A haven in Pietermaritzburg

We decided to stay in Pietermaritzburg for Indaba rather than stay in the bustle of Durban.  A wolf likes quiet.  We didn’t regret it for a moment.

We stayed at The Jays in the leafy suburb of Clarendon — an establishment favoured by business travellers — that offers bed & breakfast or self-catering.

John & Jane Kassner were perfect hosts, knowledgeable about the area with advice on where to go.  The room was very comfortable and the last time I slept in a bed this comfortable was at the Cape Grace Hotel in Cape Town!

Akela loved the walks (and smells) of the very pretty streets in Clarendon.  Streets are immaculate and sidewalks manicured.  The one morning we encountered a whole group of monkeys who gathered in the tree above us, chattering away.  Did they realise Akela is a wolf?  I don’t know but Cape Town’s baboons certainly do and treat her very differently to dogs.

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A very comfortable bedroom with one of the most comfortable beds I've slept in for a long time.

The City Hall, constructed in 1893, destroyed by fire in 1895, rebuilt in 1901. This magnificent example of Victorian architecture is the largest red-brick building in the Southern Hemisphere.

Pietermaritzburg is a fascinating city, especially for anyone with an interest in architecture. Founded in 1838, it’s the capital of KwaZulu-Natal and is a major producer of aluminium as well as timber and dairy products. Sadly, while the suburbs are still delightful places, the CBD needs to take lessons from the Cape Town Partnership on city management and rejuvenation.

Pietermaritzburg’s tourist office needs a kick in the bum and seems to be a total waste of rate- and taxpayers’ money, if funded by local government.  We emailed asking for information but have yet to receive any reply.

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