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Living in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa:
Tips for Moving and Visiting

35 local experts

If you've been wondering what it's like to live in or visit Pietermaritzburg, the Crowdsourced Explorer community can help. We asked 35 people living in Pietermaritzburg what someone who is considering moving to or visiting there should know. Here are their pros and cons, tips, and advice:

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35 comments on “Pietermaritzburg”

If you’re moving to PMB you need to be vigilant of sudden weather changes. It’s a beautiful city.

The natural beauty of Pietermaritzburg is worth the move. There are a number of great schools across the city. Expect to plan outings around peak hour traffic.

Savera, says: 2023

Pietermaritzburg is a diverse city. It is diverse in terms of culture, race, religion and so forth. It is the heart of commerce to many municipalities, which means that there are a lot of businesses that are operated here. It is the capital city of KwaZulu-Natal.

Mthokozisi, says: 2023

Pietermaritzburg is a diverse city. It is diverse in terms of culture, race, religion and so forth. It can b said to be a minor resemblance of South Africa as a rainbow nation. It is the heart of commerce to many municipalities, which means that there are a lot of businesses that are operated here. It is the capital city of KwaZulu-Natal. It has socially viable people who are rooted in the spirit of ubuntu and they are all hustlers. Crime is indeed present, but it is curbed at times by the loving and the caring spirit of the community which protects and shields victims and potential victims.

Lebogang, says: 2020

Pietermaritzburg is considered a small town by many standards, you very often find yourself running into familiar faces. It is by many considered quite uneventful as I have so often heard from the friends who I make at university, who often are from out of town. It is filled with quiet neighborhoods but once you form bonds with your neighbors, you definitely will not regret it. Pietermaritzburg has a strong sense of community and friendly nature.

Gugulethu, says: 2020

Pietermaritzburg is a complete mixing pot of people – a large variety of cultures, religions and ethnic backgrounds can be found and they, generally, all get along well. Many of the streets in Pietermaritzburg are lined with big, old Jacaranda trees that turn the city bright purple in the early summer months. With it’s convenient location this city is highly recommended as a halfway stop for anyone traveling to the mountains from the coast.

It is a good city which is highly hygiene and people who live in it have a good hearted, everything is in control and it is criminal free and it is good for starting your own business such as selling local brands and so on. The weather condition it is not that bad.

Indila, says: 2020

The weather is one of the best in the whole country, as it is almost always sunny and there is less crime after the police have started doing their work properly and life is good if you are looking for a place where the stores, malls and zoos are near by.

My city, Pietermaritzburg, is quite small, with very little activity. We have one main mall and a few smaller shopping centres. Everyone knows each other, so this city emits feelings of familiarity and closeness. Hence, it is known as the “Sleepy Hollow”. Overall, it is a lovely city, especially if you are longing for a close-knit community.

Tashlyn, says: 2020

Pietermaritzburg is the capital city of the KwaZulu-Natal Province and has a historic building, which is the city hall. The city has two universities mainly, the Durban University of Technology and University of KwaZulu-Natal. Pietermaritzburg has a wide range of entertainment activities which are located around the city and in the townships.

Masechaba, says: 2020

Pietermaritzburg is the Capital of KwaZulu-Natal. It is filled with diversity and beautiful landscapes. It has beautiful architecture that dates way back. It has one of the most used courts in KZN. It also has a beautiful park called Botanical Gardens. It also has lovely suburbs and townships. The schools around Pietermaritzburg are considered some of the best schools in South Africa. Moving to this city would be a great move.

The weather changes frequently and we experience all four seasons in one day sometimes. The city is well known for once hosting the beginning of the comrades marathon which started at the Pietermaritzburg City Hall. Like any other city Pietermaritzburg has its own imperfections like potholes, garbage collections and not enough recycling to a name a few but the municipality is working with people to rectify that.

Nkosikhona, says: 2020

Pietermaritzburg is a small town which is great for tourists. It attracts businesses and is known for its red bricks buildings which makes it unique. People are very friendly and welcoming. There are so many opportunities considering the fact that it is a capital city. I wouldn’t trade my home town for anything.

Fortunate, says: 2020

The city is small, very quiet, it is near to all the necessities, there is a mild danger of thieves, it is often not cold, one has to know English as a way of communicating with others as an alternative since most people speak Zulu or Xhosa. Job opportunities are mild.

Liyabona, says: 2020

Pietermaritzburg is a beautiful city in KwaZulu-Natal. There are three things you should know if you are planning on moving here:
1. Learn to speak IsiZulu as it is the common language.
2. Do not use Bluetooth speakers whilst walking near Imbali taxi rank.
3. Respect the elderly; respect is very important especially for the elderly.

Bonus tip: Learn to count taxi fare change if you are going to be travelling in the early hours of the day, especially if you are planning on sitting in the front.

Beverley, says: 2020

If someone is considering moving to Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, they should know that this is a quiet place to live. You will meet fantastic people and develop strong connections, although there aren’t too many activities you can partake in. The natural environment is beautiful, with an abundance of beautiful trees and interesting flowers.

Sinazo, says: 2020

It is a busy city with a lot of beautiful places to visit and things to do. It’s where people know each other because it is likely that they went to the same schools or come from the same area. We have a lot in common and most of us are Zulu speakers.

Pietermaritzburg is a wonderful city, which is also known as the “city of flowers”. It includes places such as the Botanical gardens. It can be a very great tourist destination if they are seeking to experience different cultures. There are many more places to see and visit. It is also a very busy city.

Saajidah, says: 2020

It is a relatively quiet town therefore someone who prefers the city may not enjoy staying here. It becomes cold during winter. It has good schools, many of which are part of the top schools in the country. It also has a museum which portrays part of the country’s history during the colonial times.

Pietermaritzburg is a very lovely city, because of the energy and vibe that one receives from other people. This place is very hot on summer time. Therefore, to survive the heat, one needs to stay healthy by drinking a lot of water and exercising. I recommend places like Wembley, if one seeks the peaceful, no traffic place.

Mthokozisi, says: 2020

My city is one of the warmest places in summer. It is the capital of KwaZulu-Natal. It is known as the city of choice, with Maritzburg United, the soccer team, originating from there. In order to survive this city, you need to stay healthy, during a lot of water and exercise.

Lerato, says: 2020

Pietermaritzburg is the “City of Choice.” There is good reason for this, with multiple entertainment venues and a wealth of good schools, hospitals and vast cultural heritage. The natural beauty of this city is overwhelming and for this reason I recommend the city to anyone looking for a peaceful environment.

A busy city and is always bustling with noise and activity in the early mornings. Everyone is up early, to open their shops or set up their merchandise on wide pavements. The buildings stand tall and they are what makes the city so mesmerizing and capturing to anyone who dares to pay a visit to the inner city.

Natasha, says: 2020

My city is one of the two capitals of the province of KwaZulu-Natal. The closest beach is an hour away, in Durban. But, we do have a botanical garden where one can explore various plant life and enjoy nature under the shelter of the most beautiful trees. We also have a scenic hiking trail for those who enjoy the outdoors.

Robynn, says: 2020

She should know my city is a capital city of KwaZulu-Natal, it has ancient buildings. it has a lot of good restaurants and tourist attractions. My city is also very lively at night because of many places where people go to relax and have fun. It is also a good place to reinvent yourself due to lots of resources to do so.

They must be aware of the correct location as to where they will be residing. Once that is achieved their next step will be to ensure their rent is paid and if the need arises be prepared to go to the relevant job interviews to ensure they have investigated all work that could be of benefit to them.

The city is incredibly small. Due to that, one should remember that it is a closely knit community, and job availability in certain fields are scarce, or even completely unavailable. Pietermaritzburg has some of the best schools in the country, therefore it is a great place to raise kids, however, university options are not the best, so your kids will eventually move to another province. It is a town best suited to the very young, and very old, nothing between.

Pietermaritzburg is the capital of my province, KwaZulu-Natal. We have a vast population of different ethnicities. Pietermaritzburg also has many schools and universities. The CBD holds a monumental statue of the late Mahatma Gandhi at the place where he was thrown out of the train. The name Pietermaritzburg is derived from two iconic historians in the South African history, namely Piet Retief and Gert Maritz.

Tshebetso, says: 2020

Pietermaritzburg is called the “City of choice”. Known as Sleepy Hollow, as it is a quiet town surrounded by mountains. It is also one of the starting points for the famous Comrades Marathon race. Which is on average 92. five km run. We are just an hours drive from the capital Durban.

Pietermaritzburg is known for its serene atmosphere and polite citizens. The nature is exquisite while the weather is pleasant. We are home to a rich history and diverse culture. This quiet town, though a bit of a sleepy hollow, is the ideal location to relax and unwind. Pietermaritzburg is a beautiful little town hidden among the gems of South Africa.

Pietermaritzburg is the capital of our state, or province as South Africans call it. One of the high courts of the country can be found in my hometown, and it is the starting point of the famous comrades marathon. A lesser known fact about my city is that Nelson Mandela was captured right at its borders.

Pietermaritzburg various from fancy estates such as Intaba Ridge which is just a breath of fresh air, to plain old townships where everyone is family and has a range of different activities to tackle (help out in the community). It is a busy city, filled with locals singing, dancing, shopping and eating. You will always find someone willing to assist with anything as I’ve found that the city is lucky to have helpful people.

Yasmin, says: 2020

When moving here, Pietermaritzburg, it is essential that you understand the way climate affects daily living and be aware of the available transportation services. It is also essential to constantly be aware of your surroundings as crime is highly prevalent. It is also important to be money wise and efficient, That way, You can save extra cash and invest in it for future use.

Luyanda, says: 2020

Pietermaritzburg is extremely beautiful, mountainous, and the people are extremely friendly. There are various quint coffee shops go to, hiking trails visit, and a magnificent crystal lake. If you enjoy being pampered, then you are in luck because Pietermaritzburg has the most tranquil resorts which look out onto the simmering lake.

Thembi, says: 2020

Pietermaritzburg is a quiet city with a lot of business opportunities. Pietermaritzburg is an excellent place to start a family and although it may be a small city, It is rich in culture and host many diverse entertainment spots. I recommend visiting Rosehurst. It is a quaint, family run restaurant with rustic, home-made meals set in a tranquil and well manicured garden. A must visit!

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