Ultimate Midlands Meander Travel Guide

Picturesque Midlands Meander Routes with rolling green hills

The Natal Midlands Meander is a spectacular region where one can Indulge yourself amidst emerald forests, rolling green hills, and picturesque mountains with waterfalls and cobbling water streams. Situated at the foothills of the Drakensberg Mountain range in the KwaZulu Province of South Africa, the Midlands is a place you will want to take advantage of. After exploring this beautiful gem brimmed with unique sights and diverse adventures, I’ve compiled this Midlands Meander Guide to assist you in planning your best Midlands Itinerary.

Picturesque Midlands Meander Routes with rolling green hills
Picturesque Midlands Meander Routes

What is the Midlands Meander Arts and Crafts Route?

An 80 km green Utopia in KwaZulu Natal Midlands that comprises five self-drive routes, each with unique sights, attractions and activities. The Midlands Meander Arts and Crafts route was established in 1985 after creative locals gathered to discuss ways to increase their income.

Where is the Midlands Meander?

From the small town of Mooi River in the North and Hilton town in the South, the Midlands Meander is on the foothills of the Ukhahlamba Drakensberg Mountains. All in all, when you read further, I discuss the routes in this Midlands Meander Guide.

How to get there?

Take the N3 to Pietermaritzburg from Johannesburg Gauteng, about 4.5 hours (439 km) drive. From Durban, the KZN Midlands is a mere 1.5-hour (136 km) drive.

The 5 Midlands Meander Routes

Stop at the Tourist Bureau as you enter the Midlands and get a map where each Route is directed in a distinct colour.

Route 1: Hilton to Boston

This Route will take you through Merrivale, Howick, and Mpophomeni to adventure-filled Karkloof, a birders’ haven and home to the Karkloof Conservation Centre. Aside from the farmers market, visit the Karkloof tours centre for various activities.

The Midmar Dam and Midmar Resort are famous for fishing and water sports. Like other Midlands Meander guide routes, this Route also offers lovely places to stay, many things to do, and good food eateries.

Route 2: Curry’s Post to Mount West

Known as one of the shorter routes, Route 2 meanders from outside Howick through Balgowan, and Curry’s Post, up to Mount West, aside from the Troutbagger Trout Farm, an Alpaca farm, and Basket weavers. Visit the Leather factories, leather shops, and one of the Country’s most famous Coffee Roasters. The region offers a range of hikes in the Midlands, various activities, and mountain biking in the Midlands.

Route 3: Dargle to Nottingham Road

This Route will take you through Fort Nottingham and the back roads to the Dargle Valley. Dargle is a natural paradise brimming with forests and birdlife. Besides the many trails, shops sell unique arts and crafts and traditional Zulu ceramic pieces. Apart from that, farm stalls and a selection of places to eat., Lavender Company, Woodturner for their wood art, and Shuttleworths’ unique range of Mohair rugs and other items.

Route 4: Lions River to Nottingham Road

This Route takes you along the R103 through the towns of Lidgetton and Balgowan. Yet another route filled with many sights, including the Nelson Mandela Capture site, Michaelhouse, and arts and crafts. Home to Swissland Cheese Farm, farm stalls, factory shops, and the award-winning Granny Mouse Country House, Spa and Wine Cellar. Chocolate lovers can indulge in hand-crafted Belgian chocolates at Chocolate Heaven.

Route 5: Mooi River to Giant’s Castle

Another scenic route along Loteni Road and Kamberg Valley passes an Appaloosa Stud Farm and a Saddle and trout farm. Aside from that, the Marrakesh Cheese Farm and cheese shop. Above all, the region is home to the Kamberg nature reserve. The Kamberg reserve derives its name from Kamberg Hill, which looks like a rooster’s Comb. Kam is the Afrikaans word for Comb. Additionally, the routeRoutehe the closest of all 5 routes to the Drakensberg Mountains. As a result of the tremendous amount of gems in the Midlands, I’ve compiled the following Midlands Meander Guides:

Best Attractions in the Natal Midlands as well as Where to Eat in the Midlands

Picturesque scene of trees and bushes during Midlands meander Autumn season
Midlands meander Autumn season

Best Time to Go

If you prefer the dry season, the best time to visit the Midlands Meander is from April to September. During this time, the days are relatively warm, with cooler nights. Nevertheless, the Natal Midlands is an all-year-round destination with its subtropical climate. Therefore, whatever season you visit the Midlands Meander, you’ll promise an unforgettable experience.

Midlands Weather KZN

Springtime in the Midlands Natal has to be seen for its regeneration and bounty. In summer, the KwaZulu-Natal midlands can get very hot, with average temperatures between 16’C and 30 °C. As a result of the very high humidity during summer, be prepared for unexpected rain. Autumn time in the KZN Midlands is breathtaking when shades of yellow-orange, red-browns, blazing reds, and greens surround you.

Winter in the Midlands, during June and July, is unpredictable, sometimes with snow—average temperatures of 6 ‘C in winter. Despite the wind from the mountains, most winter days in the Midlands of Natal are pleasant. You might be so lucky to find yourself amidst snow-capped hills.

Where to Stay

Depending on your preferences and the experience you want, making accommodation recommendations in this Midlands Meander Guide is not easy. As a result, use the banner below to find options according to your needs and the region you prefer to stay. Easier.


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  1. Thanks, Rina – and for taking the time to comment.

  2. If you do not have the funds to travel oversees, our country has great places to visit, thanks for making us aware of this beautiful area as well!

  3. Quintin Mc Pherson says:

    Fascinating, i did not know the Midlands Meander has so much to offer.

  4. Your pics are EPIC. Especially the first one. I had no idea that the Midlands Meander is the Wedding Capital of the World, with Unique Chapels and many Wedding venues. If I were to ever get married, I would get it done here.

  5. Ramya Mishra says:

    This place definitely looks like paradise, with everything in place and nature in full bloom. I will bookmark your article for future reference.