The Midlands Meander is a popular route that weaves its way between Pietermaritzburg and Mooi River in KwaZulu-Natal. Luring travellers off the busy N3 highway, the Midlands Meander is dotted with charming villages that offer an assortment of accommodations, wedding venues, restaurants and cafés, rural country activities, wildlife reserves, adventure sports, trout farms, historical landmarks, and unique arts and crafts. The Midlands Meander is the ultimate country getaway.
The Midlands Meander covers approximately 80km, from Rietvlei and Currys Post in the east, to Dargle Valley and Fort Nottingham in the west. It is a beautiful countryside of rolling green hills, open pastures, forests, streams, dams, and waterfalls. The wide open spaces and picture perfect setting makes it a natural haven for artists to find peace and inspiration. The route owes its existence to a group of artists and crafters who decided that the best way to showcase their wares was to lure travellers off the N3 highway, between Durban and Johannesburg, to meander along the quaint country roads.
Peruse antiques, arts, and crafts; treat yourself with handcrafted clothing and accessories; and indulge in spas treatments. Mountain bike at Karkloof Country Club, try the Karkloof Canopy Tour in Howick, taste cheese at the Swissland Cheese Farm, and have a tasty lunch while admiring the waterfall at Caversham Mill. Fantastic golfing is available at Victoria Country Club, Sakabula Golf Course, and Bosch Hoek Golf Course.
Enjoy walks and picnics at Kamberg Nature Reserve, trout fishing at Loteni Nature Reserve, as well as bass fishing, nature trails, bird watching, and picnic spots at Albert Falls Dam Nature Reserve. Gorge Walk offers some of the most spectacular views of the 95m Howick Falls, also known as KwaNogqaza (“place of the tall oneâ€), which is regarded by the Zulu nation as the place of the spirit of the ancestors. The nearby Midmar Dam is ideal for windsurfing, sailing, boating, and canoeing. The dam also hosts the annual Midmar Mile - the world’s largest open water swimming event.
The Midland Meander also forms part of the Battlefields Route, which highlights the historical buildings, battle sites, and memorials of the Anglo-Boer War. Many historical buildings date back to the 1880s and have been declared National Moments, such as The Natal Railway Museum and the Goodman Household monument.
The Drakensberg forms a formidable backdrop to the Midlands Meander and makes for terrific sheer rock and ice- climbing, hiking, abseiling, white water rafting, and helicopter rides. The uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park is a World Heritage Site where you’ll find 290 species of birds, 48 species of animals, rare varieties of plants, and over 4,000 ancient San rock paintings.
Durban is only an hour away, so whether you’re looking to explore the KwaZulu-Natal battlefields, the Drakensberg Mountains, or game reserves along the Dolphin Coast, make sure you book a stay along the back roads of the Midlands Meander.