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Natal Midlands in the Fog

Natal Midlands
Midlands Meander

Recommended Reading

Lately the South African actor and play-wright John van der Ruit, a Michaelhouse Old Boy, has published his true fiction novel "Spud", laid out as a diary, about his years as a student of Michaelhouse. It lets us catch a glimpse of the boarding school's secret world and of some conflicts in the ending phases of the Apartheid regime. Highly readable, humorous and humane.

Title: Spud
Author: J. H. van de Ruit
ISBN: 0-14-302484-1


Howick FallsA good starting point for a visit of the Midlands on the Midlands Meander route is the town of Howick on the N3, some 25 km north of Pietermaritzburg. Howick has a little local history museum. Recommended are a walk to the Howick Falls and a visit of the Umgeni Valley Nature Reserve, a small nature park north of Howick with giraffes, zebras and antelopes. Nice for hiking and cycling. To get to the Midlands Meander, take the R 103 in the direction of Nottingham Road.

Midmar Dam Nature Reserve
Midmar DamThis nature conservation area of 2844 hectares on the Midmar Dam is a popular watersports resort, especially with windsurfers, sailors and canooists. Various antelope species and zebras live in the park. Midmar Dam lies about 7 km east of Howick. Tel (033) 3302067.

Michaelhouse SchoolActually not much more than a little railway station and an old, romantic trading store. But Balgowan boasts a famous speciality, since it is home to the Michaelhouse School, one of South Africa's top boarding schools for boys with a high reputation. Who attended this school, is set to enter the highest ranks of society. The vast complex in the style of the English Brick Gothic even disposes of a beautiful chapel and is open to visitors.

Nottingham Road
Nottingham Road HotelThis little town was named after the Nottinghamshire Regiment once stationed here. The old Fort can still be visited. "Notties" is the centre of the Midlands Meander, with great hotels, guest houses, lodges and guest farms, tea gardens, restaurants and arts & crafts outlets, supplied mainly by local crafters, and a relaxed olde English country atmosphere. The town is also the base for trips to the Southern Drakensberg.

Mooi River
Situated on the Mooi River amidst beautiful country with renowned horse studs. The base to visit the Giant's Castle Game Reserve.

Fort DurnfordThe town on the Bushmans River was founded in the middle of the 19th century as a garrison-town and trading post of the British. On top of one of the hills a fort was erected to protect the ford through the river. Estcourt today is a centre of the meat-processing industry of South Africa. Attractions: Fort Durnford, Wagondrift Dam Reserve, Weenen Game Reserve and Thukela Biosphere. Estcourt lies east of the N3 and is part of the Midlands Meander.
Accommodation: Balgowan, Dargle, Lidgetton

Granny Mouse Country H.
On 52 acres; en-suite cottages overlooking river; very relaxing; excell. restaurant; bar, pool. Tel +27-(0)33 234 4071. eMail

Lythwood Lodge
Superb country lodge on park-like estate; 11 ensuite rooms; all meals; trout fishing. Lidgetton. Tel +27-(0)33 234 4666 eMail

Accommodation in Nottingham Road

Fordoun Spa, Hotel & Rest.
17 luxurious suites; spa with large indoor pool; wellness treatments; Zulu healer; Fly-fishing. Tel ++27-(0)33 2666217. eMail

Accommodation in Mooi River and Estcourt

Antbear Guest House
Overlooking Bushmans River and Giants Castle; very peaceful, relaxing; all meals. Tel +27-(0)36 3523143. eMail

Accommodation in Kamberg Region

Spotted Horse Country Inn
Rustic rooms on horse stud; dramatic Drakensberg scenery; bar, boma; riding; fishing. Tel ++27 (0)33 2677194. eMail

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