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.
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.
Mount West farm cottage is a 4 bedroom period style family home that has been beautifully restored as a fully equipped, self catering cottage for weekend getaways.
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 Lawn” is a new 3 bedroom self-catering property located on a pan-handle situated in the quiet residential town of Howick in the KZN Midlands.
Exclusive use by guests. Guest Lounge with TV, off street parking with remote controlled access, log cabin type outdoor gazebo with fireplace. Two separate private sleeping wings. Malaria Free Area. English breakfast or alternatives by prior ...
This beautiful ranch is set on 24ha of property, with the picturesque Little Mooi River meandering through the fields. With horses, blesbok and Nguni cows grazing in the paddocks, it is a nature lovers dream.
Burnside Lodge is in a prime location on the Midlands meander, close to many good restaurants, Nottingham Road, Michaelhouse school & Bosch Hoek golf course. It is newly decorated, with great attention to detail. There are 3 queen sized bedrooms...
Bourne View is a fully equipped 2 bed roomed self-catering cottage in the heart of Gowrie Villiage. It is within walking distance of restaurants, shops and a kilometer from the well known Gowrie Golf Course.
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.
Top class executive accommodation with all that this entails. Our Breakfasts are legendary - continental or Full English. Private leisure areas for guests - lounge and much more. Only the best service and attention to...
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
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.
A wide variety of catered and self catered accommodation ranging from ultimate luxury to a rustic bush camp, together with excellent cuisine and a history of renowned good service and satisfaction
Located in the centre of Newcastle, Leighton Court offers a choice of 8 en-suite rooms and 2 King size studios ideal for the business visitor. We offer the perfect combination of affordability, comfort and service with air conditioned rooms and a flat-sc
Discover a sense of wholeness, of peace, of healing, of happiness. St Andrew's Retreat near Mooi River in KwaZulu-Natal is ideal to use as a quiet and central base from where you can explore the Midlands.
Midlands Forest Lodge offers ten twin roomed chalets (i.e. two rooms to one chalet, each room sleeping two guests) on a bed and breakfast option. Each room has an ensuite shower and toilet, a small verandah, and facilities to make tea/coffee
Self catering cottage with own kitchen and lounge. Ideal for a family as all guests share the same bathroom which is en-suite. Bedroom with one queen size bed, ceiling fan and air conditioner. Lounge with two single beds and ceiling fan. Full DSTV and