Cleopatra Mountain Farmhouse Wine Cellar

Natal Midlands

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A green and pleasant land at the foot of the Drakensberg Mountains

Explore the famous arts and crafts trail on a luxury Midlands Meander tour

As you leave Durban and take the main N3 road north from the city it seems as if you are driving permanently uphill – a sure sign that the breathtaking Drakensberg Mountains aren’t too far away. However before you reach the “Berg” you’ll pass through the beautiful Natal Midlands, an area of rolling hills, quaint country retreats and plenty to see and do along the way.

Historical significance of the area can be found at the site of Nelson Mandela’s capture, just outside of the small farming town of Howick, where a memorial has been set up to commemorate his life. The area is renowned for its “Midlands Meander”, a series of driving routes which have been set up to allow visitors to enjoy the scenic beauty of the area and visit a number of its art and craft shops, country restaurants and perhaps a traditional brewery or two.

Accommodation on a tailor made Natal Midlands holiday leans strongly towards scenic little country retreats, very much along the line of what you would expect to find in the Cotswolds, with superb restaurants and comfortable lounge areas with roaring fires in the evenings. Food is a big deal in this part of the country, with a number of properties such as Cleopatra’s Mountain Farmhouse and Hartford House drawing visitors specifically to enjoy their superb cuisine.

Very much a year-round destination, there is a strong argument to say that this area is actually best in the South African winter between June and August. It never gets too cold in the day (although evenings can be chilly and the fires are welcome) and the backdrop of the snow-capped peaks of the Drakensberg Mountains lends a wonderful feel to the area.

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