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

One of the many reasons people find themselves spending weekends in the midlands is to have 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 scholars boarding on premesis, it is a welcome reprieve to visit one of the Hotels or B&B’s nearby.

Some of these schools embody 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 outdoors 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 unique opportunities to see the local wildlife and unwind in sedate picnic spots. The historic rock art of the San people can be seen as well as out rides on Appaloosa Horses.
Fly fish in the Lions River, and you might be able 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, scattered with wildlife such as the Samango monkey and Emerald cuckoo, as well as rare plantlife.

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

The Nottingham Road Brewing Company is one of South Africa’s most successful Micro-Breweries, set in the shady grounds of the elegant Rawdons Hotel, in the heart of the Midlands Meander. This prospering independent brewery has long been delighting locals and visitors with a range of naturally brewed ales and lagers.
The key of the company’s successfulness lies in the leading 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 construct beers of outstanding character with a smooth, well-rounded taste.
The Rawdons Pub and Brew gift shop stock these original and unique beers, and they can also be found on tap in elected outlets in the Midlands and elsewhere throughout 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 renowned golf course on offer all through the Midlands Meander trail, some of my favourites being Gowrie Golf Course and Boschoek Golf Course, these are two of KwaZulu Natals finest courses to choose from.

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

As a familiar traveller I have been favored to stay at many fine establishments along the midlands meander and of the many I would objectively like to thank Rawdons Hotel & Estate for such an inspiring experience.

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