THE ROAD LESS TRAVELED
The Amble – Route 33 North East Midlands
The traditional heart of the Amble is the Albert Falls Dam, just 20 minutes from Pietermaritzburg and an hour from Durban, with its water sports, angling and wildlife, all overlooked by the iconic Ottos Bluff.
But the ambit of The Amble stretches from the capital city south to historic Baynesfield House and Museum; south east to the Lion park and the African Bird of Prey Sanctuary near Ashburton; east to tranquil Harburg; north east to busy KwaSizabantu Mission; and north to adventurous Zingela Safari and River Company near Weenen.
The Amble starts where the lush green of KwaZulu – Natal Midlands gives way to thornveld and valley bushveld, much of it covered by timber and sugar cane plantations. It is an area of great historical significance, having experienced the tramp of the Zulu, Boer, and British warriors and seen the settlement of hardy strangers from Germany and the United Kingdom. Tales and relics of those times can be found in the museums of the capital city and country museums in Baynesfield, Greytown and Hermannsburg.
Historical churches dot the landscape, from the tiny settler church at York and the more substantial Lutheran places of worship in Wartburg, Harburg and Hermmansburg to the English churches in all the main centres. On the banks of Kayalami Bay on Albert Falls Dam, Ecabazini Zulu Homestead explores the culture of KwaZulu – Natal indigenous people.
Lovers of the outdoors are spoiled for choice. Options range from walking and birding in restful Cumberland or the Mpushini Valley Wilderness outside Pietermaritzburg to ambling through treetops at Karkloof Canopy Tours. Mountain bike through the Blinkwater Trails; or game view at Montello Safari Lodge outside Greytown. An indoor experience to be enjoyed by young and old awaits those who choose to amble through the beautiful butterfly house and meet the rare cotton – top Tamarins at Butterflies for Africa in the capital.
Golfers can stride the links at St Cathryn’s Golf Estate or follow the fairways on the Greytown Golf Course, while spouses can browse through craft shops or lunch at one of the area’s friendly restaurants. Kiddies are well catered for at Nansindlela Socio – Park, Claridge Fun Farm and Crafty Duck Village, all close to the capital city.
Accommodation ranges from caravanning at homely Tot Hier Toe to secluded self – catering and hospitable bed and breakfasts to tranquil retreats at kenosis and Harburg.