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.
Amberleigh Guest Farm is a working farm situated in the Kwa Zulu Natal midlands 12km outside Howick, easily accessible from the N3 highway.
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...
Situated a mere 600 metres from the popular Cascades shopping centre in the leafy northern suburb of Montrose, and less than 5 minutes drive to the Liberty Midlands Mall and the N3 highway, Gecko Hill is a popular self catering destination.
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.
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.
Aberdeen house is a Tudor styled home set in a tree lined Avenue in Newcastle, South Africa. The house is decorated in a subtle Scottish theme. The garden is surrounded by big trees which attract an abundant bird life and the garden is a delight in the
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...
Thorner House is a situated on our sugarcane farm, halfway between Hillcrest and Pietermaritzburg. Beautifully decorated, Thorner House offers a wonderful retreat from the busy city life.
Comfortable, well appointed accommodation offering you a restful night. A real home from home allows for a friendship to develop in a few hours. All rooms are air-conditioned and has its own DSTV decoder.
Loxley House Offers an exceptional standard of accommodation - all 15 suites are garden-facing, en suite with either with bath/shower or bath and separate shower, with a choice of either twin or king beds
We have 4 Bedrooms, 3 twins plus a family room with a Queen and two single beds. All rooms have coffee making facilities and their own Bathrooms, with TV's and fridges in three. Two rooms have balconies with lovely views. We have a magnificent Air...
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.
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...
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
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...
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.
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