Town within a game park
Utrecht lies in the foothills of the Balele Mountains, in the northwestern corner of KwaZulu-Natal, 50 km from Newcastle and is unique because it lies within the Utrecht Balele Community Game Park with no fences between the town and the game park.
Coal mining and Cattle ranching are its predominant economic activities.
In 1854 a group of cattlemen obtained from Mpane, the Zulu King, grazing rights in the area of northern Natal between the Buffalo and the Bloed rivers.
Having been granted grazing rights however ,the ranchers then claimed the land as their own and opened an independant republic which they named Utrecht after the ancient city in Holland.
The Utrecht Republic was absorbed into the then Transvaal in 1858 and at the end of the Anglo-Boer War it was returned to Natal.
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