The city of Newcastle is the third largest settlement in Natal. It is situated in the north west corner of KwaZulu Natal, next to the Ncandu River, amidst the famous KwaZulu Natal battlefields. This is the main reason that accommodation in Newcastle attracts tourists.
This region of Natal is a tourism hot spot because of the area’s rich history. The northern and central parts of the KwaZulu Natal province are the sites of numerous bloody battles between the Zulus, Boers and British. The outcome of these battles had significant effects on South Africa’s development.
Today there is an official tourist route known as the Battlefields Route, which takes in the various battlefield sites, museums and old forts. It is known as having the largest concentration of significant war-related sites in South Africa. As you can imagine, this place is a historian’s dream.
Around Newcastle itself, some of the best sites include the memorial sites for the battle of Laing’s Nek, the battle of Schuinshoogte, the battle of Majuba, the Mount Prospect cemetery and the Amiel Museum. You can explore these sites under your own steam using a tourism map and a bit of prior research or alternatively, hire a qualified guide who can take you through the fascinating and at time poignant history.
In addition to bucket loads of history, the area around Newcastle also has some natural attractions. The Chelmsford Nature Reserve is a popular destination and offers guided or independent game-viewing, walking and cycling tracks and many opportunities for keen birders.
The Ntshingwayo Dam is located within the reserve and is a renowned fishing spot with good stocks of carp, barbell and scaly. You can also partake in sailing and water-sports on the dam.
If you are looking to explore KwaZulu Natal’s battlefields, accommodation in Newcastle will make a good base. Visit the area to explore South Africa’s history and immerse yourself in nature.
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