Ladysmith marks the starting point of the KwaZulu-Natal Battlefields Route, and has guided day trips to the famous battle sites of Rorke's Drift, Isandlwana, Blood River, Colenso, Vaalkrans, Tugela Heights, Spioenkop, and Elandslaagte.
Towering over the town of Ladysmith is the 'small mountain' - Umbulwane. The Boer forces used the top of this mountain for reconnaissance before the famous 118 day Siege of Ladysmith in 1899 that made world headlines. Visitors can hike up a trail that leads to the top of Wagon Hill to see Manchester Fort, Casear's Camp, and Maiden The mountain is also of historical significance to the San people.
Ladysmith has many beautiful historical buildings and monuments, including a Statue of Mahatma Ghandi who was a stretcher bearer for the British wounded at the end of the siege. Ladysmith is also home of the All Saints Church, a beautiful Anglican church constructed of stone. The church features skillfully stained glass windows, and memorial tablets honouring some 1800 British soldiers who were killed in the defence of the town. A visit to this little church is said to be a deeply moving experience.
Ladysmith is famous for the architecture of its electricity substations, designed in a wide variety of architectural types - so many in fact that there is a trail which takes visitors around to view them
Ladysmith is also the home town of the world famous Grammy award-winning singing group "Ladysmith Black-Mambazo".
The 6 000 ha Spioenkop Nature Reserve, situated only 25 km from Ladysmith, is home to various species of wildlife including rhino, giraffe, zebra, a variety of antelope and an abundance of bird life.
Birdwatchers are well catered for, with the Malendeni Bird Sanctuary with 263 species of bird recorded at the maturation ponds and surrounding flooded areas.
Ladysmith is on 35 km from the Spioenkop Dam Nature Reserve, a popular venue for angling, yachting, water skiing, power boating.
Other activities in and around Ladysmith include:
* Sunset Boat Cruises on Spion Kop Dam
* Horseback Riding
* White Water Rafting
* Tours of Rock Paintings and Caves
A visit and accommodation in Ladysmith Battlefields, KwaZulu Natal
We did a little search for Bed and Breakfast accommodation in Ladysmith and were pleasantly surprised to see the various Ladysmith accommodation options in and around the actual town of Ladysmith.
We had a great stay with Danby and Tammy in a wonderful 4 star, family run central Ladysmith Guest House called Hunter's Lodge - Lovely air conditioned rooms and great food.
Our reasons for seeking accommodation in Ladysmith was because we wanted to investigate the Battlefields of the Natal Midlands.....which was very interesting, by the way.Much of our family history was buried in these Midlands battlefields.
Before we left for Durban, one of the guests from Hunter's Lodge suggested that we visit the Nambithi Game Reserve on the outskirts of Ladysmith.
This was a GREAT idea. Ladysmith accommodation at Nambithi Game Reserve was stunning, to stay the least. There are about 12 Nambithi Lodges to choose from and all of them have their own particular pluses.
We chose the Umzolozolo Game Reserve and were thrilled with the game drives, the stunning accommodation and unbelievable food.
We saw all of the big 5 except for leopard......even a few hibernating Boomslang.
The CBD of Ladysmith was bigger than we thought and had all of the typical shops, stores and showrooms, Ladysmith guesthouses as well as plenty of beautiful historic buildings and museums in this Ladysmith Battlefields area.
Our stay was far too short and we'll definitely be back to try some of the other interesting Ladysmith accommodation and sight-seeing options.........perhaps a visit to Newcastle for the same reasons?
Loved the KwaZulu Midlands.
Byron and Angela