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 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.
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...
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
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
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.
Available are 7 individually and elegantly, fully furnished rooms overlooking well established gardens. Rooms have air conditioning / fans, all rooms are fully heated in winter. Each of the rooms have tea and coffee making facilities and TV's.
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.
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.
There are the two cottages; the smaller option has a large bedroom, where the glorious winter sun's rays stream in to keep it warm and cosy. ( The en-suite bathroom is a shower, basin and loo.)
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
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...
If you need a break from the busy city life, Gilly's offers tranquil wide open spaces, amazing views with incredible sunrises and sunsets.There is a trampoline, tennis court and an entertainment area with braai facilities for the Guests to use ...
We have 4 Bedrooms, 3 twins plus a family room with a Queen and two single beds. All rooms have coffee making facilities and their own Bathrooms, with TV's and fridges in three. Two rooms have balconies with lovely views. We have a magnificent Air...
There are four fully equipped Bedsitter Log Cabins with the same layout, but individually finished off. The cabins are self catering, but coffee and tea are provided, they are also serviced daily, except for Sundays and Public Holidays. Electrical...
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...
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
Waterwoods is set on a lush and beautiful farm on 75ha in the historic Fort Nottingham area of the Natal Midlands. The breathtaking beauty of the country side amidst farmlands is a favourite tourist destination.
All 5 bedrooms are ensuite including 6 showers (one outside) and two baths. There is a main and second lounge area with full DTSV bouquet.