The Best of Midlands Meander

The Midlands Meander extends from Rietvlei and Currys Post in the east to the Dargle Valley and Fort Nottingham in the west. It has naturally beautiful panoramic views, cattle farms, rolling grasslands, quaint villages, horse studs, and welcoming communities. The Midlands Meander is not only renowned for its outstanding natural beauty but also of the exciting activities it has to offer. There is so much to explore in the Midlands Meander. There are weavers, wood-crafters, potters, artists, leather workers, cheese makers, metalworkers, beer brewers, box makers, herb growers, and much more. That is why Midlands Meander is known as the “arts and crafts route“.

midlands meander

The Midlands Meander was the brainchild of a small group of local potters, artists, and weavers who envisioned to promote their work to a wider audience. They decided to invite the public to visit and meet the artists in their countryside studios. Entrepreneurs then joined together in creating the route that showcases the very best the region has to offer. Over the years, the route now offers more than exceptional arts and crafts with more than 150 members. Because of the array of activities available, quite a large number of visitors visit in Midlands Meander every day.

Some of the Most Popular Attractions at Midlands Meander

Gowrie Farm Golf Course

Gowrie Farm Golf Course

The Gowrie Farm Golf Course is a 9-hole course with lush green pastel colored grasses, hilly landscapes, and friendly inhabitants. The views are quite breath-taking in the golf course and are exciting to play on. The course has been regarded as “the finest 9-hole course” and is quite a challenge to the beginners.

The Albert Falls Dam Nature Reserve

Albert Falls Dam Nature Reserve

The Albert Falls Dam Nature Reserve which is established in 1975 offers wonderful game viewing, boating, fishing and rock climbing opportunities. It is only a half-hour’s drive from both Durban and Pietermaritzburg. Located in the reserve is the Albert Falls Dam which is known to be one of the best bass fishing dams in the world. The area around the Albert Falls Dam is filled with secluded nature trails and picnic spots. Wildlife in the reserve includes zebra, red hartebeest, springbok, oribi, giraffe, and rhino.

The Howick Falls

Howick Falls

The Howick Falls is just outside Pietermaritzburg. It is also known as KwaNogqaza which means the ‘place of the tall one’. This is because the waterfall is a 95-meter cascade into a broiling, restless pool. The falls is said to be the place of the spirits of ancestors. According to local legends, a giant snake-like creature Inkanyamba lived in the falls and that only sangomas are safe to close to the falls.

The Dargle Conservancy

Dargle Conservancy

The Dargle Conservancy lies in the midst of the unrivaled beauty and untouched countryside of the Natal Midlands. fauna and flora are abundant in the area. It is also home to rare animal species such as Cape Parrot, oribi, crane species, Cape leopard, dozens of frog species. There are more than 200 bird species, the most common are Cape batis, Knysna loerie, ground woodpecker, African grass owl, crowned eagle, southern black flycatcher, olive woodpecker, the colorful Narina trogon, emerald cuckoo, and African spoonbill. Because of these, visitors are encouraged to keep their eyes and ears open and their cameras ready for some special encounters. The conservancy is devoted to the protection and conservation of the wonderful array of plants and animals found in the region. It aims to showcase the wildlife to local and international visitors. The Dargle Conservancy also aims to increase biodiversity and strengthen the food chain by caring for and upping the numbers of the wildlife in the area.

Swissland Cheese


The Swissland Cheese is one of a couple of cheeseries you can visit in Midlands Meander. Their products are predominantly goats milk cheeses in a Swiss-chalet style. Not only can the visitors taste the cheese, but also witness the daily goat milking and learn about the cheese-making practice. A visit to the Midlands wouldn’t be complete without a bit of cheese tasting at the family-run Swissland Cheese.


Hluhluwe And Imfolozi Game Reserves In South Africa

iMfolozi and Hluhluwe Game Reserves are situated in Kwa Zulu Natal in an historic area just north of Durban which was once the hunting grounds exclusively used by kings of the might Zulu nation. There are several signs of settlements from the Stone Age in the area. The rolling hills and lush bushveld in Zululand provide safe sanctuary for Big Five game which includes Lion, Buffalo, Leopard, Elephant and Rhino. The area is generally hot in summer, mild in spring and cool to cold in winter with occasional spells of freezing cold weather. These Zululand game parks are third only behind a Botswana Safari or a visit to the Kruger National Park.

Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Game Reserve


iMfolozi Game Reserve is part of the Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park, an immense conservation zone known for its immense variety of fauna and flora. This is Africaís oldest game park, established in 1895, where the Big Five occur, and the only one in the Kwa Zulu Natal area under formal conservation. Situated in the southern part of the Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park on the Elephant Coast, in the center of Zululand north of Durban, it offers visitors numerous activities including: game viewing drives, self-guided walks, exciting wilderness trails, picnic sites and boat tours on Hluhluwe Dam. Camping sites have dedicated cooks who prepare special and traditional meals for guests.

Visitors can view animals up close from viewing hideouts that overlook waterholes and pans where they can spot hyena, cheetah, zebra, giraffe, wild dog, Impala, Waterbuck and Blue Wildebeest. There are also large numbers of Waterbuck, Mountain Reedbuck, Kudu, Steenbuck, Bushbuck, Nyala, Warthog, Duiker and jackal. More than 340 bird species have been recorded in Zululand on the Elephant Coast.

Accommodation includes self-catering cottages and chalets, tented camping and various luxury Safari Lodges.

Today iMfolozi Park is well known throughout the world for its conservation programs to save the White Rhino on the endangered species list. The Centenary Capture Centre in the park sets exceptional standards for sustainable utilization in Africa and animal capture procedures.

General Information

There is a low risk of malaria in iMfolozi Game Reserve, however, it is advisable to take precautions before traveling. There are no restaurant facilities in iMfolozi Game Reserve and the nearest town, Mtubatuba, is 45 minutes drive away where a full range of services is available. Refreshments such as cool drinks, as well as curios, fuel and camera film can be purchased at the Mpila Camp Shop.

Hluhluwe Game Reserve

Hluhluwe Game Reserve offers visitors some of the best safari holidays in South Africa. The park has a 190 mile (300km) road network and the first visitor camp was built in 1934 at Hilltop.


The Hluhluwe area has a hilly topography with altitudes ranging from 260ft to 1,770ft (80m to 540m) above sea level. It is a well-watered area with the high ridges supporting the coastal scarp forest while there is bushveld in the lower valley areas. To the north rugged mountains, grasslands and forests constitute the Hluhluwe area while the iMfolozi area can be found in the southern area with a vast open Savannah close to the White and Black Umfolozi rivers.

The River Flood plain in Hluhluwe is one of the only regions in South Africa where pink-throated, orange-throated and yellow-throated Longclaw bird species can all be seen together. Other bird life in this spectacular area includes: Wahlbergís Eagle, Night Heron, Black-Bellied Korhaan, Klaasí Cuckoo, Crested Barbet, Little Bee-Eater and Shelleyís Francolin. The reserve also has a large variety of indigenous flora.

Conservation Efforts

An attempt was made in 1981 by the Natal Parks Board to reintroduce African Wild Dogs, which were in danger of becoming extinct, back into the park. 23 dogs, mostly bred in zoos, were released in the area, however, the effort had minimal success and today the Wild Dog population fluctuates between 3 and 30 dogs.

White Rhinoceros or Square-lipped Rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum). Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park. KwaZulu NAtal. South Africa

The Rhino Preservation movement originated in the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park which strives to breed the Rhinoceros species in order to save it from extinction. As a result of Operation Rhino, largely driven by the parkís warden, Ian Player, the White Rhino conservation program has become renowned worldwide. Due to these conservation efforts, the park now boasts the largest rhino population in the world and today more than 1,600 Rhinoceros roam the reserve. Hundreds of wild animals have been transported from Hluhluwe to other game reserves all around the world. However, a recent increase in rhino poaching has compromised the success of the program and this threat has become of great concern, not only for conservationists in the park, but also for conservationists worldwide.

5 Of The Top Rated Bed And Breakfasts In Umhlanga Rocks

When planning a vacation to Umhlanga Rocks, you can enjoy an extensive array of landmarks and attractions. Some of these include the Umhlanga Lighthouse, Fitzsimmons Snake Park and Ocean Ventures. There is a number of value-for-money and extremely luxurious Bed and Breakfasts located near to golfing facilities and dolphin viewing which makes this vacation destination a popular choice for business and leisure travellers from around the world. Below are 5 of the best Bed and Breakfasts in Umhlanga Rocks for you to consider.

Fairview Bed And Breakfast


Positioned under 5 minutes away from the main beach in Umhlanga, this B & B is attractively placed near to some of the most sought after attractions in Kwa Zulu Natal. You can expect exceptional service along with essential amenities. This accommodation comes with a sun-lounger terrace and outdoor pool with stunning views of the garden. Every morning you can look forward to a Continental self-service breakfast along with an English breakfast served from the cosy and welcoming dining area.

La Loggia Bed And Breakfast


La Loggia offers five-star accommodations with appointed rooms of beauty that open onto a wooden deck and lush and tranquil garden that looks out over the ocean. The hosts offer warm hospitality and personal attention to all their guests. You can choose from various luxury rooms all fitted with Satellite TV, air-conditioned and tea and coffee facilities. Each room is spacious, private, and comfortable and is serviced every day at a time that suits the guests.

Manaar House Bed And Breakfast


Situated in the heart of this coastal resort town, Manaar house offers comfortable and luxurious accommodation all with en-suite showers and baths. Some of the amenities on offer include Internet facilities, telephones, self-controlled air-conditioning or heater units, ice water, coffee and tea, bar fridges, a fan and hairdryer. You can enjoy a continental or English breakfast served from the dining room or on the enclosed patio that overlooks the pool, fantastic for those rainy or windy days.

Kingston Place Guest House


This bed and breakfast is graded as a four-star TGCSA and is located near to the Gateway mall and the village. The accommodation on offer includes 6 standard en-suites, one Honeymoon Suite, one Family Suite as well as a Penthouse. The Penthouse suite offers panoramic views that include the Durban Harbor all the way round to the town Umdloti. This suite also includes its own boardroom or dining and lounge area and makes the ideal choice for families of 4 along with queen-size and single beds.

Flamingo Lodge


Flamingo Lodge is regarded as the closest accommodation you can get to various activities on offer in this bustling town such as gold courses, sports clubs and gyms along with a variety of interesting restaurants and bars. Other popular activities on offer include the Gateway shopping mall and the Sibaya Casino which are very close by to the Lodge, ideal for those guests who love to shop or try their luck at gambling. The Flamingo lodge features 7 luxury private suites and each one has its own verandah. All the rooms on offer come with en-suite bathrooms, air-conditioning, Wireless internet, DSTV, tea and coffee facilities along with complimentary body gel and shampoo, shoe-shine and sewing kits. Breakfast is offered each morning on the patio that overlooks the ocean. You can choose from a wide array of spreads that include cheeses, muffins, yoghurts, cereals and fruit juices followed by a traditional cooked breakfast with bacon and eggs, mushrooms, toast, sausages and hot coffee or tea.

How To Find The Best Guesthouses Of Nottingham Road Natal

Exploring South Africa is one of the best adventures a traveller can have in a lifetime. Although great in itself, this kind of experience is closely related to the accommodation venue. Staying in a five-star resort is one thing while choosing a guesthouse accommodation is a totally different one. There’s nothing wrong with any of these options, but you have to be aware your choice is going to influence and shape your vacation in South Africa. There are plenty of five-star retreats, manors farms and resorts, but also high-class guesthouses that can offer you all the comfort you’ve been used to.


Nottingham Road village is one of the most picturesque venues in KwaZulu-Natal, hence being one of the top destinations for travellers from all around the world. Many of them prefer guesthouse accommodation to spa resorts and luxury hotels, so the travel industry in this region has developed a lot in this direction. Nonetheless, each traveller has personal preferences and needs, so you always need to do your research before choosing a venue over all others. This article is going to show you how to find the best guesthouses in Nottingham Road Natal.

Online directories are perhaps the best resource for this type of research. They usually list all accommodation options grouped by location, so you can apply filters to see only the ones in your area of interest. Moreover, all these guest lodges list their facilities, the type of rooms they have available, the nearby amenities, as well as the prices for each type of room. In addition, most of them display a lot of photos, so you can make yourself a pretty accurate idea of what you can expect, should you choose one of these places for your holiday.

Many guesthouses in this area are former manors and farms, so they are usually set on many hectares of unspoilt land. As they date back to the 19th century, they have all been renovated to suit the modern accommodation standards. You can have a luxury cottage in the middle of all this beauty, so you can really enjoy nature without having to give up your lifestyle. These thatched cottages can be the perfect choice for all those who want to be out there, in the wilderness, yet can’t live without their bathtub, hairdryer and cosy mattress.


Finding the best accommodation depends very much on what you really want. This is what you should start with, anyway. Make a list of all your priorities and must-haves, and then try to see which guesthouses offer them. This is going to be your shortlist. From here, go ahead and study the websites of these manors and cottages, see what you can visit around them, and don’t forget to take a look at prices, as you are going to need them for a close comparison later on.

It’s not a bad idea to try to find some reviews so that you can be sure you are going to enjoy your stay in Nottingham Road. There are well-known websites that list such properties and give users the chance to book their accommodation through them. All these websites invite their users to leave a review of the place they’ve booked so that other travellers know what they can expect. This is an extremely useful feature, seeing that the users are asked to reveal the demographic group they belong to. For instance, if you are young and you want to party every night, you won’t be too happy to live in a place where all other guests go to bed by 10 pm every night. On the other hand, if you are an old couple of travellers who value their peace and the silence of nature, you won’t want to listen to loud music throughout the night. By asking travellers such questions, these websites do a favour to all others, as they are going to know what kind of entertainment they can expect from each venue listed in the directory. You can choose the exact type of experience you want to have so that you can increase your chances to have one of the best vacations of your life.

South Africa is beautiful and serene. It is home to thousands of wildlife species that move freely throughout the entire region. It is the place where you can feel the peace and serenity that disappeared from our busy cities, a land of scenic mountains, clear waters and amazing gardens. By choosing to stay in a guesthouse, you can enjoy this unspoilt beauty to the full, so that you can return back home with your batteries fully recharged, ready to take on your daily chores again. Most travellers choose to visit these places again so that they can experience this serenity once more.

About The Midmar Mile

Among swimming races, there are many important events. While the Summer Olympics are seen as the height of the swimmer’s abilities and the most important event in competitive swimming, there are actually a wide range of other swimming events, ranging from local events intended to bring a community closer together in the summer heat to more intense events meant to be a test of a determined athlete’s prowess and mettle. These races can draw anywhere from less than a dozen to thousands of swimmers of all skill levels and physical states with the best of among them all going home with the prize.

The largest race of this type is the Midmar Mile in South Africa. Held annually in February, this legendary swim meet happens at the Midmar Dam to the north of Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. The largest of its type, this swimming race draws literally thousands of competitors, ranging from athletes who have travelled the world to compete, Olympic medalists and all the way down to people who swim simply for the pleasure and recreation of the event. The 2009 event, in particular, was notable as over 13,000 individual competitors finished the race, forcing the Guinness Book of World Records to recognise that year’s event as the world’s largest open water swimming event.

MidmarMile5The race takes place at the Midmar Dam and is roughly one mile (or 1.6 kilometres) in distance, hence the event’s name. One particularly notable feature of this race is that the exact distance competitors must swim can and has varied year by year. Years, when there has been heavy rain fall, sees a larger distance swum by competitors as there is a larger amount of water at the dam itself, while years with limited rainfall tend to see the competition beginning with an event infamous among swimmers known as the Midmar sprint start. On years with less rainfall than usual, the beginning of the race is actually a sprint towards the water across a muddy lake shore and through the shallow portions of the water until they reach a point where the water is deep enough that they can actually begin swimming.


While the lake created by the Midmar Dam is large, it simply can’t handle over ten thousand people all at once. To this end, the event’s organisers group swimmers into five groups at 3-minute intervals in eight separate mile races over the course of two whole days. The group an individual swimmer ends up in is decided by their time spend finishing an earlier qualifying event, with the fastest group being the one that takes the next nearest racing time and slower swimmers needing to wait.

The event itself begins at Blackhurst Peninsula and stretches across a full mile of water that is not always filled to capacity. Weather changes can be surprisingly quick even in the summer season when the event takes places, meaning that swimmers will have to prepare to swim in cold water as readily as a more comfortable climate of water.

Looking At 5 Exceptional Midlands Guest Houses

Everyone wants their vacation to be something special. When visiting the Midlands the image of a quality bed and breakfast or guest house comes to mind, and it isn’t hard to see why. When visiting such amazing places like South Africa, why not have housing that embraces that beautiful section of land and delivers a very unique and memorable experience? While it can be hard to figure out who the true five “best” guest houses are, especially considering that every single person will have their own definition of what factors are most important in a guest house.

#1: Sycamore Avenue Treehouses


If you want a truly unique experience is hard to argue with finding one that compares to the Sycamore Avenue Treehouses. A popular guest house on the Mooi River, as has a variety of different adjectives for the treehouses: luxurious, eccentric, regally rustic, absolutely unique. Combining a distinctly South African flair with the modern benefits you want with travel, these treehouses are considered romantic and many have luxuries such as spas, fireplaces, hammocks, incredible views of the surrounding area, and even complimentary drinks.

If you’re looking for that perfect combination of remarkably unique, very adventurous, and yet relaxing and luxury than the treehouses are where you want to stay.

#2: Waterford Manor


Located just outside the small village of Rosetta, this four-star bed and breakfast offer a variety of gorgeous cottages over a 10-hectare property with beautiful views of the river and the surrounding land. An outdoor pool and a full English breakfast are just a few of the extras that make this manner very popular among local travellers who want a little touch of luxury and relaxation on enjoying this beautiful parts of South Africa.

#3: The Grace Guest House


The Grace Guest House is one where you will need to put in reservations well ahead of time if you plan to enjoy what they have to offer. There are only 4 rooms available here, all of which feature queen-size beds in suites that are more about luxury than some of the other choices on this list. However for some people luxury and affordable price is a definite upside of the ideal vacation.

Additional benefits include on-site security, free Wi-Fi Internet, swimming pool, and even a full botanical garden that looks stunning when in full bloom. If you actually want to feel like you are living in the lap of luxury the Grace Guest House will fulfil a lot of those needs.

#4: Sunrise Guest House


The sunrise Guest House offers an extremely good price for comfortable lodging and a variety of outstanding services. While less luxurious than some of the other guesthouse options that are on this list, this location offers an in-town location with beautiful backyard gardens, wonderful views from a 2nd story balcony, clean and comfortable rooms, a full kitchen for use, with breakfast available.

Although this might not be a luxury type guesthouse travellers will be more than happy with the outstanding rooms and overall service provided here and all the price that is a fraction of many of the more luxurious choices.

#5: Ascot Bush Lodge


The Ascot Bush Lodge is a few kilometres from the nearest town and offers individual huts for everyone who stays with them. The Lodge offers a wonderful bar, public area, and dining area while individuals can retreat to the privacy of their own huts to enjoy themselves and their vacation as they see fit. The beds are extremely comfortable, very clean, and the huts give a clear vibe of being in Africa – offering a pleasant aesthetic that will go over well in all vacation pictures.

The large property features beautiful sights of the river, natural plant life, and a large number of local birds to boot. Free Wi-Fi Internet also allows guests to stay connected, but with the amazing scenery around them, it’s hard to believe that will be a high priority.

In Conclusion

There are so many fantastic options when it comes to finding the right guest houses and that is always good news for vacationers who want to see one of the most beautiful places on the continent and enjoy a wonderful guest housing as they do so.