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.