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.
One of the pitfalls of our contemporary lifestyles is the "stress factor" induced by a frantic pace of doing business or just keeping up. The thought of a family weekend away always sounds like such a challenge for the budget.
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 West House complex is comprised of three houses. The privacy of each is secured by its own fenced garden with panoramic views of the Lions River Valley...
Our superior accommodation consists of a well appointed and fully equipped spacious 2 bed roomed double-bedded studio with its own entrance, privacy and secure parking. Many pampering extras are offered such as bathrobes, hot water bottles and ...
While the Big Five experience alone is enough to attract visitors, The Springbok Lodge guests can expect so much more. Our 21 elevated Luxury Tents sleep a maximum of 50 guests, offering 5-star opulence in the African bush.
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 ...
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...
We offer a relaxing environment for both tourists and businesspersons, situated on the outskirts of a town full of historical interest. At Nauntons Guest House we pride ourselves on spoiling you and making it a perfect home away from home.
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.
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 ...
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
The fresh water stream flowing through the property and the birds not to mention the Samango monkeys, provide the background noises ensuring a relaxing country experience. This is a 'Bring a Book and a Bottle of Wine' kind of place.
We use only the purest percale linen, and duckdown in our 3 separate cottages, to ensure the very best nights sleep.
Our apartment sleeps 4 and comprises two bedrooms, a full bathroom, a fully equipped granite kitchen as well as an open plan dining room and lounge with small patio
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.
Each cottage is fully equipped with fridge, stove, microwave and utensils. Duvets and one extra blanket are provided, please bring towels. Each chalet has its own braai area and fire wood is supplied. 450ha of peaceful surroundings with 5km of ...
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.
The main cottage, Gobbins' Cottage, is a spacious double storey one bedroom home with a large open plan kitchen leading onto a cosy lounge with underfloor heating for those cold Dargle winters. The kitchen is well equipped with large fridge, oven...