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.
Hilton Safari Lodge is a thatched upmarket B & B set on over an acre of beautiful gardens, situated in the heart of the village within easy walking distance of the Quarry Shopping Centre and a choice of restaurants.
...once an old railway station, now converted into beautiful self catering cottages that are set in stunning surrounds and the ideal platform to explore KwaZulu Natal.
Aberfeldy Bed and Breakfast is personally supervised by owners Phyll and Roy Geyser together their willing and friendly staff and a warm and friendly welcome awaits you. We are your 'home from home'.
Merci Dieu is the perfect spot for reunions, celebrations and family get-togethers. Merci Dieu sleeps 12 - 14 guests with 6 bedrooms (3 bedrooms have hand basins ), 3 bathrooms, 3 lounges, a large fully fitted kitchen and 2 spacious outside patios...
Arusha Lodge offers 14 en-suite rooms (single, double and twin rooms available). Each room is fully air conditioned (heating and cooling), fitted with a personal safe for your security and convenience. The rooms have own coffee & tea making ...
We have four separate units, two family units both with two single beds and a queen, and then two double rooms with a queen and two single beds in the 4th. Each are decorated with an ethnic feel and the mask artifacts coming from deep within Afric
The thing that is always amazing about being on a farm is the sound of silence. You realise something is different - the constant hum of city life is gone and the peace and quiet is something you can really feel.
Nestled in the historical Byrne Valley lies an oasis of peace and tranquility. The Oaks Hotel has been welcoming guests for many generations and is justifiably acknowledged for the quality of its food and the ambiance of its facilities.
Set on 935 hectares of sprawling farmlands, Sierra Resort dates as far back as 1900, where it was a quaint single story outpost, affectionately known as The Grove. It has since established itself as one of the most popular Midlands destinations for famili
Escape Bed & Breakfast 8 km out of Dundee on the Vryheid Road, situated on a farm surrounded with peaceful quietness and spectacular views. We have three (3) on-suite chalets. Each chalet sleeps two (2) persons.
The rooms are comfortable with tea and coffee trays, wall safes, heating and electric blankets for winter and fans or air conditioners for summer. Radios, TV, hairdryers and dressing gowns are provided. Facilities include the use of fax and ...
This luxury boutique hotel boasts 31 spacious rooms, (8 Self Catering & 14 Standard rooms, 1 disabled friendly room, 7 Superior rooms and 1 Executive Suite). The rooms are furnished with solid wooden furniture and superior quality fabric.
On a beautiful beef and maize farm in the Kwazulu natal midlands, we have 3 cosy, rustic cottages catering for families of 4 or just for couples.
Come to the Midlands and enjoy the country air and beautiful mountains and views. We have spacious self catering cottages, you only need to bring food and relax or maybe we can do the cooking for you. (booking only), The cottages have cosy log ...
11 Karkloof is situated in the midlands, nestled amongst the best single tracks in Southern Africa and only 6.5km from Howick on the Karkloof road. The property was previously an old mushroom farm which adds to the charm of its rustic self catering units.
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 .
The amazing view over natural bush and the peace and tranquillity at Leopards & Louries Bush Lodge make it difficult to believe that the business centres of Durban, Pinetown and Pietermaritzburg are so close.