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.
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
Situated near Mooi River, just 60km from Pietermaritzburg, Midlands Saddle and Trout offers 59 fully equipped luxury chalets in several configurations. Offering comfort, great cuisine and a wellness centre, it is the perfect setting for a wedding and func
Welcome to Sycamore Avenue Treehouses - Dinner Bed and Breakfast accommodation - “If we can’t fly with birds we can at least nest with them.” Eccentric, unique and romantic treehouse D,B&B accommodation on the KwaZulu Natal Midlands Meander.
King's Hill B & B is situated in the picturesque village of Hilton, the gateway to the Natal Midlands & has beautiful views of the Cedara Valley. We can accommodate a maximum of 6 people sharing in 2 tastefully decorated, non-smoking rooms...
A wide variety of catered and self catered accommodation ranging from ultimate luxury to a rustic bush camp, together with excellent cuisine and a history of renowned good service and satisfaction
Our goal at Beverley Country Cottages is to make our guests feel welcome, comfortable and at home with our own personal touches. We pride ourselves in our service excellence and providing clean, fresh cottages that are looked after by our honest, willing
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.
Welcome to Ferndene Farm, a little bit of peace and quiet in the Dargle Conservancy Area. We have lots of beautiful space and a very comfortable self-catering home, perfect for large groups of people and families. Or just anybody who wants to stretch out.
This establishment accommodates 6 people comfortably with its twin bedroom en-suite and a double bedroom en-suite. The recently built cottage boasts a modern fitted kitchen and comfortable living room, overlooking a tranquil garden...
Five charming self catering dwellings exist on the farm, The Boat House, Crane Cottage, Otter Cottage, Rose Cottage and Heron Cottage. Guests need not leave the farm to enjoy Bass fishing, birding, boating or a picnic after a leisurely walk around
Thatcher's Rest Self Catering Cottage, 'Peace, Tranquillity and Good Fishing' is situated on a farm which lies within the Biggarsberg area of Northern KZN.
Come and share the tranquillity of our working dairy farm in Mooi River, KwaZulu Natal Midlands. Milky Lane Cottage is situated on Niekerksfontein Farm. Niekerksfontein Farm is a 1000 hectare dairy farm milking 800 cows supplying Honeydew Dairies
It offers three stylish en-suite bedrooms, a lounge equipped with satellite TV and music system, a modern, fully equipped kitchen and a spacious "stoep" (veranda) with braai facilities overlooking the dam which is well stocked with bass...
Our 4 Star Platrand Lodge is in a malaria free area and 2 hours from Durban and 3 hours from Johannesburg. Established on the farm Fourie's Kraal on the Southern boundaries of Ladysmith, Kwazulu-Natal.
The hotel comprises seventeen luxurious, individually appointed double suites with private verandas, underfloor heating and dream bathrooms, each with bath and shower, and a dressing area.
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 ...
The Bend,set on a 1400ha estate, with 5km of river frontage, 7 trout filled dams and 40 squared km of Mountain and Country Side. 16 luxury rooms, 3 cottages, restuarant and bar, chapel and banquet hall to cater for weddings, conferences and lodging.
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.
Newly renovated Loft Room available to rent on short term basis. Set in a well landscaped garden in Howick North / Central.