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.
All rooms have access to 11 TV channels. Internet access is provided at no additional cost. All units have baths and showers. Apart from two Parkview Lodges, all rooms have airconditioners
This 12 bed lodge is a peaceful bushveld retreat with accommodation designed in an architectural celebration of the Zulu nation. It offers a host of activities for those wanting to experience a combination of game viewing, battlefields and Zulu ...
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 .
Visit the Forty Winks self catering cottages in the beautiful Kamberg Valley, heart of Natal's fly fishing destinations, on the new Springrove Dam in the Kwazulu Natal Midlands.
Wyford Farm is situated in a pretty mountainous area off Van Reenen Pass (N3) and has a rich recorded history being built in the 1870's as a Trading Store on the route between Johannesburg and Durban
Mountain View is an entertainment centre that caters to a host of family fun and general shenanigans. A charming and rustic venue jam-packed with a wide range of activities for Groupies to occupy themselves with and staff friendlier than the neighbourhoo
Vulintaba country hotel is situated on the D96, 22km outside Newcastle on the foot of the magnificent Northern Drakensberg mountains. Be inspired by a place where glorious mountain views touch a pristine blue sky. Where rolling green hills are punctuated
Solitude Retreat Centre is a space set apart from the busy-ness of life for connecting with ourselves, each other and God. It is situated in a tranquil part of the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, near Midmar Dam...
The Victoria Country Club Guest House is situated +/- 5kms from the Pietermaritzburg CBD and is within easy access from the freeway.
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
"Rose Cottage" is a very pretty thatched cottage with its own private entrance, and pretty fenced garden. The cottage consists of one bedroom with a double bed, and two single day beds in the lounge area
St Ives Lodge and Venue is situated in the heart of the Lions River Valley in the KZN Midlands. This 140-hectare Family Owned & Managed Estate offers something for everyone. The Estate Boasts A Luxury Lodge with Wild Animals Roaming the Grounds...
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.
We are fluent in English, Afrikaans and German and even some Zulu. We live on a small farm with 200 pecan trees and our Food will be home cooked, with fresh veggies, meat and a starch plus some desert and coffee. No fancy food but healthy and tasty