Did you know?
The symbol of the Midlands Meander is the Butler butterfly, found only in the Karkloof region.
The Midlands Meander is a route situated between the city of Pietermaritzburg and the ever-popular World Heritage Site, the uKhahlamba-Drakensberg mountains.
The Midlands extends over a distance of 80 km between Pietermaritzburg and Mooi River with stunning sites and scenery along the way. The scenic spots and natural surroundings replenish body and soul and the mind will be entertained by the rich and intriguing history going back to the 1800s.
Started in 1985, when several potters and weavers came together to create an arts & crafts route, the route also features original architecture, which is dominant in the area. For the active visitor the Midlands Meander is ideal for horse riding, hiking and fishing and opportunities abound to participate in farming and countryside activities.
Visitors to the Midlands can explore forests, farmlands and picturesque villages in the area, enjoy home-made cheese and quench their thirsts with locally brewed beer. The art lovers can witness crafters at work creating uniquely African pieces and buy a few art works to take back home.
The Midlands Meander is the largest art & craft tourism route in South Africa and one of the most successful with over 215 businesses in the arts & crafts, hospitality, heritage and eco-tourism sectors.
The Midmar Dam hosts various events such as the Midmar Mile swim and includes activities such as windsurfing, sailing, boating and canoeing. This incredible journey is only an hour's drive from Durban and about 4.5 hours from Johannesburg.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Midlands Meander office
Tel: +27 (0)33 330-2355
How to get here
From Johannesburg – 4.5 hours drive on the N3. Turn off anywhere from Mooi River onwards. From Durban, N3 towards Pietermaritzburg (PMB). Only one hour to Howick and then the Meander starts. Can fly directly into PMB airport; then only 25 minutes up to the Meander.
Best time to visit
All year round – a wide variety of weather changes which brings awesome landscape changes – from rich autumn reds, to wintry, snow capped mountains, to fresh dew tipped spider webs in spring and summer brings luscious greens, meandering mist and bright blue skies.
Around the area
Arts, crafts and cuisine, plus activities including hiking, fishing, horse-riding, health spas, golf, tubing, mountain biking, canoeing, zip-lining across forest top.
How to get around
Self-drive or through tour operators and pre-arranged transport. Some of the hotels also offer day trips.
Length of stay
Nothing less than 2 days to even begin to give the area justice, with 5 days even better.
Where to stay
Anything from a backpackers to a 5 star hotel or world-class health spas, self-catering, B&B’s, lodges.
The highly talented arts and crafts in the area including the renowned Craft Guild offerings.