KwaZulu Natal Tourist AttractionsThe Howick Falls
If you have lived or stayed in KwaZulu-Natal for any length of time, then at some point you will have visited Midmar Dam, and Howick Falls just outside Pietermaritzburg. You will probably have done both together, as they are in relative proximity with only the N3, and the town of Howick, to divide one from the other.
Where? Howick Falls, Falls Drive, Howick, Natal Midlands, KwaZulu NataL.
When? Best during daylight hours
That KwaZulu-Natal is green is indisputable, but this part of the province lies right in the heart of the Midlands, and is the place of a number of rivers and cascades hence its reputation as a place of many waterfalls.
The uMngeni River and its tributaries follow the course of gorges and steep crags, forming incredible volleys of water that rush into pools and beyond, until the water reaches the Indian Ocean, 95 kilometres away.
Howick Falls' other name is KwaNogqaza, the 'place of the tall one', for obvious reasons – the waterfall is a 95 metre cascade into a broiling, restless pool, regarded by the local Zulus with grave superstition, and said to be the place of the spirits of ancestors. Local legend believes that in the pooll lives a giant snake-like creature and, probably because of this, only sangomas are safe close to the falls.
The view from the top, in particular, is pretty inspiring, and the volley of water mesmerising. And you needn't come for the view alone. There are also a series of interesting walks and trails, some to the bottom of the falls. The official Howick Falls Gorge Walk begins at the bottom of Harvard Street and makes its way to the seat of the falls.
Interestingly Mark Twain visited the Howick Falls Hotel way back in 1896, and Howick has been more recently linked with Nelson Mandela's arrest in 1962 (see Nelson Mandela Capture Site for more information).