Access to Pietermaritzburg by road is easy, lying as it does on the major N3 freeway from Durban to Johannesburg. The R56 connects Pietermaritzburg with Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and East London to the south-west.
The train station is on the corner of Church and Railway streets, on the south-west edge of the city centre. Exercise caution when traveling on foot in this part of town, due to muggings and bag snatching.
Oribi Airport offers daily flights to Johannesburg. Service can be slightly erratic or heavily booked, so keep that in mind when booking important flights.
Regular daily bus services connect Pietermaritzburg to major cities in South Africa. The bus station is located in Burger Street, opposite the McDonalds and it serves major bus companies. Grey Hound is the most reliable and it operates several round-trips from Durban to Johannesburg daily, where Pietermaritzburg is the last stop before Durban.
Private transport is the best way of getting around. Car rental is strongly advised. Otherise, minibus-taxis are cheap but uncomfortable and occasionally unsafe. Some of the sights of Pietermaritzburg are within walking distance, if you don’t mind trudging along for a few kilometres. Private taxis (cabs) can also be hired, but they are substantially more expensive than the minibus-taxis.
- Yellow Cab company, ☎+27 33 397-1910.
The central minibus-taxi rank is in Market Square, which is in the Central Business District near the Natal Society Library and the City Hall.
To get to the Central Business District from any of the suburbs by minibus-taxi, look for a taxi that is travelling to “eTuwen” or simply “Town”. (There should be a guy leaning out the window announcing this loudly.)
You don’t want to go to eThekwini, which is Durban. You want to go to “town”. Ask the conductor if you’re unsure.
Minibus-taxis have set routes, so there are a lot of places you can’t get to using them.
The CBD isn’t as safe as the suburbs. The area around the City Hall is pretty good, but I’d advise against long rambling walks into unfamiliar parts of it.