Vryheid is the largest town in Northern KwaZulu-Natal and is the heartbeat of a vast regional area.

Vryheid is also located near the sources of four major Zululand Rivers: White and Black Umfolozi, Mkhuze and Pongolo and part of the Tukhela catchment as well. This ensures many wetlands, some of which (Blood, Aloeboom and Lenjane) are of regional importance.

The population of the region is approximately 230 000 with a blend of Zulu, Afrikaans, German, English and European cultures. The diverse population ensures exposure to many traditions and cultures.

It has viable economic structure reliant on farming, mining, timber and small industry. Extensive wattle and timber plantations form a large portion of agricultural activities, but the main crops are maize and groundnuts.

Steeped in history, from the Bushmen to the British, and including an Anglo-Boer battlefield, the Vryheid Hill reserve outside town offers a lot to the visitor.

Vryheid is an important link in the railway line from the eastern Mpumalanga coalfields to the ore and bulk cargo port of Richards Bay on the north coast of KwaZulu Natal.


Carnegie Public Library:
Built in 1908, it served as a government building temporarily before a complete restoration in 1984. It houses a variety of Anglo-Boer War artifacts and the woodwork is still the imported Oregon pine.

Old Raadsaal:
The old council chambers of the original republic can be visited in Landdros Street. Dating back to1884, it is adjoined by an old Fort and jail.

Vryheid Nature Reserve:
A one-day hiking trail takes visitors through this scenic reserve with stops including Anglo-Boer War gunpoints. The longer trails allow visitors to enjoy the abundant bird life and magnificent scenery of Lancaster Hill.
The Ntingonono Environmental Center gives informative group tours.

Cecil Emmett Park:
A pleasant park offers recreational facilities for an ideal family outing.

Hot Water Springs:
Rejuvenate yourself in the healing waters of the Natal Spa and Thangami Safari Spa.

Anglo-Zulu War Sites
Hlobane Battlefield
28 March 1879. On Hlobane Mountain, embarassing defeat for British forces. 20 km from Vryheid on Hlobane Road. Require key from Mine to gain entry.
Tel: 034 982 2133 ext 2271

Kambula Battlefield
29 March 1879. Some 22 000 Zulu warriors attacked fortified British position, battle started at 13:30, ended 17:30 when Zulu's were driven off and pursued by horsemen until dark. 10km from Vryheid on Paulpietersburg Road. Open daily.
Tel: 034 982 2133 ext 2271

Prince Imperial Memorial
1 June 1879. Last hope of Napoleonic dynasty died when Louis Napoleon was killed. Open Daily.
Tel: 034 212 2121 ext 2262

Anglo-Boer War Sites
Scheepersnek Battlefield
20 May 1900. 75 Swaziland police and Vryheid burgers stationed here. During church service squaadron of Bethune's Mounted Infantry arrived unexpectedly. British forced to withdraw. 10km outside Vryheid on R33. Private farm.
Tel: 034 982 2133 ext 2271

Lancaster Hill
11-12 December 1900. Fortifications, gun emplacements and monument to Lt Col Gawne. Self-guided trail with brochure. Part of Vryheid Nature Reserve. Entrance fee payable. Open daily 7:00 - 18:00.
Tel: 034 982 2133 ext 2271

Blood River Poort Battlefield
September 1901. Battle to prevent Louis Botha's second effort to invade Natal. Boer counterattack resulted in loss of 16 British officers, 273 men and 3 guns in 10 minutes. On D251. Signposted, after 8km, turn towards farm Goedgeloof. Walk to graves, 1km along road on right side, cross over fence.
Tel: 034 982 2133 ext 2271


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