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Champagne castle, Umhlali, Berea, Kosi Bay, Umdloti Beach, Bluff, Durban, Glen Ashley, Oslo Beach, Westville, Glenwood, Durban Central, Hillcrest, Morningside, Cathedral Peak, Durban Beachfront, Lake Jozini, Durban North, La Lucia, Kloof
Midmar in the Natal Midlands is where frazzled Durban residents escape on weekends to unwind and enjoy the tranquillity surrounding the dam and nature reserve. Midmar Public Resort Nature Reserve is a massive 2800ha park incorporating an 800ha game reserve, the Midmar Nature Reserve, and a 1700ha dam, the Midmar Dam. Aside from game viewing and water sports, the resort has various other recreational activities including hiking, cycling routes, tennis, squash and fishing. Anglers require permits to fish the Umgeni River that feeds into the dam.
The lovely green hills of the Midlands provide a majestic backdrop to the Midmar Reserve. This beauty encompassing Midmar has attracted artists and their products inspired by the region are on show along the Midlands Meander, a series of arts & crafts routes in which Midmar is included on Route 1.
Top 6 reasons to visit Midmar
1. Hire a yacht or catamaran to sail around the vast Midmar Dam. The area is rich in birdlife and the dam wall is an impressive sight during times of overflow.
2. Be guided along one of the gaming trails in the Midmar Nature Reserve to view the many buck species and small mammals resident in the park.
3. Just outside the Midmar Public Resort Nature Reserve is the Midmar Historical Village, a model village created to appear as a 19th century village. The displays include a Zulu settlement complete with beehive huts, a blacksmith shop and a library built using bricks recovered from an old ghost town in the Greytown area.
4. A visit to the Howick waterfall is worthwhile. The water drops 94m and is best viewed from a platform overlooking the falls or at the base, reached by following a 2 hour circular trail.
5. Travel Route 3 on the Midlands Meander to reach Piggly Wiggly, situated on a working wine estate, for the unusual crafts, wine and linen shops stationed here. The centre has a steam train for the children, an eatery and coffee shop. Also along this route are basket weavers and potters.
6. If you are yearning for big city life, travel to Pietermaritzburg to experience some of the city’s late night venues and vibrant club scene, popular with the university students residing in the city. Franki Bananaz serves up excellent cocktails.
The nearest airport to Midmar is King Shaka International Airport approximately 130km away. A car can be hired at the airport or in Pietermaritzburg, otherwise order a rental online. Shuttle service companies operate at the airport and Pietermaritzburg, however, to best enjoy Midmar and surrounds, hiring a car is the practical choice.
Did you know?
The Midmar Mile, one of South Africa’s iconic events, is the world’s largest open water swimming race, attracting close to 20000 participants. The swim takes place annually in February. Well known TEDx speaker Craig Dietz swam the mile twice in 2013. He is limbless.
One of Africa’s most endangered birds, the wattled crane, breeds in the wetlands upstream of Midmar Dam. The area is being carefully conserved by KZN Wildlife in a desperate attempt to save the crane.