Hiking on the Meander
Six reasons to love hiking on the Meander
1. Get the blood moving! Couch potato? City slicker? Leave it all behind as you stride over hills, tread gently through silent, shady forests and splash though streams. Bring out your inner Bear Grylls. Your body will thank you for it.
2. Cost – hiking is one of the most awesomely budget-friendly activities out there. Water bottle and daypack? Check. Sturdy shoes or boots? Check. Sign in at the park office and leave the world behind.
3. The breathtaking views – Alan Paton wrote of the countryside of KwaZulu-Natal that “These hills are grass-covered and rolling, and they are lovely beyond any singing of it.”
4. The natural diversity of the Midlands – Nature is generous here in the Midlands. Not only do you get to experience the grandeur of the mountains and the grasslands, encounter wetlands filled with birdlife, but you can explore pristine mistbelt forest with rare species and be humbled by trees that are hundreds of years old.
5. Wildlife – the biggest kept secret of the KZN Midlands is the opportunity to encounter game while you are walking. At the famous Ezemvelo game parks you can hike in the Drakensberg and the Kamberg. There are game lodges and reserves with accommodation catering for all pockets – from budget to four star. Want to land your helicopter at one of the most sought-after game lodges for game walks on an exclusive weekend away? No problem.
6. Inspiration – hiking takes your mind to tranquil and peaceful places as each step leaves your stress and deadlines further behind. There is much to uplift you in the Midlands – from the towering mountains and murmuring streams to humbling encounters with rock art created by San people thousands of years ago.
One-day hiking trails in the Midlands Meander can be enjoyed all year around, weather permitting. Low to moderate fitness levels are required and are dependent on the trail concerned.
Establishments that offer hiking trails on their properties:
Establishments that offer hiking trails on their properties for guests only:
- Mount Park Guest Farm
- Boston T Party
- Fordoun Leisure
- Hartford House
- Inversanda Farm Cottages
- Rawdons Hotel
- Rockwood Karkloof Lodges
Looking for an exciting hiking trail for the family?
MILESTONE FOREST WALK
Contact: +27 78 036 2388
An easy 2km walk through the indigeneous forests of the Balgowan Conservancy with well marked paths, signs and tree identification cards.
HOWICK FALLS GORGE
Contact: +27 83 421 1938
Beginning at the end Harvard Street, the trail takes you through gorgeous riverine forest, grottos and meandering streams all the way to the pool at the bottom of the falls.
THE TONY KERR TRAIL
Contact: +27 87 487 0922
The Fort Nottingham Nature Reserve is perfect for walks, birders and botanists. Discover the wooded hillside in this 2km trail. Some steep sections.
THE KARKLOOF FALLS
Contact: +27 33 330 5305
Enjoy this 6.9km out and back trail to the 105m dramatic drop of the Karkloof Falls. The road entrance is off the Karkloof Road travelling out of Howick. Sign posted.
KAMBERG NATURE RESERVE
Contact: +27 33 267 7251
An expanse of grasslands and rocky hills, with hikes to waterfalls, trout fishing and a rock art museum.
WESSA uMNGENI VALLEY NATURE RESERVE
Contact: +27 33 330 3941
Just 1km from Howick on the Karkloof Road, this reserve is a great place to spend the day getting into the nature, offering panoramic views, diverse walking trails, picnic spots and a variety of wildlife.
BALGOWAN CONSERVANCY INFO CENTRE
Contact: +27 33 234 4486
Find out more about the bushpig trail and the Michaelhouse Oribi Reserve and the trails that lie within.
KARKLOOF CRANE & CONSERVATION CENTRE
Contact: +27 33 330 2992
Guided walks through the conservancy allows visitors to spot an impressive array of bird species, including the Wattled, Blue and Grey Crowned Crane as well as in the bird hides.
Contact: +27 33 234 4601 or +27 82 524 5444
The iconic hill that’s visible anywhere from the Midlands can be reached! It’s a nice steep hike up to the top of the hill, trailing through beautiful mist-belt forest before popping out into the open hillside