Ladysmith – a 45-minute drive from Oaklands Country Manor – is situated almost halfway between Johannesburg and Durban. A key point in the struggle for Natal during the First Boer War, the small town and the old battlefields nearby are a popular attraction for South African history enthusiasts.
Several old battle sites surround Ladysmith, namely Spioenkop, Wagon Hill, Colenso, Elandslaagte, Nicholson’s Nek, Thukela Heights, Gun Hill and Lombard’s Kop. The historical importance of these locations is marked by monuments, sculptures, gun emplacements, museums and military cemeteries. Registered local tour guides can accompany visitors to the old battlefields, and detailed maps and brochures are available from the Ladysmith Tourism Information Office.
The town of Ladysmith is a tourist attraction in itself. The rich history of the region is captured in the architectural styles of old buildings, as well as various museums and national monuments. The Siege Museum, Moth Museum, statue of Ghandi, and the Architectural Route are all worth a visit.