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.
KwaNyoni Cottages offer a unique concept in accommodation; imaginatively transformed from old stables and a farm building, these three eclectically decorated self-catering units are set on a tranquil agricultural property with panoramic views over the
Kusane Farm Cottage is perched high above the stunning Karkloof valley, midway between Howick and Curry's Post on the Midlands Meander, with its fine restaurants and shopping.
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 ...
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.
Delightful main bedroom with double Brass bed, as well as a quaint little loft room, under thatch. A Further two beds on the verandah makes the cottage into a comfortable 6 sleeper
Wynnholme Cottages are cosy, self-catering units with a country feel - ideal for breaking your trip to the coast, staying over while visiting the area, or simply relaxing and enjoying the Midlands.
As you step out of your car, you will be welcomed with big smiles from Mango - our Dalmatian - and Milo - our Daxie! "A peaceful and calm homely environment" - The Boston T Party - Rustic Accommodation and Tea Garden.
The cottage on Lake Zonk is an ideal getaway. Situated only a few metres from the waters edge, it provides spectacular views and easy access to water based activities.
Lavender Trout Farm in Nottingham Road is located on the R103 on the Midlands Meander- only 3kms from Michaelhouse School and 7km from the centre of town. These 2 self-catering houses are surrounded with gorgeous views and 3 dams.
Elandsheim is situated in the heart of the famous Zulu, Anglo and Boer battle sites, 55 km from Dundee, halfway between Johannesburg and Durban. We are surrounded by privately owned game reserves, rivers, waterfalls and magnificent Zululand thornveld
Waterwoods is set on a lush and beautiful farm on 75ha in the historic Fort Nottingham area of the Natal Midlands. The breathtaking beauty of the country side amidst farmlands is a favourite tourist destination.
Our superior accommodation consists of a well appointed and fully equipped spacious 2 bed roomed double-bedded studio with its own entrance, privacy and secure parking. Many pampering extras are offered such as bathrobes, hot water bottles and ...
The fresh water stream flowing through the property and the birds not to mention the Samango monkeys, provide the background noises ensuring a relaxing country experience. This is a 'Bring a Book and a Bottle of Wine' kind of place.
Logos Lodge offers 5 double or twin rooms allowing you to have individual attention as well as total privacy. All rooms are serviced daily and have en-suite bathrooms as well as their own private entrance.
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 ...
Deep within the three thousand hectare Karkloof Nature Reserve lies Rockwood. Four completely private, self catering lodges complement the beautiful surroundings - two are situated within the private nature reserve.
Thatchings lies in a beautiful setting of ancient pine trees, rolling lawns, azalea shrubs and hydrangeas (stunning when in flower), all overlooking a picturesque trout dam. The Guest House is completely surrounded by a private game and trout ...
Situated a mere 600 metres from the popular Cascades shopping centre in the leafy northern suburb of Montrose, and less than 5 minutes drive to the Liberty Midlands Mall and the N3 highway, Gecko Hill is a popular self catering destination.
The Legendary Nottingham Road Hotel, or "Notties" as it is affectionately known, is a 3 star graded hotel. As of 18 Mar. 16, we have opened our recently completed "Garden Suites". This long awaited addition to the hotel sees 10 new suites now available...