Top 5 attractions along the Midlands Meander

Stretching from the Drakensberg mountains to Pietermaritzburg, the Midlands Meander is South Africa's first and finest arts and crafts route. Here you'll find a number of attractions to suit all tastes, ranging from historical landmarks and artisan food & drink to unique experiences such as soaring through the trees on a canopy tour.

  • Nelson Mandela Capture Site

    1. Nelson Mandela Capture Site

    The most historically significant place on the Midlands Meander is without doubt the Nelson Mandela Capture Site situated on the R301 just outside of Howick. It was here on 5 August 1962 that Mandela was captured by police, which led to his 27-year imprisonment. In 2012 President Jacob Zuma unveiled a sculpture by artist Marco Cianfanelli to mark the significance of this. The striking sculpture is made up of 50 steel columns between 6.5 metres and 9.5 metres tall that come into alignment to form a portrait of Nelson Mandela against a backdrop of the hills of KwaZulu-Natal.

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  • Karkloof Canopy Tours

    2. Karkloof Canopy Tours

    If you're on the hunt for a sky-high adventure in KwaZulu-Natal then the Karkloof Canopy Tours – located just 10km outside of Howick - is the perfect place to visit for a unique eco-experience. The guided canopy tour involves soaring from one platform to whilst safely attached to a steel cable suspended up to 30 metres above the indigenous Karkloof forest. It is the ideal way to take in nature from a never-before-seen perspective, whilst also learning interesting facts about the forest ecology as you traverse the treetops.

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  • Hartford House

    3. For food lovers…

    For food lovers the Midlands Meander offers a variety of treats. Immerse yourself in the divine world of artisan chocolate at Florentine's Belgian Chocolate Shop near Howick or discover traditional cheese making at Swissland just outside of Nottingham Road. Stop off at Piggly Wiggly Country Village near Tweedie and sample their famous coffee as well as shop for Proudly South African arts and crafts, wine, ale and deli goods. For a scrumptious dinner visit the award-winning Hartford House near Mooi River, which is headed by the famous South African chef Jackie Cameron.

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  • Nottingham Road

    4. Nottingham Road

    Nottingham Road is a quaint little town nestled in the heart of the KZN midlands. Here you'll find a cosy, English-style pub inside the Nottingham Road Hotel – rumoured to be haunted by a lady of ‘loose morals'. Visitors looking for a unique shopping experience should stop in at Blueberry Hill Gallery & Café and The Junction, where a variety of locally-made artisan products are waiting to be discovered. Learn about beer brewing at Nottingham Road Brewery where you can sample some delightful beers with names such as Pickled Pig Porter, Whistling Weasel Pale Ale and Tiddly Toad Lager.

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  • Mpophomeni

    5. Zulu Mpophomeni Township Experience

    The Zulu Mpophomeni Tourism Experience is a non-profit initiative designed to teach visitors more about traditional South African culture. It is situated 14km outside of Howick. Participate in a guided tour of the township to learn about the history of the area, making sure to visit the Nokulunga Gumede Wall of Reconciliation. This memorial was erected at the entrance of Mpophomeni to commemorate the lives of those who died during the township's political violence. You can also meet a Zulu Sangoma, spend a night or two at Nelly's - the township's first star-graded BnB – and sample Zulu food.

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The Midlands Meander is a renowned tourist destination that everyone should visit when passing through KwaZulu-Natal. Hire a car from First Car Rental to get you there in style and comfort, without breaking your budget.

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