|Welcome to the fascinating South African and KwaZulu-Natal Midlands town of Howick. 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. Some of the key villages found in the vicinity of Howick are Karkloof, Merrivale and Lion's River.|
High and Healthy Haven
Sage advice on restoring vigour and vitality has throughout the ages extolled the benefits of spending time near waterfalls - the surrounding atmosphere infused with nature's curative powers unleashed by the cascading of water into water. Small wonder then, that this elevated and magnificent area where our Zulu Kingdom's mighty Mngeni River and its tributaries tumble from the edge of the Midlands Plateau has for centuries attracted with its life-enhancing magic. Powering their way from the majestic Drakensberg range to the Indian Ocean, these cool and clear waters have plunged from precipice to pool since time immemorial, carving wondrous natural landscapes in the process.
Most dramatic of these is undoubtedly Howick Falls, approximately 100 metres of spectacular display almost in the centre of the picturesque town itself. Known to the Zulu people as KwaNogqaza - Place of the Tall One - the falls were first seen by European adventurers in the early 19th Century, as transport riders and wagon trains pioneered routes inland from the coast. English missionary James Archbell was granted a farm here, but the rapid increase in horse-drawn traffic soon compelled the government of the day to expropriate a portion for the establishment of a village. This settlement was duly named Howick, in tribute to the Northumberland home of then British Colonial Secretary, Earl Grey.
Farming remains the defining nature of our pastoral and pristine ambience, as evinced by the long established presence here of a highly esteemed seat of agricultural learning. And perched some 1000- metres above sea-level humidity, our 'Waterfall Country' is filled with opportunities to engage in activities synonymous with genteel, bucolic living - fishing expeditions par none on our bountiful waters, bird-watching and game-viewing amid a nature lover's dream, the equestrian pursuits and golfing challenges introduced by our Colonial forefathers, plus a modern addition to the world of keep-fit regimes - mountain biking.
No real surprise that our 'old visitors' are returning in ever increasing numbers to enjoy their golden years in this favourite, invigorating environment! While up-market, well-appointed and secure retirement complexes are becoming the new landmarks, gracious smallholdings beckon the actively- or semi-retired with the promise of 'gentleman farming'. These factors, in addition to our district's many outdoor activities, present the entrepreneur with tempting small- business ventures.
Reflecting on history again, Howick's get- away appeal had by 1851 seen the village evolve into a 'favourite resort of pleasure- seekers...who fill the pockets of a former ship's purser, now keeping a small house of entertainment on the river bank'. While that pioneering haunt may well belong to the past, Howick is today fairly abuzz with a noteworthy array of quaint and inviting taverns, cafes and restaurants to suit the mood of any discerning palate.
Introduction to the wonders of Zulu and other traditional cultures is yet another hallmark, along with their authentic and expertly fashioned curios. This wealth of genuine Africana, plus European-inspired handicrafts, fascinating fusions of the two and a treasure trove of antiques, bric-a-brac and bygones contributes an irresistible, magnetic charm to our easily negotiable Town Trail. Accommodation to suit every pocket and predilection makes our hospitality the ideal base for exploring further afield. These 'meanders' traverse undulating countryside dotted with yet more arts 'n' crafts, nature reserves and trails, outdoor sporting and recreation venues, historic sites, quaint restaurants, inns and B&B establishments plus, of course, more waterfalls!
We look forward to sharing with you our idyllic, healthy lifestyle amid all the splendours of nature - you'll soon be harbouring nostalgic thoughts of a swift return!
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