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 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.
Escape city life to this peaceful sanctuary with beautiful gardens, situated 8 kms from the Mooi River Village, within the scenic mountains.
Little Fields is a small piece of rural heaven in the Kwazulu Natal Midlands. Set just outside of Hilton, overlooking fields and pastures, this guesthouse offers you a tranquil setting in which to catch your breath.
Visit the Forty Winks self catering cottages in the beautiful Kamberg Valley, heart of Natal's fly fishing destinations, on the new Springrove Dam in the Kwazulu Natal Midlands.
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.
Cheetah Ridge Lodge is the ultimate family safari vacation destination. A beautiful colonial grey stone manor house situated in lush fenced-in gardens, Cheetah Ridge Big 5 game lodge comes complete with a swimming pool, tennis court...
This 12 bed lodge is a peaceful bushveld retreat with accommodation designed in an architectural celebration of the Zulu nation. It offers a host of activities for those wanting to experience a combination of game viewing, battlefields and Zulu ...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 to the Midlands and enjoy the country air and beautiful mountains and views. We have spacious self catering cottages, you only need to bring food and relax or maybe we can do the cooking for you. (booking only), The cottages have cosy log ...
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
Enjoy the stillness of the Natal Midlands & wake up with the trout rising through the mist over the Mooi River. This is arguably the best setting for any cottage in the midlands, situated on 750 metres of beautiful river & with 8ha trout stocked dams
Beautifully appointed with an African safari lodge flavour - our exclusive yet affordable accommodation is suitable for families, corporate guests, sporting groups and tourists alike.
Arusha Lodge offers 14 en-suite rooms (single, double and twin rooms available). Each room is fully air conditioned (heating and cooling), fitted with a personal safe for your security and convenience. The rooms have own coffee & tea making ...
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 ...
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, ...
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.