Midlands

Between two · extremes, the warm coastal area and the snow-covered heights of the Drakensberg, from Greytown in the north to Mooi River in the west, lie the 200km wide Natal Midlands.

The ground rises from sea level to 1 200m at the foot of the Drakensberg. Countless hills and valleys are the main scenic features. All rivers in Natal have their headwaters in the Drakensberq. The Mzimkule, Mkomazi, Mgeni and Thukela are the principal rivers. They lose considerable altitude within relatively short courses, creating waterfalls, rapids and gorges.

Up to the end of the 18th century the indigenous people lived close to nature with little knowledge of what lay beyond their territory. In 1818 King Shaka started to build the Zulu nation and groups of refugees fled in all directions. When the Europeans reached Natal they found the whole area uninhabited. Almost all the people, who came to Natal, from the San to the British settlers and the Voortrekkers, had to pay in blood for the land.

The midlands have always been home to artists and crafts people. In 1985 a group of artists, potters and weavers created the Midlands Meander, the original arts and crafts route in South Africa with the aim to encourage visitors to experience the scenic Natal Midlands. They sell their work directly from their home studios, keeping the prices-down and giving people an insight into their lifestyles and original products.

The Midlands Meander offers visitors a wide range of holiday options – from exclusive hotels and country houses, to guest farms with bed and breakfast accommodation.

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