The KwaZulu Natal Midlands of South Africa is located outside of Pietermaritzburg and stops just short of the fascinating Drakensburg mountains. A tour along the midlands meander will encompass many tourist attractions from arts and crafts, to accommodation, with various restaurant shops along the route.

One of the many reasons people find themselves spending weekends in the midlands is to obtain time with their children that are attending some of the top South African private schools in the area. Considering that many of these schools have students boarding on premesis, it is a welcome break to visit one of the Hotels or B&B’s close-at-hand.

Some of these schools comprise Cowan House, Clifton Preparatory School, Treverton Preparatory School and College, Hilton College, Michaelhouse and St. Anne’s Diocesan College.

The area offers various activities for the nature lover and sportsman alike. Trout fishing is an area favourite, as well as the Midmar Dam where the annual Midmar Mile takes place. The Karkloof falls and Oribi Reserve offer exclusive opportunities to see the local wild animals and relax in peaceful picnic spots. The historic rock art of the San people can be viewed as well as out rides on Appaloosa Horses.
Fly fish in the Lions River, and you might be proficient enough to catch a Yellow, or take a hair raising mountain bike ride on one of the first class tracks the Karkloof has on offer.
The Karkloof Canopy Tour is a 180 metre long slide over the tree tops of the Karkloof Forest Reserve, strewn with wildlife such as the Samango monkey and Emerald cuckoo, as well as rare plantlife.

The midlands meander has something for everybody from the thrill seeker, to the nature lover and something exclusive for the arts and crafts enthusiast including antiques, ceramics, pottery, paper, beadwork, leatherwork, weaving, tapestries, wrought iron, clothing, herbs, stained glass and wind chimes. Distinctive workshops can be undertaken in the area to test out your own unique creative talents, and there are sufficient opportunities to scan the local artists at work, meet the people behind the creations and encounter your own artistic motivation.

The Nottingham Road Brewing Company is one of South Africa’s most successful Micro-Breweries, placed in the shady grounds of the elegant Rawdons Hotel, in the heart of the Midlands Meander. This developing independent brewery has long been satisfying locals and visitors with a line of naturally brewed ales and lagers.
The secret of the company’s accomplishment lies in the remarkable range of beers produced here. Only the purest spring water drawn from the artesian well on the grounds and finest quality hops and malted barley are used to make beers of outstanding character with a smooth, well-rounded taste.
The Rawdons Pub and Brew gift shop stock these original and outstanding beers, and they can also be found on tap in select outlets in the Midlands and elsewhere around South Africa. The Brew Shop offers Gift Packs, Chubby’s, and fun items such as “Certified Beer Drinker” T-shirts and other sought-after promotional gifts.

For the golfer there are many a celebrated golf course on offer through the whole of the Midlands Meander trail, some of my favourites being Gowrie Golf Course and Boschoek Golf Course, these are two of KwaZulu Natals superior courses to choose from.

Retreat to the stillness of a haven boundaried by forest and farmland with a meandering stream. At Brookdale Health Hydro, the focus is on providing an escape from the stresses of everyday life, and re-establishing a healthy lifestyle, stimulating mental composure where stressful living has taken its toll.

As a competent traveller I have been advantageous to stay at many fine establishments along the midlands meander and of the many I would independently like to thank Rawdons Hotel & Estate for such an exciting experience.

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