Ladysmith has a rich historical past, it became a prosperous staging- post for fortune-hunters en route to the Transvaal gold fields and diamond discoveries in Kimberley and became the centre of attention during the Anglo Boer War, both locally and overseas, when it fell under siege from October 1899 to March 1900. Its historic heritage is its main claim to fame with a wide variety of battlefields, memorials and monuments to visit.
Today Ladysmith is a popular stop over town and is known as the natural gateway to the Central and Northern Drakensberg Mountain Range. The peaks form an elegant backdrop to the town, particularly in winter when a light blanket of snow graces its pinnacles. Hiking, mountain biking and horse riding are wonderful activities in this part of the country and the Qeduzi Dam and Spioenkop Nature Reserve are virtually on your doorstep and well worth a visit.
A number of accommodations, from guest houses and B&B’s to game lodges and farm stays, are on offer in Ladysmith.
Things to do and see
- Soofie Mosque
- Ladysmith Siege Museum
- Statue of Gandhi
- The All Saints Church
- Ladysmith Town Hall
- Colling’s Pass
- Spioenkop Nature Reserve
- Qeduzi Dam
- Battlefields Route
- Spion Kop Battlefield Site
- Elandslaagte Battlefield Memorial
- Ladysmith Golf Course
Ladysmith receives approximately 740 mm of rain annually with most of its annual rainfall during summer.
Summer months, November to March will have average temperatures of between 15˚C and 30˚C.
Winter months, May to August will have average temperatures of between 2˚C and 21˚C.
There are daily local flights into Pietermaritzburg Airport, approximately 180 Km’s away via the N3, and into King Shaka International Airport in Durban, approximately 274 Km’s away also via the N3. Car hire facilities are available at the Airport.
Officially declared a town in 1850, Ladysmith was named after the Spanish wife of Sir Harry Smith's, Lady Juana Smith. She was considered one of the great beauties of Southern Africa. Two towns were named after her, and to distinguish between them the one in KwaZulu Natal is spelt Ladysmith, while the one in the little Karoo of the Western Cape is Ladismith.
Ladysmith made world headlines at the end of the 19th century when it was besieged for 118 days during the most crucial stage of the
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