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.
Located in the tiny Van Reenen village (population 23), situated on the N3 highway at the top of Van Reenen pass, The Green Lantern Inn is famous among travelers and sportsmen as a halfway refreshing point and offers unrivaled old school hospitality
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 ...
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.
If you need a private and quiet spot where you can contemplate life, write your memoirs or just relax, then this is the place for you. Corrie Lynn Cottage is situated on a rambling 125 year old farm in the Dargle. There are beautiful views over ...
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
At King's Hill Bed and Breakfast you will find a comfortable place to relax, rest and unwind and will be treated with warm, friendly and personalized service. King's Hill B & B is situated in the picturesque village of Hilton, the gateway to the Midlands.
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...
Self catering cottage situated on 50 acre farm property with breathtaking views into the Umgeni Valley and across to the Drakensberg. The cottage consists of two bedrooms - 1 double and 1 twin-bedded, fully airconditioned.
Three wood and iron cottages were built on the property as Mill Manager houses for the Caversham Mill. They date from the early 1900s, and every effort has been made to preserve the original style in order to maintain their historical heritage.
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
Two furnished and fully equipped self catering units. Each unit is approx 44 square metres. Each unit has 2 single beds and a sleeper couch. The beds are fitted with electric blankets for those chilly winter nights.
Ambleside Guest Lodge is situated on two acres in the safe leafy upmarket suburb of Ferncliffe on the fringe of the Ferncliffe forest in Pietermaritzburg. The lodge is decorated in luxury game lodge style and decerning guests can enjoy the feeling of bein
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.
In a peaceful game farm setting, nestled below the war graves of the Anglo-Boer War on the top of Trenchgula Hill, lies a luxury 4-star quality Guest Lodge with 8 rooms under thatch, each with a double bed and a single bed in the loft. Each room ...
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
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.
A mere four hours from Johannesburg and two hours from Durban, deep in the heart of the breathtaking Natal Midlands, rests Bellwood.We offer seven comfortable, fully equipped self-catering cottages.