imbali or Sobantu for a unique perspective on life in some of South Africa's most colourful townships.
In Imbali
For a shebeen experience, drop in at My Sistas (Unit 13), Sophie's Tavern (Stage 1), or Rovers Tavern (J15); watch sangomas in training in Unit 14; visit the Manaye Hall in Stage 1 where Nelson Mandela made his last speech as a free man before being imprisoned in 1961; pay your respects at the Stage 2 monument that commemorates all the fallen in the
political struggle.
In Sobantu
The first township to rebel against 'Bantu Education'; watch Zulu dancing at Nomhle Dlamini's Place that also serves traditional beer and food.
In Edendale
Visit the Georgetown project where efforts are underway to restore the historic mud brick dwellings. 
For A Typically Afrikaaner Experience
Visit the Msunduzi Museum Complex for a retrospective look at the life and times of the pioneers who settled the city 160 years ago. Attend a 'wildsfees' which literally translates to a venison feast or inspect the city's oldest oven in the house occupied by the widow of Boer leader Piet Retief, now the premises of legal firm of Hathorne and Cameron. Of course no South African visit is complete without enjoying a traditional 'Braaivleis' . Complete with Boerewors, Stywe Pap and Bredie, this popular and social 'ritual' has today been adopted by most cultures. Don't forget the local beers or the brandewyn. 
An Eastern experience
Attend a religious ceremony in any of the Hindu temples or Islamic mosques; stroll through the Debi market, often described as the New Delhi of Pietermaritzburg, to buy fresh vegetables and sample the cuisine. Visit the lower end of the city and the Failsworth Road area for a remarkable shopping experience, be it for clothes, jewellery, or footwear; taste the delectable vegetarian fare from Kara Nichhas; and feast your eyes on the exquisite Gita Mandir temple. 
For a typically English experience
Pack a picnic basket and head for the stunning Botanical Gardens. View some of the wonderful Victorian and Edwardian edifices, not only in the CBD but also in the upper west part of the city; attend a race day at Scottsville, one of the country's finest racecourses; enjoy a cuppa tea and cream scones at the butterfly farm.
Our other cultures

The French experience courtesy of the Prince Imperial Route commemorates the death of the Prince Imperial during the Anglo-Zulu War. Book in at the Imperial Hotel and visit the French display at the Voortrekker Museum to reflect on our French connection.
A strong German influence is expressed in the city. Arrange to see the museum at the Deutsches Haus, and visit Fort Napier where 6000 Germans were interned during WW1 Enjoy a 20 minute drive to Wartburg where you can enjoy a traditional meal.
Significant representation from the Italian, Portuguese, Greek and Chinese communities add to the veritable pot-pourri of cultural influences. Cultures are brought together at intercultural events and celebrations around the city, and are highlighted on Heritage Day festivities in September. 

CONTACT NUMBERS
 Pietermaritzburg Heritage Society 033 886 2693
 Gandhi Memorial Society  033 387 1010
 Macrorie House  033 394 2161
 Voortrekker Museum  033 394 6834
 French Tour Guide  039 682 0528
 Deutscher Verein  033 396 4685 
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