22 Days of the exceptional Zulu Kingdom – Day 15
With so much to offer, the KZN Midlands are a sure fire success – featuring cultural experiences, arts, food, dining, nature and adventure – you’re sure to find your favourite thing to do in the midlands!
Nelson Mandela Capture Site:
The Nelson Mandela Capture Site on the R301 just outside of Howick is definitely one of South Africa’s more interesting monuments. Unveiled in 2012, the unique sculpture by artist Marco Cianfanelli, is made up of 50 steel column constructions between 6.5 metres and 9.5 metres tall that come into alignment to form a portrait of Nelson Mandela against a backdrop of rolling hills and valleys of the Natal midlands. The columns are meant to represent Mandela’s imprisonment at the very place he was captured before being exiled to Robben Island. The site also features a museum where the capture of Madiba in 1962 is documented along with more information about South Africa’s political history.
Yummy in your tummy!
A visit to the midlands wouldn’t be complete without a bit of cheese tasting at one of the infamous cheeseries in the meander Marrakesh Cheese Farm is situated in Rosetta, between Nottingham Road and Mooi River and the the family-run Swissland Cheesery is on Old Main Road R103, Balgowan, KZN. Chocolate Heaven in Nottingham Road will have both young and old salivating at the goodness of fresh chocolate. Restaurants are dotted throughout the area, and scones and cream are to be found at most little coffee shops for an afternoon tea.
Howick Falls, the Karkloof canopy & the Karkloof Forest Reserve
At 95 metres high (310 feet) the Howick Falls are located on the Umgeni River and have become a popular tourist attraction and the site boasts a restaurant and the usual stalls selling curios and other souvenirs. Known by the local Zulu people as ‘KwaNogqaza’, which means ‘Place of the Tall One’, local legend has it that the pool at the bottom of the falls is the residence of the Inkanyamba, a giant serpent-like creature. The falls also nearly claimed the life of BASE jumper Jeb Corliss in 1999, when he had a near fatal jump after his chute opening failed and he flew straight into the cascading water.
Located 10 km outside of Howick in the spectacular valley of the mist belt podacarpus Karkloof Forest Reserve, Karkloof Canopy Tours is a must for all travellers with a taste for adventure. The canopy tour includes long swooping slides over the forest canopy, stops below a 15-metre-high waterfall and takes in wider views across the beautiful Karkloof valley. Flying along ziplines at speeds of up to 70km/h and reaching heights of 35 metres, the canopies is a thrilling way to take in the surrounding scenery.
Arts & Crafts
There is so much to see that is beautifully handcrafted on the Midlands Meander. Meander crafters are those that create or manufacture 80% of the product within the boundaries of the Meander, whether they make quilts, leatherwork, herbal products, handmade soap, candles, furniture or other craftwork. Midlands artists are world-class and known internationally.
To list but a few attractions:
Dirt Road Traders, Curry’s Post;
Groundcover leather goods, Curry’s Post;
Corrie lynn & Co Furniture & Hand Spun Wool, near Piggly Wiggly in Dargle;
The Wood Turner – Sought After art & woodwork, Dargle;
Shuttleworth Weaving – Rugs & natural woven materials, Nottingham Road;
Aladdin’s-de-Light – Various Arts & Crafts, Nottingham Road;
Astrid Dahl – Renowned Clay artist, Nottingham Road;
Dargle Valley Pottery – Pottery & Arts & Crafts, Lions River;
Impumelelo Bead Artists, Nelson Mandela Capture Site;
The Piggly Wiggly country Village boasts many attractions, from art to bath and body products, it is a must see!
Sterling’s Wrought Iron, Dargle
Ardmore Ceramic Art, Caversham Road,Lidgetton
Born in Africa – Footwear, leather goods, Between Howick & Nottingham Rd R103
Tsonga shoes/Tslops – Original Midlands Leather goods & Shoes, R103, Lidgetton
Culamoya Chimes – A unique wind chime experience, Lidgetton R103
Peter’s Gate Herbal Centre – Herbal healing etc,Lidgetton R103