South African tourism, like the rest of the world, has been through the wringer. Yet, despite restrictions on travel, South Africa is still ranked as one of the top destinations to visit in 2021. As we head towards the end of the year, uncertainties remain, but one thing that has endured the ongoing waves of change, is the abundance of opportunities for discovery and adventure in the country.
Whether it’s Cape Town calling your name or the Kruger National Park, with its incredible natural beauty and wildlife found nowhere else in the world, South Africa is a place of majesty and breathtaking experiences. The country is a haven for international travellers, while locals are spoilt for choice with everything right on our doorstep. The Midlands Meander in the heart of KwaZulu-Natal is one such destination that’s truly unique to South Africa.
Located in beautiful KZN, the region is a collection of arranged routes that stretch just beyond the Mooi River in the north, to Hilton in the south, Karkloof in the east and ends at the foothills of the Drakensberg in the west. Anthony Mosckovitch, the General Manager at ANEW Hotel Hilton, believes that the Midlands Meander offers visitors a truly unique and life-changing experience. “The area boasts beautiful surroundings, coupled with outstanding accommodation, fascinating attractions, shopping opportunities, incredible arts and crafts, top-class adventure sports and outdoor activities, historic landmarks, and wildlife conservation. For those looking for a new bucket-list destination in South Africa, the Midlands Meander should tick all the right boxes.”
Much to discover in the Midlands
An easy one-hour drive from Durban, four-and-a-half hours from Johannesburg, and a mere 14 minute drive from the ANEW Hotel Hilton in Pietermaritzburg, there is much to explore and experience in the Midlands. Just some of the highlights include soaring through the skies at Karkloof Canopy Tours, exploring the picturesque charm of Nottingham Road, tapping into your inner artist at Piggly Wiggly, or hiking through Milestone Forest.
Midmar Dam is a hub of activity for young and old, where birding, cycling, swimming, boating, sailing and camping are all on the cards. For some artisanal flair, head to Chocolate Heaven for some indulgent fudge, caramel or Turkish Delight bites of heaven, or visit Swissland Cheese for a picnic. Yet, despite all there is to offer in the region, locals here still enjoy a gentler pace of life, where talking to strangers and growing vegetables in the backyard are the order of the day.
Perfect base to explore the area
For visitors to the area, the Midlands is home to a wide variety of excellent accommodation options as well, ranging from family-friendly homes to upscale hotels, homely guesthouses and business accommodation. Adds Mosckovitch, “The four-star ANEW Hotel Hilton is an architectural showpiece, and the beauty of the property fits right in with the incredible natural surroundings of the Midlands. Our hotel is a must-stay for the meandering country charm seeker or those looking for business accommodation and conference venues in the area.”
Located within a historic district and close to Howick Golf Club and the National Botanical Gardens, guests wouldn’t need to stray too far to enjoy some of the experiences on offer. For those who prefer to keep it low-key, the hotel facilities include 97 modern and tastefully appointed rooms, eight conferences venues, an on-site restaurant, swimming pool, a minibar, car rental, laundry service and wedding venue, among others.
“ANEW Hotel Hilton is the perfect base to explore the Natal Midlands. Here, visitors can really experience the old-world charm of the area while still enjoying the new-world amenities we have all become accustomed to. ANEW Hotel Hilton really offers the best of both worlds,” Mosckovitch concludes.