Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Statue in Pietermaritzburg.

Pietermaritzburg is the capital of KwaZulu-Natal. This bustling city produces aluminum, timber and dairy products and accommodates world renowned sporting events, a yearly outdoor festival and an agricultural show. It hosts an abundance of hotels, clubs, restaurants and guest houses, suited to cater to the needs of even the most discerning guest.

The city is often referred to as 'the last outpost of the British Empire'. This is not really true, however; it does have a genteel English country atmosphere. Pietermaritzburg is situated in a hollow surrounded by hills and is just 100 kilometres (62 miles) from Durban, with which it has intimate ties.

Two world renowned sporting events take place in Pietermaritzburg every year. The Comrades Marathon is a 98 kilometre (61 miles) race that follows the old national road. The other race is the Dusi Canoe Marathon, which is run on the Umsinduzi River every year.

For those in search of a more natural experience, the city offers a fine example of Victorian style. This city also serves as a medium of going on the Battlefields Route or the Drakensberg Mountains. An interesting monument is the statue of Mahatma Gandhi on the spot where he was arrested for riding in a 'whites only' train carriage. He claimed that it was this moment that started his career of passive resistance.

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