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.
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.
Orchards BnB is situated 8 KMS from KZN lion park and 10 KMS from Tala private game reserve. All 5 rooms have there own tv's and ensuite. Braai facilities are also available.
Situated right on the doorstep of the Midlands Meander, this hotel combines old-world charm with highly rated friendly and efficient service.
We are ideally centrally situated, with close access to the N3 Mkondeni Industrial area, with all its industrial parks.
Accommodation consists of 4 comfortable chalets each with its own lapa, built in braai and boma fire place for you to enjoy each other's company. Each chalet has 3 bedrooms and can accommodate 6 people.
Everwood Estates is a working Brangus Stud Farm, situated in Dargle in the Kwazulu-Natal Midlands.
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.
There are the two cottages; the smaller option has a large bedroom, where the glorious winter sun's rays stream in to keep it warm and cosy. ( The en-suite bathroom is a shower, basin and loo.)
Hilton Safari Lodge is a thatched upmarket B & B set on over an acre of beautiful gardens, situated in the heart of the village within easy walking distance of the Quarry Shopping Centre and a choice of restaurants.
The guest house, the former residence4 of Sir George & Lady Marion Leuchars, is one of the oldest homes in the town - now beautifully restored & tastefully decorated.
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...
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.
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...
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.
Lincoln Cottages is nestled amongst indigenous Acacia trees in the tranquil suburb of Lincoln Meade, Pietermaritzburg. We offer an ideal base from which both the business man and holiday maker can operate from
Whether its just for a quick night stop over, or an extended stay Arbor Guest House offers Luxury Accommodation in Newcastle. 10 rooms - all with en-suite bathrooms. All rooms have own entrance leading directly into garden area. Lapa with bar area...
Comfortable rooms with en-suite bathrooms, private entrances and secure off-road parking in a beautiful garden. Ideal for business people and a home away from home for all travellers. Close to the city centre, restaurants, shops, hospitals and...
WELCOME TO A BIT OF HEAVEN A Bit of Heaven is a peaceful break, overlooking a fairy tale garden. This centrally situated accommodation option is only 5 minutes from the Johannesburg and Durban N3 highway, with easy access to all local amenities. It is
Inversanda is a country lover’s haven situated in the beautiful Dargle Valley in the Midlands of KwaZulu-Natal.
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