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Ladysmith is a city in the KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa at the foot of the Drakensberg mountains.

For other places with the same name, see Ladysmith (disambiguation).



Famous people show up in the most unexpected places

Sir Winston Churchill was reporter for the London Morning Post in Ladysmith at the time of the siege and Mohandas Gandhi was a stretcher bearer for the British Forces after the siege.

The Anglo Boer War dominates recorded history in this area. On 30 October 1899 (Mournful Monday), Boer forces started a siege on the town after British troops retreated there following their defeat at the Battle of Modderstroom. The siege lasted 118 days before British reinforcements arrived and were able to put an end to it.

Sir Winston Churchill gives a good account of the siege (and of the Anglo Boer War in general) in his book London to Ladysmith via Pretoria.

Get in[edit]

By car[edit]

Follow the N11 from the N3 for about 20km.

By plane[edit]

  • 1 Ladysmith Airport (LAY IATA). General aviation only Ladysmith Airport (Q8214433) on Wikidata Ladysmith Airport on Wikipedia

Get around[edit]


Soofie Mosque
Platrand Monument
  • Castor and Pollux (In front of the Town Hall). Twin British Howitzers used to defend the town during the Anglo Boer war.
  • MOTH Museum, +27 36 637-3762. 10AM to 2PM.
  • Siege Museum (Next to the Town Hall), +27 36 637-2992, . M-F 09:00-16:00; Sa 09:00-13:00.
  • Soofie Mosque. Open for visitors 13:00-14:00 and 17:00-21:00. A beautiful mosque that has been declared a National Monument. Free.
  • Statue of Gandhi, Lord Vishnu Temple, +27 36 637-7777. Mohandas Gandhi was a stretcher bearer after the Siege of Ladysmith and during the Battle of Spioenkop.
  • Wagon Hill/Platrand Monument and Museum, Wagon Hill/Platrand Battlefield, +27 36 637-2992, fax: +27 36 637-2992, . Daily 07:00-17:00. A monument and museum in memory of those who died during the Anglo Boer War R6.
The Llandaff Oratory
  • 1 Llandaff Oratory, Van Reenan (54 km NW of Ladysmith on N3). Possibly the smallest church in the world, with only 8 seats.


  • Spioenkop, 30km outside Ladysmith (Follow the N11 towards the N3, then follow the R616 towards Bergville, road signage will indicate Spioenkop from here). Site of one of the bloodiest battles of the Anglo Boer War, mainly comprising British troops from the Lancashire Brigade. Winston Churchill, working as a war correspondent wrote, "Many of the wounds were of a horrible nature...." There are hiking trails through the complete battlefield (a map is available from the attendant), but be prepared for quite a walk; turn of the century battles covered quite a large area.


  • Ladysmith Black-Mambazo. Get their recordings at of the music shops in the city.




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