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.
There are times in a man's life, to fill the car with petrol, grab the missus and kids, pack the fishing rods & mountain bikes, and head for Twin Pools in the heart of the Natal Midlands. At Twin Pools we offer frazzled city dwellers a quiet ...
Merci Dieu is the perfect spot for reunions, celebrations and family get-togethers. Merci Dieu sleeps 12 - 14 guests with 6 bedrooms (3 bedrooms have hand basins ), 3 bathrooms, 3 lounges, a large fully fitted kitchen and 2 spacious outside patios...
Leafy Lane is situated at the end of a cul-de-sac approximately 3 Kms from the N3 Highway. It consists of two bed sitting rooms and are fully equipped with double door fridge freezers, microwave, mini stove, toaster and kettle.
Lincoln Cottages was conceived, designed and landscaped by Ken and Monica Phillips. The tastefully decorated Cottages were hand built by the owners, and therefore the accommodation which is offered bears a reflection of love.
Set in the Natal country Midlands Hawklee offers the travel weary a safe haven of rest, peace & tranquility, while they indulge in the splendor of the Midlands in KZN. Thatched bed & breakfast accommodation in six spacious free standing cottages...
Newly renovated Loft Room available to rent on short term basis. Set in a well landscaped garden in Howick North / Central.
Hillhouse Accommodation was featured in Elle Decoration - The Country Issue June/July 2013. Also in House and Leisure - The Travel Issue, 101 Dream escapes in May 2015. Again in Getaway mag 2015 and Midlands life in 2008.
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.
All rooms have access to 11 TV channels. Internet access is provided at no additional cost. All units have baths and showers. Apart from two Parkview Lodges, all rooms have airconditioners
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
Three double bedrooms, 1 single bedroom, 2 bathrooms, living room, dining room, kitchen and verandah. Bedroom 1 is double en-suite, bedroom 2 is double, bedroom 3 is double, bedroom 4 is single. The WC has one bath and one shower each.
Mission House is a beautiful home situated on a ridge with breathtaking 360* views of the Drakensberg Mountains and the rolling hills of the Midlands.
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...
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.
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.
Monte Vista Guest House is a 4 Star graded and AA Superior registered establishment set in the tranquil residential area of Estcourt. Monte Vista Guest House is ideally suited for business travellers but also for tourists.