Comrades Marathon

It is that time of the year again… on Sunday 3 June it is time for about 18 000 runners to tackle the

Comrades Marathon.

Comrades Marathon is the largest and oldest ultra marathon in the world, where athletes conquer the approx 90 kilometres between Pietermaritzburg, the capital of KwaZulu-Natal, and the coastal city of Durban. The direction of the race alternates each year between the “up” run (87 km) starting from Durban and the “down” run (89 km) starting from Pietermaritzburg. This year the race starts in Pietermaritzburg and our own SW Africa Office Manager Peter Faber will be running the race for the first time 🙂 Good luck Peter! 

Peter crossing the finish line after completing the Two Oceans Marathon in 2011

The first Comrades Marathon took place on 24th May 1921, Empire Day, starting outside the City Hall in Pietermaritzburg with 34 runners. The race was the idea of World War I veteran Vic Clapham, who wanted to to commemorate the South African soldiers killed during the war. It has continued since then every year with the exception of the war years 1941-1945. 

The Comrades Marathon is a non profit organization, and this year supports 6 major charities, where various proceeds from the Marathon are distributed to these charities. The charities are Wildlands, The Sports Trust, Starfish foundation, World Vision, Pink Drive and The Community Chest. The charities are dedicated to uplifting the various communities that they are involved with.

Comrades attracts runners from all over the world to this beautiful part of South Africa (in 2011 there were over 1100 international runners that finished the race). And there is a lot to discover around the KwaZulu-Natal region flanked by the warm Indian Ocean and soaring peaks.

Two natural areas have been declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites: The Greater St Lucia Wetland Park and Drakensberg.

Dolphins and whales can often be seen from KZN’s golden beaches, and the subtropical climate makes this area popular for local as well as international tourists. The area is also a magnet for thrill-seekers in the great outdoors – from wave riders to hang-gliders, and golfers to mountain bikers.

On the Elephant Coast you will find great game reserves such as Hluhluwe and Falaza, they are well worth a visit. Why not combine a relaxing beach holiday with an African safari? Check out SW Africa’s Bush & Beach package here.

For those with an interest in history a visit to Battlefields of yesteryear where Zulu, Boer and British now make pilgrimages of reconciliation is a must.

KwaZulu-Natal is the home of the Zulu monarch,King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu. Although not holding any direct political power, the Zulu king is provided a stipend by the government. He holds considerable influence among the more traditionalist Zulu people in the province.

KZN is also home to many people with Indian descents – Durban is the largest ‘Indian’ city outside India. Most Indians in South Africa are descendants of migrants from colonial India (South Asia) during late 19th-century through early 20th-century.

Travelers from all over the world are attracted to the cultural diversity and excitement – in the most breathtaking setting imaginable.

Welcome to South Africa’s Zulu Kingdom: KwaZulu-Natal.


About SW Africa Destination Management

SW Africa is a tour-operator and Destination Management Company for Southern and Eastern Africa, based in Johannesburg since 1997. No matter what the brief is from you or your client, our professional consultants will tailor something unique to suit your needs. At SW Africa our mission is to provide every client with prompt, accurate, creative and relevant travel advice in a personalised and unique manner. In so doing, we strive to ensure that our clients return home having had the ultimate, unforgettable journey in spectacular surroundings, and all this at a price that they felt comfortable with. If you are looking for a local expert for Southern Africa and Eastern Africa, who provides a personalised and flexible service, we dare claim that SW Africa is the perfect choice! Equipping us in our efforts, we are able to draw on many years of experience in the travel industry, longstanding relationships with all suppliers, extensive destination knowledge and a burning passion for Africa, its people, animals and landscapes. SW Africa is a proud member of Travel Smart Crew, IAGTO, SAGTA, and SITE, as well as an affiliate of Fair Trade in Tourism South Africa. SW Africa are proud donors to the Love Trust Foundation and invite you to become a donor too!
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