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Ladysmith, South Africa
Fast Facts
Historic Interest
Tourist Attractions
Family-Friendly Tours
Points of Interest Nearby

The Burgher Monument on the Platrand, Ladysmith


Photo by Battlefields Region Guides

Ladysmith, situated roughly halfway between Johannesburg and Durban, is known round the world as the site of the 118-day siege chronicled by the budding young journalist named Winston Churchill. From 30 October 1899 to 28 February 1900, a small army of British soldiers, numbering around 10,000, were held siege by the stock farming Boers in this once important transit point for fortune seekers en route to the Transvaal. Local attractions include the Ladysmith Siege Museum and Spioenkop Battlefield. The town also serves as a gateway to the central and northern reaches of the Ukhahlamba Drakensberg Park.
Getting There
Ladysmith is located in the South African province of KwaZulu Natal and sits within the Battlefields Route. The town is situated roughly 250km from Durban, 319km from Richards Bay, and 350km Johannesburg. The nearest airports are located in Johannesburg and Durban, a 3.5 and 3-hour drive respectively. A car is required to reach Ladysmith and most area attractions.
When to Travel
The climate in northwest KwaZulu Natal is characterized by two well-defined seasons; cool, sunny winters and hot, wet summers. The average daytime high is 28°C (82°F) from December through February and 19°C (66°F) in June and July. The nighttime lows are significantly cooler than the daytime high throughout the year. The area receives roughly 680mm of rainfall each year, most of which falls between November and March.
Things to Keep in Mind
You can pick up information on the battlefields at the Tourist Information Office in Ladysmith. A 'Siegetown' walkabout guide is available at the Ladysmith Siege Museum. Guided tours to nearby battlefields can be arranged through the Ladysmith Siege Museum.
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