Tourism, Accommodation and Historical Attractions in Natal, South Africa

The Midlands Region

Pietermaritzburg Events.

NATAL
tourism
The COmrades ultra Marathon, the 'Duzi canoe race to Durban, Cars in the Park, Art in the PArk

The Natal Midlands: Pietermaritzburg Events

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Comrades Marathon

Each year on June 16th more than 14,000 runners take part in the punishing Comrades Marathon between Pietermaritzburg and Durban.

As a reward for the efforts of a single ex-serviceman, this race was first run in 1921 to remember forever the camaraderie shown amongst soldiers in the First World War. 24 entrants started the race and 16 finished, the winner, crossing the finishing line in a shade under 9 hours receiving a gold watch.

The Comrades is now a major feature on the international ultra marathon calendar. Every alternate year, the race changes direction and the 89.5kms are run up from Durban, the race in both cases being started at 6am by the crowing of a rooster.

Comrades Marathon House is the headquarters of the race and displays a wide selection of memorabilia relating to this famous race.

Comrades Museum , 18 Connaught Road. Mon - Fri 08.30 - 13.00

The 'Duzi' and Midmar Mile

In January, canoeists undertake a similar race along firstly, the Umsinduzi River and then onto the Umgeni River through the Valley of a Thousand Hills and thence to Durban.

The 'Duzi' attracts a multitude of canoeists and requires three days of hard paddling and portaging to complete the race. Both events attract very large numbers of international participants. A month later, 10,000 swimmers converge on Midmar Dam for the Midmar Mile.

Art in the Park

At the end of May each year, an area of Alexandra Park close to the Umsinduzi River is turned into an outdoor art gallery as more than a hundred artists from around the country gather to display their wares at Art in the Park.

The exhibition is the largest of its kind in South Africa and the atmosphere is enhanced by the thick carpet of leaves, the canopy of plane trees under which the exhibition takes place and the smells of cooking food on the braais (barbecues).

Cars in the Park

One of the biggest gatherings of vintage and modern cars and motorcycles also takes place at the same venue each year at Cars in the Park.

Royal Show

Each May/June, the Royal Show attracts almost a quarter of a million visitors. Originally an agricultural show, it now also boasts a multitude of home industries products, crafts, technological displays and even concerts.

Hilton Festival

At a similar time, the Hilton Festival takes place at Hilton College. Starting as a small local showcase for stage talent, the festival has boomed and now attracts artistes from around the country, drawing increasingly larger audiences with each passing year.



   
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