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.
Escape Bed & Breakfast 8 km out of Dundee on the Vryheid Road, situated on a farm surrounded with peaceful quietness and spectacular views. We have three (3) on-suite chalets. Each chalet sleeps two (2) persons.
Merci Dieu is the perfect spot for reunions, celebrations and family get-togethers. Merci Dieu sleeps 12 - 14 guests with 6 bedrooms (3 bedrooms have hand basins ), 3 bathrooms, 3 lounges, a large fully fitted kitchen and 2 spacious outside patios...
The Legendary Nottingham Road Hotel was built in the 1890's - and is historically known as one of the oldest Pub's in Kwa-Zulu Natal. This old style hotel has 14 en-suite rooms - both twins and doubles
Located in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, just 24kms from Pietermaritzburg, is the town of Howick, named after the Secretary for State for the Colonies, Henry Grey, who had recently acquired the title of Lord Howick. Here you will find the Howick ...
The amazing view over natural bush and the peace and tranquillity at Leopards & Louries Bush Lodge make it difficult to believe that the business centres of Durban, Pinetown and Pietermaritzburg are so close.
Welcome to Farquhar Lodge bed & breakfast. Set in a beautiful "jungle like" garden and situated in central Ladysmith close to the main amenities of this historic town.
Scattered around the house in the lush gardens overlooking a dam, are individually appointed luxurious ensuite rooms, designed by Lynne drawing on her 14 years experience as an interior designer.
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
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 .
Come and share the tranquillity of our working dairy farm in Mooi River, KwaZulu Natal Midlands. Milky Lane Cottage is situated on Niekerksfontein Farm. Niekerksfontein Farm is a 1000 hectare dairy farm milking 800 cows supplying Honeydew Dairies. T
Impangele Bed and Breakfast is just a few minutes from the Howick North/Tweedie offramp from the N3 highway between Johannesburg and Durban. There are no long off-road treks to find our little piece of heaven, where rolling lawns.
Duvet & Crumpets offers various self-catering accommodation options. There are double/twin en-suite units as well as garden cottages. The garden cottages are ideal for "relocation" purposes and long-term stays are available. For larger groups, ...
Thatcher's Rest Self Catering Cottage, 'Peace, Tranquillity and Good Fishing' is situated on a farm which lies within the Biggarsberg area of Northern KZN.
Accommodation comprises stylish two and three bedroom self catering unites. There is a swimming pool. On site parking with remote access.
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 ...
Escape from the hustle and bustle of the city life at Ascot Bush Lodge, just a stone's throw from the N3 and a few kilometers from the CBD of Pietermaritzburg, we offer a unique experience in an African setting, surrounded by 12 hectares of natural bus
On a beautiful beef and maize farm in the Kwazulu natal midlands, we have 3 cosy, rustic cottages catering for families of 4 or just for couples.
The property itself is very secure (and child friendly) and the immediate environs are ideal for walking, jogging and cycling. The spacious rooms each have a beautiful outlook, large en-suite bathrooms; the bathroom linked to the downstairs room ...
Newby Cottage is a charming, fully-furnished, self-catering cottage 2km outside Nottingham Road, on a tarred road. Accommodation consists of two bedrooms with one en suite bathroom (bath and shower), a fully equipped kitchen and lounge.