Dundee has a rich and varied history which includes military conflict and long connections with coal mining and the town is characterised by numerous historical buildings with historical connections that date back over 100 years. This is where the Anglo-Boer War of 1899-1902 began, the first shots were fired at Talana on a hill just outside Dundee, where today the Talana Museum is set in a 20-acre heritage park. Dundee falls within the Battlefield Region with many historical sites to visit.
Dundee is also surrounded by historical mountains include Mpati, meaning “the place of good waters” and Talana “the shelf where precious items are kept”. The area offers numerous hiking trails where you can explore caves and shelters with rock paintings showing evidence of the San who lived here thousands of years ago.
Dundee offers a variety of accommodation which includes B&B’s, Guesthouses, self-catering cottages, game lodges and backpacking options.
Things to do and see
- Talana Museum
- Coal Mining Museum
- Endoumeni Pass
- Brandon’s Pass
- Battlefields Route
- Indlovu Brewery
- Dundee Boulevard Shopping Centre
- Dundee Golf Course
Colenso receives approximately 765 mm of rain annually with most of its annual rainfall during summer.
Summer months, November to March will have average temperatures of between 14˚C and 28˚C.
Winter months, May to August will have average temperatures of between 2˚C and 22˚C.
There are daily local flights into Pietermaritzburg Airport, approximately 235 Km’s away via the N3, and into King Shaka International Airport in Durban, approximately 246 Km’s away via the R33. Richard’s Bay Airport is another option, 256 Km’s away via the R68. Car hire facilities are available at the Airport.
In many areas of Natal the early settlers found coal exposed on the surface.
A geological survey in 1880 proved there were workable deposits in a 3000 km2 area of northern Natal, with especially rich deposits on the farm Dundee and neighbouring properties. Dundee was originally a farm owned by Peter Smith, who in 1882 named it after his Scottish hometown.
A pioneer of the Natal coal mining industry, Peter Smith, laid out a town on Dundee to serve as a centre for several mines. Smith floated the Dundee Coal Company on the London Stock Exchange in 1899, and Dundee soon emerged as a boomtown graced with stately homes and the first theatre north of Port Natal-Durban. It soon grew to be a substantial trading and railway centre such as Dannhauser, Glencoe, Wasbank and Elandslaagte, also in the area.
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