The enchanting KwaZulu-Natal Midlands Meander has always been home to artists and crafts-people. In 1985 local artists, potters and weavers joined forces to create an arts and crafts route. Six studios opened their doors to the public and the KZN Midlands Meander was born.
The aim of the Midlands Meander was to encourage the public to take to the country, and to give visitors a chance to find interesting accommodation in the Natal Midlands and see crafts-people at work. By selling directly to visitors, the studios were able to keep prices down, and with the active support of hospitality establishments in the area, such as Midlands Bed and Breakfasts and Natal Midlands self catering accommodation, a unique route was formed. Other artists and crafts-people were encouraged to move to the area and today the Midlands Meander is a stimulating arts and crafts route with quaint and exciting Natal Midlands accommodation options.
The Natal Midlands Meander reaches from the N3 freeway to well into the Drakensberg Mountain Range. Holiday Travellers between Johannesburg and Durban would benefit from an overnight stay in one or two of the Natal Midlands accommodation bed and breakfast or Guest House options.
Scenic beauty and picturesque villages
The Natal Midlands can boast an excellent road infrastructure, which takes travellers through scenic beauty while linking Midlands Meander outlets and picturesque villages along with some of South Africa's leading hotel accommodation and Midlands guest houses, and a host of delightful Drakensberg or Midlands bed and breakfast establishments. Bird watchers and fishermen will enjoy a visit to the Chelmsford Nature Reserve just south of Newcastle, which also forms a part of the Midlands Meander route.
There are many historical buildings in the Natal Midlands, several of which date back to the 1880's. A number have been declared National Monuments including some well preserved Settler Churches.
Whether you're a Natal Midlands local discovering the doorstep experiences of the region for the first time, an overseas traveller exploring this enchanting Midlands Meander countryside, or a holidaymaker en route to the coast, the Midlands Meander has something for everyone - all year round.
The National Botanical Gardens in Pietermaritzburg is a very pleasant place to take a stroll under the shade of beautiful magnolias, some dating from the Victorian era. The Natal Museum in Pietermaritzburg has impressive collections of insects and moluscs, as well as excellent exhibits of dinosaurs and early human habitation, all adding to the interesting activities dotted around the Midlands Meander.
THE BATTLEFIELDS Accommodation and activities
It is difficult to imagine that the scenic and tranquil landscape of central and northern KwaZulu-Natal was once the focal point of major military clashes; where over a time span of 70 years, one historical drama after another unfolded in the Natal Battlefields / Midlands region, and all of this against the backdrop of the African veld and the majestic Drakensberg Mountains. This region can get quite cold in Summer and scorching hot in Winter which calls for comfortable accommodation in this Battlefields Region. Air conditioned accommodation or adequate heating should be considered when booking into a Natal Battlefields bed and breakfast or Guest House. Battlefields Self Catering accommodation which is generally more cost-effective should also be considered, for larger parties. If you are uncertain about comfortable midlands accommodation options, then check out the star-graded properties on Where to Stay.
Largest concentration of battlefields in South Africa
The Natal Battlefields Region boasts the largest concentration of battlefields in South Africa drawing visitors from all over the world, especially British holiday makers who take advantage of a healthy exchange rate and book into some of the wonderful Battlefields accommodation guest houses and Midlands bed and breakfasts. In these Midlands Battlefields military engagements were to shape the course of South African and world history, and rock the pedestal of the British Empire. Battles raged over the green hills and sweeping grasslands of the Natal Midlands.
Every town, historical building, battle site and memorial has a fascinating tale to tell, an event to commemorate, a poignant memory to recall.
But don't let the KwaZulu Natal Battlefields description mislead you into thinking you are going to spend your time in the past. The region has the climate, scenery, wildlife, cultural diversity, cuisine and Midlands accommodation hospitality to make your visit unique and memorable.
Although the towns of Colenso forms a part of the Natal Midlands Battlefields Route, accommodation options are very limited.
Estcourt, Ladysmith, Newcastle and Dundee bed and breakfast or Guest Houses form the "bigger town" options, not to say that you should not visit some of the smaller, historic Midlands accommodation options on Where to Stay.
If you need a break from the busy city life, Gilly's offers tranquil wide open spaces, amazing views with incredible sunrises and sunsets.There is a trampoline, tennis court and an entertainment area with braai facilities for the Guests to use ...
3 bedrooms (one king, one double and one twin), accommodating 6 people. Electric blankets, heaters and all linen provided. Lounge/dining room with fireplace (wood and anthracite provided). TV (SABC 1, 2, 3 & e-TV), full DSTV , DVD player.
WoodStay Lodge is self-catering accommodation (no meals provided) on a small equestrian estate on the outskirts of Newcastle. It is a safe and tranquil area with a farm-like atmosphere, plenty of bird-life, dogs and horses. The perfect place to unwind, ch
The original Glen Afton settler homestead dates back to the mid 1800's but has been extensively renovated and extended and offers luxury B&B accommodation in four suites, each with private entrance from the garden and all en-suite with bath and .
Exclusive use by guests. Guest Lounge with TV, off street parking with remote controlled access, log cabin type outdoor gazebo with fireplace. Two separate private sleeping wings. Malaria Free Area. English breakfast or alternatives by prior ...
Our furnished, self catering house has four beautifully decorated en-suite bedrooms, two of which are family rooms and a loft room - comfortably sleeping 10 adults and 6 children
With majestic sweeping views of the KZN mountains and adjoining a nature reserve, we offer a dynamic concept in hospitality. Five beautifully appointed suites with the emphasis on elegant comfort, peace and quiet, personalized service ensur a memorable s
The Victoria Country Club Guest House is situated +/- 5kms from the Pietermaritzburg CBD and is within easy access from the freeway.
Duvet & Crumpets offers private accommodation in an early Maritzburg homestead. We cater for business executives, families, sporting teams and contract projects. A full English or "health" breakfast is served in the dining room or in your own unit...
If your heart yearns for a tranquil blend of seclusion and luxury then Lions River Country Cottages, award winning accommodation, is your perfect escape into the solitude of the countryside.
All 40 chalets have their own under cover parking, there is a front door entrance and glass door entrance to pool or Gardens. The double room suites consist of 2 rooms, main with 2 double beds, TV and DStv, aircon, en-suite bathroom with bath & shower...
Indigo Fields is different from anything else you may have experienced ... a unique spa destination where every aspect of your stay from our indulgent spa treatments to our lovingly prepared meals and delightful accommodation...
Little Europe Bed & Breakfast accommodation is situated 2km from Hayfields shopping centre, Scottsville Race Course, Nedbank Centre and Natal University.
Gowrie Cottage is a spacious house situated in a secure development in Gowrie Village, in the quaint village of Nottingham Road. The cottage offers comfortable self-catering accommodation ideal for families looking for a peaceful country escape.
While the Big Five experience alone is enough to attract visitors, The Springbok Lodge guests can expect so much more. Our 21 elevated Luxury Tents sleep a maximum of 50 guests, offering 5-star opulence in the African bush.
Accommodation is offered on a self-catering basis, with catering available on request. All units have fully equipped kitchens, braai facilities and linen and towels are provided. The century old Farmhouse is equipped for 16 guests. It has a lounge...