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IIn 1985, a group of potters and weavers in the Drakensberg area came together to showcase their arts and crafts. Today the area is known as the Midlands Meander and stretches from Pietermaritzburg to the uKhahlamba-Drakensberg National Park.
With 80km of cultural and creative meandering to get through, the Midlands Meander is considered to be South Africa’s best artisan crafts route. While there, shop for pottery and ceramics, woven goods, furniture, rugs, stained glass and leatherwork. There are also kids’ toys, kites and one-of-a-kind art pieces.
The area is also known as a foodie destination: local cheeses, chocolate, wine, a brewery and a brilliant selection of award-winning restaurants can be found here.
RRemember that this area has a zero-tolerance drink-and-drive policy, so use cabs or stay overnight so you can really enjoy yourself. Unsurprisingly, for a setting so beautiful, there is fabulous accommodation to be found here.
AAfter all the eating, drinking and shopping, you can also get some exercise. If you like being up in the air, choose the canopy tour, go foofie sliding (that’s zip lining to non-South Africans) or take a hot air balloon trip over the spectacular Drakensberg Mountains. If you prefer being down below, there’s quad biking, golfing, fishing, mountain bike trails, horse riding and incredible hikes.
With its rolling countryside, dramatic mountains, misty mornings and clean fresh crisp air, the Midlands is a natural home for eco-tourism – look out for ways to support local projects. History buffs will also be satisfied with the war stories and heritage buildings that date back to the 1800s.