Howick Falls, KwaZulu-Natal
Did you know?
The Zulu name for the falls is kwaNogquaza, 'the place of the tall one'.
Just 24km from Pietermaritzburg, in the heart of the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, Howick Falls drops in spectacular fashion to a turbulent pool believed to have mystical powers.
The Midlands Meander, which stretches from Pietermaritzburg to the Drakensberg Mountains, is a prime tourist attraction with its abundant forests, hills, rivers, lakes, dams and waterfalls, plus hundreds of arts and craft outlets that are well worth browsing through.
Experience first-hand why the falls are revered by sangomas (Zulu traditional healers) and begin to understand why the cascade is believed to be inhabited by powerful ancestral spirits.
At the falls viewing site, visitors can enjoy the Umgeni River in its tireless flow to the Indian Ocean. Just listening to the power of the Howick Falls fills one with a sense of peace and tranquillity.
Access to the base of the falls is pretty easy with an hour-long walk to the foaming pool and gorge where tributaries of the main river create a turbulent vortex of water.
If you do not have the energy for a walk, set up a picnic and view the spectacular waterfall from the platform or enjoy one of the local eateries that are within walking distance.
After you have shopped around the town for some fine antiques and Zulu arts and crafts, lose yourself in the rest of the Midlands, starting from Balgowan, just north of Howick, and heading to Nottingham Road, Curry's Post and further afield.
Travel tips & Planning info
How to get here
Howick lies 24km north of Pietermaritzburg on the N2 freeway.
Around the area
Albert Falls Dam Nature Reserve, the Midlands Meander, Midmar Dam Nature Reserve and Sakabula Golf Course are ll close to Howick.
Tours to do
Taking a tour of the Midlands Meander is a must. The Meander is quite extensive, so it's advisable to get a Meander map from any local outlet and choose your desired craft outlets carefully as there is an overwhelming variety.
Three different trails offer visitors a means of getting closer to the action and to different vantage points from which to photograph the waterfall.
Length of stay
Halkf a day will afford time to visit the waterfall, take a walk along a trail and spend time at some of the intriguing shops to be found in Howick.
Where to stay
There is no shortage of suitable accommodation in Howick: self-catering, guesthouses, guest farms, B&Bs and a hotel lie close by.
Arts and crafts along the Midlands Meander.