Midlands Meander, KwaZulu-Natal
Renowned for the outstanding natural beauty of its rolling grasslands, wide open spaces, horse studs, cattle farms, quaint villages and welcoming communities, the Midlands Meander is a self-drive arts and crafts route which stretches north from Pietermaritzburg to the foothills of the Drakensberg Mts.
The route was the brainchild of a small group of local artists, potters and weavers keen to promote their work to a wider audience, who in 1985 joined together with entrepreneurs in the catering and accommodation fields to create a route that would showcase the very best the region has to offer.
Today the Midlands Meander is a thriving cottage industry route with a vibrant network of 134 members showcasing weavers, basket makers, wood carvers, potters, metal and glassworkers, leatherworkers, butterfly research projects, herbal centres, as well as food and drink producers including cheese makers, micro-brewers, organic farmers, a huge range of eateries and restaurants and two wine estates.
The route is serviced by a wide range of accommodation in the regions hamlets and hideaways which offer diversity, good value and excellent service at hundreds of farms, hotels, guest houses, b&bs and spas scattered along a well-marked corridor.
Areas of conservation and outstanding beauty along the route include the 97-metre Howick Falls, the Midmar Dam Nature Reserve, the Albert Falls and Karkloof Nature Reserve and in the north the Mooi River north of the towns of Rosetta and Nottingham Road.
Adventure sports operators along the route offer a huge range of activities ranging from hot air ballooning and abseiling to trout fishing, hiking and mountain biking. Points of interest along the route include the monument at the location where Nelson Mandela was arrested before his 26-year incarceration on Robben Island.
Find out more about special interest routes in KwaZulu-Natal