The Valley of a Thousand Hills is the deeply eroded and most majestic valley of the Umgeni River – meaning the place of the acacia trees. It has its source on the slopes of Spioenkop and feeds the Midmar dam, drives a hydroelectric plant at Howick, tumbles over the Howick and Albert Falls, and flows for 64km through the spectacular Valley of a Thousand Hills.
At the head of the valley is a mass of sandstone known as the Natal “Table Mountain”. The Zulu call it the ‘place of the giraffe acacia trees’
3Km from Cato Ridge on the old Durban/Pietermaritzburg road is a turnoff- leading to a 16km superb drive to the floor of the valley, ending at the Nagle Dam, one of Durban’s principal sources of water. This is the home of the Debe tribe. They are often seen wearing traditional dress.
The old Durban/Pietermaritzburg road continues along the southern verge of the Valley of a Thousand Hills. There are several scenic stopping places, hotels, holiday farms and curio selling points on the way. The Assegaai, a crocodile-breeding farm also offers tribal dancing.