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Umhlali, Cathedral Peak, Kloof, Bluff, Oslo Beach, Durban North, Westville, Kosi Bay, Glen Ashley, Durban, Lake Jozini, Durban Central, Glenwood, Durban Beachfront, Hillcrest, Berea, Morningside, Champagne castle, La Lucia, Umdloti Beach
The urban dictionary defines living in the sticks as ‘residing in an area that is well forested, has farmland, and maybe some dirt roads’, a fitting description of Mid Illovo, tucked away in the KwaZulu-Natal Province of South Africa.
Mid Illovo takes its name from the Lovu River where a sugar industry began along its banks and where the Illovo brand grew into a market leader.
Green sugar cane fields stretch for miles, occasionally broken by protected forested areas and private nature reserves in Mid Illovo. Here, the climate remains warm through most of the year and the only disruption is the occasional passing tractor or the sound of a bird calling.
Mid Illovo is a place where your biggest decision of the day is whether to lie around the pool or to drive into the stunningly beautiful countryside.
Top 5 reasons to visit Mid Illovo
1. In May of every year, Mid Illovo is inundated with mountain bikers and trail runners competing in the 40km Husqvarna MTB Classic and the 18km (or 8km) iNsingizi Trail Run. There is also a 10km fun run for those less serious runners. August sees the hosting of the Illovo Eston 60km mountain bike race.
2. Tour the nearby Eston Sugar Mill for an insight into the process of refining sugar from the cane plant. The mill is a major employer and contributes to education and the social welfare of local communities.
3. The Nedbank Eston agricultural show takes place every August with over 90 market stalls in the marquee selling products ranging from handmade art to sublime cakes. There is fun for everyone, including a children’s playground, beer garden, dog athletics, skydive demo and live entertainment.
4. The Gwahumbe Game & Spa Reserve welcomes day visitors to enjoy a game drive on the reserve. Expect to see rhino, hippo and giraffe along with ample birdlife. Visit the spa for a head-to-toe treatment while at the resort.
5. It’s a 45km trip to the Kwazulu-Natal coastline and the nearest beaches of Kingsburgh but worthwhile spending the day enjoying the sun and surf on a sandy, shark protected and lifeguard patrolled beach.
The nearest airport is King Shaka International Airport, 110km from Mid Illovo. There are many car rental agencies in Durban city centre and at King Shaka airport to hire a vehicle, or you could order a rental online. One metered taxi company is based in Kingsburgh, however, expect the cost to be prohibitive and to best enjoy the area, rather hire a car.
Did you know?
The Husqvarna MTB Classic is enthusiastically supported by the local community and the race has become one of the more prestigious events on the mountain biking calendar. One section of the route involves traversing a 60m floating bridge, a challenge enjoyed by all who get to the end safely!
The sugar industry began in KwaZulu-Natal in 1848 and is today one of the largest sugar producing areas worldwide. The subtropical climate is ideal for the sugar cane plant of which the first cultivars were brought in from Mauritius. Indentured workers from India were shipped in to work the fields.
Self Catering places can be found from rural to urban areas and can vary in what they offer. They allow plenty freedom and is a great inexpensive way to spend your holiday. They have been widely classified as a “Home away from home”. This is a good option for guests who don’t mind cooking their own food, and are looking for a more independent and flexible form of accommodation. For budget and large families, we would recommend self-catering for a more personalised experience.