KwaZulu Natal DestinationsCato Ridge, Valley of 1000 Hills
Cato Ridge lies along the Mariannhill Toll Road between Assagay and Camperdown, just a little further west of Inchanga. Despite its pretty sounding name, Cato Ridge is not all that attractive at first glance.
On a ridge it might sit, but essentially it has taken on the overflow from Durban and Pietermaritzburg, growing industrially and residentially as a result. It has become known as Durban's 'dry port' as large distribution and logistics companies are using this area to store their goods before sending them on to other parts of the country, not least because the access to the highway between Johannesburg and Durban is so good.
That said, it is also one of the hidden gems of this part of the world, and the developing residential aspect has meant that parts of it have prettied up as a result. Actually, this part of KwaZulu Natal, just north of Kloof and Hillcrest, doesn't need much help as the countryside is so beautiful anyway. It is a doorway to the Midlands, lies just south of the Midlands Mistbelt, and provides really easy access to the Valley of 1000 Hills.
A tourist route is supposed to exist in the half hour drive between nearby Hillcrest and Cato Ridge, and the combination of its superb placement for the Comrades Marathon and the Valley of 1000 Hills has meant that a sweep of convenient and upmarket guest houses and other accommodation options has emerged. There is no denying that Cato Ridge provides a more tranquil position, outside of the major centres, and a less frenetic and easily accessible place to stay.
Cato Ridge is also the destination of the 1000 Hills Choo Choo, which makes its way through beautiful landscape from Kloof Station.