Greytown has much to offer anyone wishing to visit for a day or more, all in close proximity. We are blessed with beautiful scenery varying from rolling hills, green trees and pastures, grasslands and thornveld. We have all sporting facilities, accommodation types, historical sites and monuments, a highly regarded museum, diverse cultures, hotsprings, game parks, a wide variety of birding habitats. All the information you need (and more) can be found on this site so browse around.
Greytown is a picturesque town situated in the Battlefields region of KwaZulu-Natal about 80km north east of Pietermaritzburg and about the same distance due east from Estcourt. The town has a long history going back to the mid 19th century when the area was settled and consequently was involved in the Anglo-Boer War and an uprising by the Zulus against the white population called the Bhambhatha Rebellion in 1906.
There are a number of historical buildings in the town such as the Town Hall started in 1897, the Methodist Church (1877), the Dutch Reformed Church (1861), the Mosque ( first constructed in 1898 and rebuilt in 1948), St James Anglican Church (1911), Leuchars Memorial Hall (1910) and St. Theodore’s Catholic Church (1915).
The Boer General Louis Botha was born just outside Greytown. He went on to become the first Prime Minister of the Union of South Africa. Sarie Marais, the legendary Afrikaans women after whom the famous Afrikaans song is named, died here at the age of 37 after giving birth to 11 children.
Greytown has much to offer anyone wishing to visit for a day or more, all in close proximity. The surrounding area is blessed with beautiful and varied scenery from rolling hills, green trees and pastures, grasslands and thornveld. The numerous historical sites and monuments, a highly regarded museum, diverse cultures, hotsprings, game parks, a wide variety of birding habitats and nature reserves will make for an interesting stay.
Many political analysts believe that the modern Liberation Struggle for a democratic South Africa began in the Greytown district almost a century ago with the Bhambhatha Rebellion. Named after a local chief and instigator, this 1906 uprising against white authority was the culmination of political and economic grievances. Unrest spread throughout the area, forcing white residents to shelter in the town hall, and the British to dispatch a relief column of 170 armed police. On the night of 4 April 1906, Bhambhatha and 150 warriors ambushed the colonial force, killing four and putting the remainder to flight. The rebellious leader headed north into Zululand, but was pursued and killed two months later with 25 co- conspirators deported to the island of St Helena. Ironically, the Greytown district was also birthplace of Boer leader and first Prime Minister of the Union of South Africa – General Louis Botha – who held office from 1910 to 1919.
Getting there: since the new King Shaka Airport was opened there is a shorter scenic route to Greytown taking the back roads instead of going via Durban and the N3 highway – The route will take you through The Valley of a Thousand Hills, fertile sugar farms, into the rolling hills and plantations around Greytown and the through the magnificent scenery of The Tugela Basin, one of South Africa’s largest rivers.
Directions: Turn right to Tongaat as you exit the airport, right at R102, left at R614, right at Dalton, right at R33 to Greytown and then continue on R33 or take R74.
Greytown has a wide range of accommodation including luxury lodges, guesthouses, B & Bs, chalets, camping and rustic sites all within less than an hour from Greytown.
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Quick Distances to Greytown
Jo’Burg- 500 km
Durban – 150 km
Bloem – 570 km
Cape Town – 1 600 km
Port Elizabeth – 1 230 km
Nelspruit – 550 km
East London – 670 km
The Greytown Museum houses a large collection representing the multi-faceted history of the area including the Boer Wars, the Zulu Wars, the Bambatha Rebellion as well as a number of rooms dedicated to displaying memorabilia from the many different cultures that impacted the area over the centuries. There is a Victorian children’s room, a Hindu and Muslim room, a Zulu culture room in addition to the museum covering the major Boer and Anglo influences.
The external exhibits include steam engines, a hearse, a restored Cape Cart, and a Spider. One of the major exhibits is a 1750′s cannon brought to Greytown in 1852, all the way from Port St. Johns. Incredibly, the canon was transported by an eighteen year old orphaned girl accompanied by ten shipwrecked Zulus through countryside inhabited by wild animals. A 115 year old fig tree (Ficus Natalensis) was planted by Annie Botha (sister of General Louis Botha), while married to Dr. Birtwell who built the original building that house the museum in 1879.
The building was sold to the Colonial Government and it was used as The Residency for the local magistrate until 1971. The new magistrate found it unacceptable and the Council built a new residence on the adjoining property. The museum was opened in the original building in 1973.
The museum is open from Monday to Friday from 8h00 to 16h00
Tel: +27 (0)33 413 9124
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