The Midmar Dam Nature Reserve situated near the KwaZulu Natal Midlands towns of Howick and Pietermaritzburg, is fed by the Umgeni river, and incorporates the dam, various recreational activities, and a nature reserve. The Nature reserve covers an area of one thousand hectares, consisting mainly of open grasslands. The Midmar Dam reserve is home to a variety of wildlife which includes red hartebeest, black wildebeest, blesbok, reedbuck, oribi and zebra. A variety of smaller nocturnal mammals can also be seen in the reserve, and include Porcupine, White tailed Mongoose, Aardvark, Black-backed Jackal, Slender Mongoose and Serval.
The area is also a well known bird watching destination, which is home to long and impressive list of species which include
White-breasted Cormorant, Red-billed Teal, Spur winged Goose, Goliath Heron, and South African Shelduck. Grassland species include Black-winged and Crowned Lapwings, Denham's Bustard, the Red-winged Francolin, African Pipit, Long-tailed and Fan-tailed Widowbird, and Cape Longclaw. The KwaZulu Natal Midlands also allows for excellent opportunities to view a variety of Raptors, which include the Black-shouldered Kite, African Fish-Eagle, Black Sparrowhawk, Long-crested Eagle, and African Marsh Harrier.
Both the dam and the reserve are managed by Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, which also offer accommodation at the dam in the form of various chalets, log cabins and a number of campsites. Visitors to the dam are provided with scenic campsites, and braai facilities situated along the tranquil shoreline. The dam is always a hive of activity, with many forms of watersports regularly undertaken, including windsurfing, canoeing, boating and fishing. Also at Midmar visitors can hire bicycles, windsurfers, canoes and yachts as well as launch tours and sunset cruises which can be booked by prior arrangement. Midmar Dam is also the location of the Heley Midmar Yacht Club, which hosts many Provincial and National Regatta's throughout the year.
Midmar Dam also host the annual Midmar Mile, which is the world's largest open water swimming competition. The race was first held in 1973, and hosted a field of one hundred and fifty three competitors, though the first female entries were only in 1975. The number of entries have increased significantly over the years approaching a total of twenty thousand swimmers, as well as competitors from abroad.
The Midmar Dam is renowned among the angling community for its excellent fishing and regular catches of carp, bass, scalies and bluegill are landed. Visitors wishing to fish at Midmar Dam need to have a freshwater fishing license which can be obtained at the office on the way in through the gates. Located near the office is also a curio shop which sells various souvenirs, and refreshments.
The dam is also conveniently situated in the middle of the Midlands Meander, which is an association of rural businesses selling curios, art, crafts, foodstuffs and furniture as well as providing restaurants and accommodation.
Accommodation Near Midmar Dam
Sleeps: 6 in 2 units/rooms2.1km North of centre of Midmar DamTwo 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.
From: R 300,00Per unit, per night.Sleeps: 6 in 1 unit/room3.4km North West of centre of Midmar DamSituated 10 minutes from Howick & also Midmar Dam - it is 1 km down the Dargle Valley Road off the R103 one kilometer after the Lions River bridge. The roads are all tarred except for the final 100 metres.
3.6km North East of centre of Midmar DamImpangele 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.
3.7km South West of centre of Midmar DamHillhouse Accommodation has sweeping views of Midmar dam and the idyllic Midlands countryside. We are situated in the heart of the KwaZulu Natal Midlands on a farm within the Dargle Valley Conservancy
4.0km North West of centre of Midmar DamIf your heart yearns for a tranquil blend of seclusion and luxury then Lions River Country Cottages, award winning accommodation, is your perfect escape into the solitude of the countryside.
From: R 280,00Per person, per night sharing.Sleeps: 15 in 5 units/rooms5.0km North East of centre of Midmar DamThe guest wing offers double rooms, family accommodation, a cosy honeymoon bedroom and garden cottage. Rates include a generous farm style breakfast served in the dining room or on the patio and morning and afternoon tea. All beds have electric ...
5.2km East of centre of Midmar DamWe 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
From: R 690,00Per unit, per night.Sleeps: 15 in 5 units/rooms5.5km North of centre of Midmar DamWe offer a choice of three spacious cottages, two of which have lovely views of the lake and over fields and hills to the Drakensburg in the distance. "Lakeside" and "Bergview" cottages each comprise one double and one twin-bedded room, both of ...
From: R 300,00Per person, per night sharing.5.9km North East of centre of Midmar DamTwo charming cottages Howick. The cottages consist of a twin bedroom with bathroom, plus a large dining/lounge area fully equipped with fridge, toaster, microwave and tea making facilities, plus TV and full dstv premier bouquet with full view
6.1km North West of centre of Midmar DamThe 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...
Nearby Points Of Interest
- The Umgeni Water Marathon (1.73km)
- Peter's Gate Herbal Centre (13.03km)
- Midmar Mile (1.90km)
- Doreen Clark Nature Reserve (13.65km)
- Dargle Valley Pottery (5.63km)
- Pecanwood Pig & Beer Fest (13.96km)
- Inkanyamba (6.48km)
- The Balgowan Conservancy (15.99km)
- Umgeni Valley Nature Reserve (8.00km)
- Queen Elizabeth Park Nature Reserve (16.01km)