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.
Devonshire Cottage is a classy charming country cottage, nestled in a private garden in the quaint village of Nottingham Road. Comfortably upmarket, this self-catering cottage is popular with couples and families looking for a perfect getaway spot.
Nestled in the scenic foothills of the uKhahlamba Drakensberg Mountain range, you’ll find Lythwood, a 4-Star country hotel right on the Midlands Meander. If you are looking for a relaxing all inclusive weekend away or a short midweek break, away from the
Located in the centre of Newcastle, Leighton Court offers a choice of 8 en-suite rooms and 2 King size studios ideal for the business visitor. We offer the perfect combination of affordability, comfort and service with air conditioned rooms and a flat-sc
Amberleigh Guest Farm is a working farm situated in the Kwa Zulu Natal midlands 12km outside Howick, easily accessible from the N3 highway.
The original homestead now houses the breakfast room, dining room, offices and 3 stylishly furnished rooms decorated to suit the original history and ideal for the overseas visitor to relate themselves with Newcastle history. We also offer another...
Deep within the three thousand hectare Karkloof Nature Reserve lies Rockwood. Four completely private, self catering lodges complement the beautiful surroundings - two are situated within the private nature reserve.
Thorner Cottage is situated on our sugarcane farm, overlooking a lovely 4ha bass dam, which guests are welcome to make use of, and surrounded by beautiful hills which makes for lovely walks.
The cottage on Lake Zonk is an ideal getaway. Situated only a few metres from the waters edge, it provides spectacular views and easy access to water based activities.
At Home Self Catering are up-market, stylish apartments offering convenience and comfort at great value. Don't take our word for it, we were recently were voted best value and best self catering accommodation for our area!
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 ...
Elandsheim is situated in the heart of the famous Zulu, Anglo and Boer battle sites, 55 km from Dundee, halfway between Johannesburg and Durban. We are surrounded by privately owned game reserves, rivers, waterfalls and magnificent Zululand thornveld
Clifton stud offers you a single, privately situated cottage on the banks of a picturesque two hectare trout dam. The quaint cottage has three bedrooms and two bathrooms and can accommodate up to six guests
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 ...
St Ives Lodge and Venue is situated in the heart of the Lions River Valley in the KZN Midlands. This 140-hectare Family Owned & Managed Estate offers something for everyone. The Estate Boasts A Luxury Lodge with Wild Animals Roaming the Grounds...
Sugarlands Farm is 6km from the N3 in the heart of the well-known Midlands Meander. A working Sheep and Beef farm where we have two units available to share our piece of paradise with you. Both units are serviced, self-catering units with full DSTV. L
The Grey Goose Game Lodge is situated at the foot of the Drakensburg Mountains on the outskirts of Newcastle. Whether for business or pleasure we are a fantastic getaway, offering a great service in beautiful surroundings.
Everwood Estates is a working Brangus Stud Farm, situated in Dargle in the Kwazulu-Natal Midlands.
We offer five luxury bedrooms with en suite bathrooms and breathtaking views of the surrounding river and mountains. The largest room can accommodate a family of five and all others provide space for two.