Pietermaritzburg and Midlands

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Pietermaritzburg and Midlands

Situated some 80 kilometres from the coast, Pietermaritzburg is the capital of KwaZulu-Natal with many landmark colonial buildings, such as the famous red-brick City Hall and the old Supreme Court building, now the outstanding Tatham Art Gallery, gracing its busy streets. Another colonial building that became famous for something other than its beautiful architecture is the old Pietermaritzburg railway station. It is from here that, in 1893, Mahatma Gandhi was told to leave the train as he was travelling in a ?whites only? compartment.

These days, Pietermaritzburg is, happily, better known for the fact that it is between here and Durban that the famous and gruelling Comrades Marathon and the Dusi Canoe Marathon take place every year, drawing participants and spectators from around the world. The big Midmar Dam, near Howick on the outskirts of Pietermaritzburg, hosts the enormously popular annual Midmar Mile swim, as well as other activities such as sailing, windsurfing, water skiing, canoeing and boating.

One of the prettiest parts of the country is the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, which starts just north of Pietermaritzburg. The climate in this area is markedly different from that of the coastal region. During the crispy autumns and winters, the leaves and grasslands turn burnt orange and yellow, and in the spring and summer the gently rolling hillsides are covered in carpets of wild flowers. There are green, well-watered farmlands, lovely streams, rivers and waterfalls, such as the Howick, Woodhouse and Karkloof falls, and thick indigenous and commercial forests. This natural beauty is ideal for horse riding, hiking, swimming, biking, quad biking, fishing, and of course, the exciting Karkloof Canopy Tour.

This region has been a rural haven for creative people since the early 1800s, and one of the best ways to enjoy it is to take a drive along the Midlands Meander. The ?Meander? winds past Midmar Dam and visitors can visit some 200 arts and crafts studios, country hotels, flower farms, herb gardens, potters, weavers, leatherworkers, shoemakers and home-industry outlets.

The Midlands Meander is also home to some of the best artisan food producers in the country and visitors love pottering through the farmlands stopping to sample homemade cheeses, craft beers, wine, artisan breads, smoked meats and preserves.

Also in KZN?s midlands is the famous Buddhist Retreat Centre (BRC), enormously popular with people of all faiths and lifestyles. In 2014, CNN voted the BRC in Ixopo one of the world?s 10 best meditation retreats. Situated in a most beautiful natural environment, a variety of weekend courses, as well as longer retreats are offered, often with visiting teachers and monks of international stature in attendance. Known for its fantastic vegetarian food, the BRC also produced two enormously popular cookbooks.

Email :info@pmbtourism.co.za
Enquiry Email :info@pmbtourism.co.za
Enquiry Fax :+27 33 3943535
Tel 1 :+27 33 3451348
Fax :+27 33 3943535
Albert Falls & Cramond
Crammond - Albert Falls area

The Albert Falls Dam is situated a mere 20kms from Pietermaritzburg and is rated as one of the best bass fishing dams in the world. The area boasts an abundance of bird life, game viewing enthusiasts have a choice of seeing nature on foot or from game viewing vehicles. Amongst the scenic views and cultural attractions popular family activities include water skiing, para-sailing, canoeing and fishing. Come and amble with us either as a day visitor or staying in one of our Lodges, B&Bs, self-catering units or camping and caravanning sites

Boston, Bulwer and Surrounds
There's absolutely no mistaking the pristine, inviting surrounds of Boston and Bulwer for anything but a long-established seat of pastoral plenty - the luxuriant, generously watered grazing meadows and impressive forests a perfect setting for picturesque settlements that beckon with our hallmark hospitality. These open doors lead to the entire spectrum of holiday accommodation, from quaint country hotels, guesthouses, farms and B&Bs, to rustic self-catering cottages, backpack lodges and campsites.

Dalton & New Hanover
This little piece of Germany is surrounded by hamlets of definitive origin Harburg, Kirchdorf, New Hanover, Lillienthal, Schroeders and Hermannsburg. Wartburg itself is named after the castle in Eisenach where Dr Martin Luther translated the bible into German and the village crest also depicts the immigrants arrival by sailing ship, the Luther Rose and the call to pray and work.

New Hanover is a small town in the midlands of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa which was established in the 1850s by German cotton planter families. Today this area's principal economy is the sugarcane industry, while the farming of fruits, grains and timber also feature prominently.

Eston is situated in the South-East corner of the Pietermaritzburg and midlands region of KwaZulu-Natal. Towns close by include Pietermaritzburg and Ixopo. Eston almost borders Durban and the South Coast.

Attractions in the area and neighbouring areas include the Natal Museum, The Pavilion shopping centre, the Golden Horse Casino, the Umngeni Steam railway, The Vernon Crookes Nature Reserve, the Umngeni River Bird Park, The Workshop and Tala Private Game Reserve.

Tala Private Game Reserve is situated on Umlaas Road in Eston, amongst many things This Reserve has great Conference facilities available including these venues : Paperbark Conference Room, Paperbark Restaurant, Leadwood Lodge, La Tala Resturant, Aloe Lodge Conference Room, Boma (at Aloe Lodge), Acacia, Figtree, Rock Pool Area, and the Marula Education Centre.

Voortrekkers laid out this picturesque country town in the 1850s...using the neat grid system first employed at Pietermaritzburg. Centre of an early magisterial district and therefore a seat of power - albeit a lesser one - Greytown played 'Little Elephant' - in Zulu cultural reference - to Pietermaritzburg's 'Place of the Elephant'.

Howick & Surrounds
Howick is in the heart of the uMngeni Municipal region and hub of the Midlands. It is known as the place of many waterfalls for it is here that the uMngeni River and its tributaries tumble down gorges and over precipices on a journey to the Indian Ocean, some 95 km to the east.

Ixopo & Surrounds
Ixopo was surveyed in 1878 and was initially called Stuartstown, the Zulu name however prevailed...thanks to its perfect example of onomatopoeia - the sound of cattle squelching through the mud - provided, of course, you pronounce it with the correct 'click'! This implied dampness refers in the main to often misty altitudes of almost 2 000m above sea level.

Two 19th century churches and a seminary are still operational...while two other landmarks further enhance the area's spiritual tradition and reputation - a floodlit cross bestowing peace and goodwill on the town and, at the nearby Buddhist Retreat Centre, a tall reliquary radiating wisdom and compassion to the valleys below.

Kranskop & Hermmansburg
The tiny village of Kranskop dates back to 1894, when it was called Hopetown - only to be renamed with the Afrikaans-language description of a striking rocky landmark on the nearby escarpment. Hermannsburg is a small village which was established by German Missionaries in 1854.
Mooi River & surrounds
Mooi River is a Midlands farming town and also gateway to the wonderful central Drakensberg Mountain areas. An important village that is found in the close vicinity of Mooi River is Rosetta.
Mpophomeni is a small 'township' community on the outskirts of Howick, which offers a memorable township tourism experience.
Nottingham Road & Surrounds
Nottingham Road is known as the 'heart' of the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands Meander due to its second-to-none hospitality in truly beautiful surroundings, plus wide-ranging accommodation, function facilities, fascinating local calendar of events, invigorating outdoor recreation, adrenalin-pumping adventure sports, historic landmarks, wildlife conservation, shop-till-you-drop arts 'n crafts, Pie-eyed Possum and friends.
Pietermaritzburg & Surrounds
Having crossed over the Drakensberg Mountain range into Zulu territory on their Great Trek from British dominion in the Cape Colony, Boer settlers earmarked this site as their capital-to-be, and in 1838 laid the foundation of a neat grid of streets and lanes of Pietermaritzburg. Rival British expansionists were a safe distance away at Port Natal-Durban and the surrounding tribes were predominantly scatterlings the result of King Shaka's empire-building exploits who posed no threat. It was from this fledgeling settlement that Pieter Retief embarked on his ill-fated journey to negotiate for land with Shaka's co-assassin and heir, King Dingane.
Richmond & Byrne
Richmond has become an important seat of local government, in addition to serving the educational, business and transport needs of the surrounding community.

This little piece of Germany is surrounded by hamlets of definitive origin - Harburg, Kirchdorf, New Hanover, Lillienthal, Schroeders and Hermannsburg. Wartburg itself is named after the castle in Eisenach where Dr Martin Luther translated the bible into German...and the village crest also depicts the immigrants' arrival by sailing ship, the Luther Rose and the call to 'pray and work'.