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.
The Bend,set on a 1400ha estate, with 5km of river frontage, 7 trout filled dams and 40 squared km of Mountain and Country Side. 16 luxury rooms, 3 cottages, restuarant and bar, chapel and banquet hall to cater for weddings, conferences and lodging.
The unit is an English style, 5 bedroom home, emaculately decorated and set within the confines of the Rawdons Estate. The unit is a short 50m walk from the famous Beer Fassel Pub and Restaurant in central Nottingham Road.
The guest wing offers double rooms, family accommodation, a cosy honeymoon bedroom and garden cottage. Rates include a generous farm style breakfast served in the dining room or on the patio and morning and afternoon tea. All beds have electric ...
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 ...
Gateside is found in the heart of tranquil Hilton village, 10km from Pietermaritzburg, at the entrance to the scenic Midlands Meander and close to St Anne's and Hilton College. Set in a quiet lane amongst green pastures with magnificent views of ...
Welcome to Tracey's B&B. I have a beautiful, homely bed and breakfast in the quaint village of Hilton. My bed and breakfast is at the start of the Midlands Meander with breathtaking views of the Natal Midland
The B&B is separate from the main homestead and comprises a comfortable spacious living area, with an open log fireplace, leading out onto a private deck, with breathtaking views over Pietermaritzburg and beyond
Five charming self catering dwellings exist on the farm, The Boat House, Crane Cottage, Otter Cottage, Rose Cottage and Heron Cottage. Guests need not leave the farm to enjoy Bass fishing, birding, boating or a picnic after a leisurely walk around
There are times in a man's life, to fill the car with petrol, grab the missus and kids, pack the fishing rods & mountain bikes, and head for Twin Pools in the heart of the Natal Midlands. At Twin Pools we offer frazzled city dwellers a quiet ...
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
Bancroft B&B is in Hilton, in the forested hills above Pietermaritzburg, the capital of Kwazulu-Natal. With its beautiful Georgian facade Bancroft offers 2 extremely comfortable, well appointed, luxury B&B suites accommodating 6 people
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...
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.
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.
The guest house, the former residence4 of Sir George & Lady Marion Leuchars, is one of the oldest homes in the town - now beautifully restored & tastefully decorated.
This classic Victorian home built in 1903 and beautifully restored with original pressed ceilings and sash windows. The main house has six bedrooms all en-suite
Glen Ormond is a 6 hectare property, elevated above the Mpofana River between Rosetta and Mooi River in the picturesque and serene Natal Midlands. There are abundant wildlife species which move freely through the properties in the region.
Comfortable, well appointed accommodation offering you a restful night. A real home from home allows for a friendship to develop in a few hours. All rooms are air-conditioned and has its own DSTV decoder.
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