Ladysmith, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Old Canon in Ladysmith, Kwazulu Natal.

Ladysmith is situated on the banks of the Klip River in KwaZulu-Natal. Named after the Spanish wife of Sir Harry Smith in 1850, Ladysmith became the ideal place for fortune hunters on their way to the gold mines and diamond mines of Kimberley.

Both Ladysmith and Ladismith were named after Lady Juana Smith, the wife of the governor of the Cape at the time, Sir Harry Smith. Ladysmith was founded in 1850 in what was then called Natal, whereas Ladismith was founded in 1852 in what was then the Cape.

The town gained international fame in the late 19th century when it was besieged by the Boers. It is therefore not surprising that most of the cultural attractions are related to that rather tumultuous period of South African history.

There is, however, one less aggressive monument, that of Mahatma Ghandi. This little town is probably best known for being the home of South Africa best musical export - the group Ladysmith Black Mambazo, whose achievements and exploits have been well documented in the town museum.

Some of the attractions in Ladysmith include the Drakensberg Mountains, Spioenkop Nature Reserve, the Malendeni Bird Sanctuary, Qedusizi Dam, the hiking and walking trails and the Historical Battlefields, reminiscent of the bygone era.

Ladysmith is located on the R103, the alternative to the N3 toll road between Harrismith and Mooi River. It is situated about 230 kilometres from Durban.

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