Pietermaritzburg at a glance
New to Pietermaritzburg? You are about to choose one of the most beautiful cities in South Africa!
In Pietermaritzburg you will discover the vigour and strength of Africa combined with the elegance and architectural refinement of the British Empire. It is a regional centre for spectacular sports events, outdoor festivals, shows, education, arts and government. Hotels, nightclubs and restaurants cater for the night owls while a host of hotels, guest houses and B&B's offer the widest range of accommodation.
When it comes to homes, Pietermaritzburg offers a vast range of residential properties:
- Simplexes and Duplexes
- Modest Government Houses
- Modern Residences
- Old Nostalgic Houses
- Estate Properties
Regardless of what your preferences are, you will find a suitable home for you and your family, in a suburb of your choice (look for information about each Pietermaritzburg suburb here).
You can stay right in the city or in one of its picturesque suburbs, or rather live in Hilton, Howick, Bishopstowe or Ashburton away from the city rush.
Ashburton is synonymous with the equestrian life. This is Horse Country, where ranch style properties on smallholdings are the norm. Straddling the N3 to Durban, Ashburton is only 10 min. south of Pietermaritzburg yet maintaining its own distinctive character. It has its own community shopping centre and boasts the Ashburton Training Centre (with a full racecourse and racehorse training facilities) as well as the famous Polly Shorts Hill, a landmark of the annual Comrades Marathon.
This graceful old Northern suburb lies in the hills, forming part of Pietermaritzburg's Green Belt. It will appeal particularly to professionals and upwardly mobile individuals. Some of the Pietermaritzburg's finest houses are located here. Athlone is very convenient - it is 3 to 4 minutes from town and is a stone's throw from the Cascades Shopping Centre. It boasts two fine schools: Athlone Primary and Carter High. The famous Grey's Hospital is located in Athlone.
This peaceful, relatively modern suburb lies to the south of Pietermaritzburg and East of the N3 Highway, as an extension of Hayfields. It consists of mid-range properties including several complexes of cluster-homes (simplexes) and appeals particularly to successful younger people. Properties on the southern ridge command a breathtaking view of the valley between Pietermaritzburg and Ashburton.
(Including Bisley Crest, Bisley Heights and Bisley Valley) Located in the south-western corner of the city, a large part of Bisley is taken up by Oribi Airport, which is Pietermaritzburg's main airport. This is a good entry-level suburb for persons buying their first homes. Most of the homes are ranch-style and date from the mid-1970s. There is a fair turnover of properties. The City Council is planning a Big Five game reserve right next to the suburb (the Bisley Nature Reserve) which will be a major tourist attraction if effected.
(Including Sunnyside) Situated high in the hills to the Northwest of the city, Blackridge is a beautiful green, leafy suburb with a variety of homes styles ranging from the original pioneer homes (including Victorian Redbrick) to more modern styles. The area has traditionally offered superb value for money. Blackridge boasts lovely views across the valley towards World's View, wooded terrain in the foreground, and views of the city and Table Mountain. The suburb includes Lynnpark High School. The closest shopping facilities are in Mayors Walk in Prestbury. The friendly climate would appeal particularly to the keen gardener.
Winding north-west from the city towards Blackridge, Boughton is dominated by the magnificent Botanical Gardens which are a famous tourist attraction. A number of perennial streams flow through the suburb resulting in magnificent gardens along their edges. The suburb offers good value for money with spacious, older homes, many of which have been renovated. There are not many shopping facilities but the area is only five minutes from the city.
Developed during the 1940s, this suburb has fine examples of the square, solid-type architecture typical of the era. Located at the north-west edge of the city, Clarendon has several double-storey homes and is served by several good schools, including Wickham Collegiate, a renowned girls school, as well as Clarendon Primary and a pre-primary school. There are also several fine restaurants on Roberts Road.
Situated on the southern side of the city, between N3 and the Mkondeni Industrial Area, Cleland has a wide range of homes, all of exceptionally good value. You can choose from the very modest to fancy upmarket homes with luxury features. There are also several cluster home complexes. The area is served by a Kwikspar and several line shops.
A former township, Edendale comprises a vast area on the western side of the city. A landmark of the area is the famous Edendale Hospital. Edendale has the widest possible variety of homes, ranging from traditional dwellings to upmarket homes. Shopping has recently been developed, and it is well connected by road to the centre of Pietermaritzburg. Taxi forms the preferred means of transport for most Edendale residents.
Technically part of Scottsville, this area has adopted the name of the prestigious girls school located here. The Italian POW Church is a well-known tourist attraction, built of local shale by the Italians who were interned here following the Second World War. Epworth features well-built homes dating from the 1970s many of which have been extended. It has good access to the city and excellent shopping facilities at Hayfields across the freeway.
FAIRMEADE (FILLAN PARK)
Situated south of Pelham on the western side of Richmond Road, Fairmeade is also known as Fillan Park. This area has basic homes as well as larger and older homes in the west. It is served by Southgate Shopping Centre and has good access to several schools, including Pelham Primary, Alex High, and Pietermaritzburg Girls High.
To the very south of Pietermaritzburg, Fox Hill straddles Richmond Road and consists mainly of smallholdings, many of which are used for stabling horses. It may in the future form part of the Bisley Nature Reserve.
Probably the most popular suburb in Pietermaritzburg, Hayfields is located to the south of the city, east of the N3 freeway. Houses date from the 1950s to more modern homes as one moves southwards (several of which are currently under construction). The Pietermaritzburg Golf Course is to the east of Hayfields, and homes with a view of the golf course are particularly sought-after. The suburb is well served with shopping facilities at the Hayfields and Haymarket Centres; there are also several places of worship. Consisting mainly of free-standing middle to upper-class homes, there are also many popular simplex units. A caravan park is located alongside Cleland Rd. Properties in this area constitute very good value for money and sell quickly.
Situated between Edendale and Mason's Mill/Bisley, to the south of Pietermaritzburg, Imbali is a well-structured subdivision of the former township (as opposed to the more informal sprawl of greater Edendale). Its core consists mainly of modest brick homes built by the City Council and the previous government. "Imbali" is Zulu for flower, and in recent years the suburb has enjoyed substantial growth with the development of new homes along its periphery; it is still the preferred suburb of Pietermaritzburg's Zulu community. Imbali is well served by sports fields, schools, shopping centres and boasts its own soccer stadium. Imbali also enjoys direct access to the city centre along Edendale Road.
Sandwiched between Prestbury and Boughton on the western side of PMB, it has access to the city along Zwartkop Road and Mayor's Walk. It consists of only four streets with relatively newer, mid-price homes developed in the mid 1980s. The suburb utilises the shopping and community facilities of Prestbury. (See also PRESTBURY).
Actually a settlement of homes on the Durban side of Ashburton, it is believed that this area was the first proposed site of the original Voortrekker settlement of Pietermaritzburg (original plans for developing the area were laid out in the 1840s). Properties in the area enjoy a country atmosphere and range from more modest homes to more upmarket ones. Lynnfield Park is conveniently close to both Durban and Pietermaritzburg with easy access to the N3. It utilises the shopping facilities of nearby Ashburton. (See also ASHBURTON).
A small midrange suburb located on the southern side of Pietermaritzburg contained by the N3 to the east and the old main road to the west. The mid-range homes offer good value for money. A large number of pecan nut trees exist in the suburb as the area was once the site of a pecan nut grove.
Though not having any amenities itself, it has direct access to Hayfields. (See also HAYFIELDS).
(Includes SWEETWATERS and WINTERSKLOOF) Mount Michael is the collective name for the areas of Sweetwaters and Winterskloof. Mount Michael is situated in the north-west corner of Pietermaritzburg, just outside the city boundary. It is a particularly beautiful, verdant, established suburb with homes situated in large gardens (4 000 - 10 000 sq metres properties). Mount Michael has a charming English country atmosphere. Characteristic of the area are the meandering roads (as opposed to the traditional suburban grid). Properties range from small cottages to large executive residences. The Winterskloof section is more popular than Sweetwaters as the latter is traversed by commuter buses. Mount Michael is equidistant from Pietermaritzburg and Hilton.
Immediately west of the city centre grid behind Pietermaritzburg's railway station, Napierville's central feature is the old Fort Napier which was an army barracks at the turn of the last century. The magnificent Victorian buildings later served the city as a psychiatric hospital. Napierville is a lower to middle-market suburb and contains homes built by South African Railways during the 1940s and 1950s for its staff. Architecture is typically solid and square providing basic accommodation. The suburb is served with a small number of shops. In the mid-1990s, the railway sold off its properties to its staff and the general public. Napierville has easy access to the city and the Mason's Mill Industrial Area.
This large suburb which includes Alexandra Park, Alexandra High School, Pietermaritzburg Girls High and Maritzburg College, Pelham is immediately south of the city centre. Homes in this area are of a wide range, many of which are built in the older style (1950s and 1960s). There is also a large number of apartment buildings. It is a popular middle-class suburb with a cosmopolitan flavour with easy access to Scottsville and its facilities.
PIETERMARITZBURG CITY CENTRE
Pietermaritzburg is regarded as one of the world's best-preserved examples of Victorian architecture. The City Centre has a large variety of residential components, including many glorious old homesteads built by the settlers, many of which have been adapted for commercial purposes. A vast number of apartment buildings exists as well as average homes built during the 1920s and 1930s as the city spread westwards and eastwards.
A very popular, cosmopolitan middle-class suburb situated close to the city centre on its western side, well served with schools and shopping facilities at Mayors Walk and lovely views on the hillside.
Situated on to the East of Richmond Road, this forms part of Bisley and has easy access to the Southgate shopping centre and several schools (including Alex High and Girls High). Most homes were built in the 1980s and 1990s and are particularly popular with the affluent Zulu community. (See also BISLEY).
RIDGE PARK (RICHMOND PARK)
This is the southernmost extension of The Grange consisting mainly of ranch-style homes. (See also THE GRANGE).
In the early days of Pietermaritzburg's development, Scottsville was the only suburb located south of the city centre. In its heyday it consisted of glorious colonial homesteads on enormous properties which were later subdivided, thereby accounting for the rich diversity of homes found there today. The homes along the ridge next to the University of Natal are among the most sought-after properties in Pietermaritzburg. These homes boast a generous amount of Oregon pine and beautifully-established gardens. The suburb is abundantly served by schools, the University, shopping facilities, the Golden Horse Casino and the eponymous Scottsville Racecourse.
An extension of Scottsville located alongside Washington Road, developed in the 1980s, featuring mid-price properties and easy access to the N3. (See also SCOTTSVILLE).
Part of Napierville, this small extension of the northern part of Napierville contains larger contemporary homes developed in the 1990s, priced in the middle to lower ranges. A central feature of Signal Hill is a cluster home complex of 30-odd townhouses. (See also NAPIERVILLE)
See MOUNT MICHAEL
(Including Westgate) Linked to Westgate and Ridge Park, this area enjoys easy access to Imbali, Edendale, the Mason's Mill Industrial Area and the Southgate Centre via Richmond Road. The properties here are generally modest city council homes.
The original exclusive suburb of Pietermaritzburg, Wembley nestles just to the north of the city and was established over a century ago. The suburb is characterised by its magnificent colonial homes and its lush setting. It is still the chosen place of residence for many of the city's elite, and is conveniently central.
See THE GRANGE
See MOUNT MICHAEL
Located alongside the N3 as it winds its way towards Hilton, Worlds View (as its name suggests) offers spectacular views of the city and the surrounding countryside. Homes in this area are exclusive and highly sought after and would appeal to upmarket buyers who would not be put off by its relative distance from schools and shopping facilities. (The Pietermaritzburg city centre is 15 minutes away).