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.
Wyford Farm is situated in a pretty mountainous area off Van Reenen Pass (N3) and has a rich recorded history being built in the 1870's as a Trading Store on the route between Johannesburg and Durban
Exclusive use by guests. Guest Lounge with TV, off street parking with remote controlled access, log cabin type outdoor gazebo with fireplace. Two separate private sleeping wings. Malaria Free Area. English breakfast or alternatives by prior ...
Glen Ormond is a 6 hectare property, elevated above the Mpofana River between Rosetta and Mooi River in the picturesque and serene Natal Midlands. There are abundant wildlife species which move freely through the properties in the region.
Available are 7 individually and elegantly, fully furnished rooms overlooking well established gardens. Rooms have air conditioning / fans, all rooms are fully heated in winter. Each of the rooms have tea and coffee making facilities and TV's.
Bancroft B&B is in Hilton, in the forested hills above Pietermaritzburg, the capital of Kwazulu-Natal. With its beautiful Georgian facade Bancroft offers 2 extremely comfortable, well appointed, luxury B&B suites accommodating 6 people
Solitude Retreat Centre is a space set apart from the busy-ness of life for connecting with ourselves, each other and God. It is situated in a tranquil part of the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, near Midmar Dam...
The Farmhouse Lodge is situated 3 minutes from the centre of the town of Newcastle in magnificent park like surroundings. We are an ideal stopover between Kruger park and the KwaZulu-Natal Coast. German spoken. Rooms air conditioned, Internet, DSTV
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
Mount West farm cottage is a 4 bedroom period style family home that has been beautifully restored as a fully equipped, self catering cottage for weekend getaways.
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.
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.
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...
Nestled in the rolling hills of the KZN Midlands, Whispering Waters offers several accommodation options surrounded by lush pastures and glistening dams. Enjoy excellent trout fishing and the ultimate in countryside relaxation. Whispering Waters offers y
The Legendary Nottingham Road Hotel, or "Notties" as it is affectionately known, is a 3 star graded hotel. As of 18 Mar. 16, we have opened our recently completed "Garden Suites". This long awaited addition to the hotel sees 10 new suites now available...
The cottage is fully equipped with fridge, stove, microwave and utensils. Duvets and one extra blanket are provided, please bring towels. The chalet has its own braai area and fire wood is supplied. 450ha of peaceful surroundings with 5km of ...
Kusane Farm Cottage is perched high above the stunning Karkloof valley, midway between Howick and Curry's Post on the Midlands Meander, with its fine restaurants and shopping.
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...
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.
At Barland we offer you the chance to come relax and unwind in the beautiful KwaZulu Natal Midlands. We are situate well away from the hustle and bustle, but close enough to the action of the Midlands Meander. Ten minutes from Midmar Dam ...