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The Midlands Meander is a cultural route that runs between the city of Pietermaritzburg and the world-famous heritage site, the uKhalamba Drakensberg.
The route stretches over a distance of 80 kilometers between Pietermaritzburg and Newcastle with numerous impressive sights and landscapes along the way. The viewpoints and natural attractions lead through the complex history of the Midlands, which dates back to the 19th century.
In 1985, founded by some potters and weavers as a craft route, it is not least because of their typical regional architecture very worth seeing. For active vacationers, the Midlands are ideal for riding, golfing, hiking and fishing.
Visitors have the opportunity to explore forests, rural areas and picturesque villages, taste homemade cheeses and quench their thirst with locally brewed beer. Art lovers can look over the artisans at work.
After defeating the Zulus at the Battle of Bloodriver in 1838, the Voortrekkers founded their Republic “Natalia”. On the fertile hills on the Msindusi River they put on their capital. They named the settlement after their first Trek leaders Pieter Retief and Gerrit Maritz, who had previously made a contract of conquest with the Zulu king Dingaan, but had subsequently been murdered.
A few years later – in 1843 – the English took over the city and established their colonial administrative centre for the province of Natal. The influence of the British is visible everywhere in the city, in the magnificent parks and gardens and in the magnificent colonial buildings in the Edwardian and Victorian architectural style. Outstanding is the built of red clinker City Hall from 1893 with its 47 meter high bell tower.
Pietermaritzburg (Zulu: umGungundlovu) – the city was once considered the “last bastion of the British Empire” – is now marked by African. Like Durban, so Pietermaritzburg also has a considerable Indian population. And even in the new South Africa is not Durban, but the small Pietermaritzburg with its approximately 450,000 inhabitants administrative and parliamentary seat of KwaZulu Natal. Since 2004, Pietermaritzburg no longer shares the function of the capital with Ulundi, the center of the former Zulu homeland.
Pietermaritzburg is a commercial hub amidst the green hills of the Natal Midlands. The city has a highly diversified industrial structure, with the production of aluminum products and foodstuffs being the mainstay. The once strong clothing industry has migrated to Asia. Pietermaritzburg is well connected and is located on the N3 motorway between Johannesburg and Durban. There is also a train connection as well as the Oribi Regional Airport.