Howick, Natal Midlands
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Known as the place of many waterfalls, owing to the many tributaries of the uMngeni River that tumble down gorges and over sharp inclines on their way to the Indian Ocean, Howick is possibly best known as the place where Nelson Mandela was arrested in August 1962, and most visited because of the Howick falls.
The little village of Howick - a great place to find antiques, arts and crafts, and part of the Midlands Meander - was named after Earl Grey, the British Colonial Secretary who started out in life as the Viscount Howick. It remains fundamentally a farming town that supplies the number of farms in the area, and people pass through here on their way to the interior or to Midmar Dam, just 7 kilometres away.
Howick Falls is a 100 metre cascade of water, practically in the centre of town. The falls were known by the Zulus as KwaNogqaza - place of the tall one - and first seen by European travellers on their way to trade from the coast in the early 19th century. You can arrange to abseil alongside the falls down the gorge and into the pool, if you’re in an adventurous frame of mind, and if not, there is a safer alternative from a viewing platform above the falls that is close to the car park.
For those opting for bit of a walk, there is a steep but safe trail that descends to the river bed. The view from here is utterly breathtaking, but the return climb more than a little vertical. Fly-fishing is a popular pastime, and dams and streams in the area are brimming with trout. Mountain bike fundis can enjoy the hills in and around town and horse trails, produced by the local polo clubs, cross the countryside.
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"Anybody visiting Howick MUST do the abseiling down the falls - what a rush! And you get to see the falls in a different way. The town and farms are really ..." - Theresa, Durbanville
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Featured Attractions in (or near) Howick
The source of the uMngeni River lies in the uMngeni Vlei area, an ancient wetland bounded by hills. From here it meanders eastward through undulating pastoral countryside until just before Midmar Dam, where it is joined by the Lions River. Below Midmar Dam the river plunges some 111 metres down ... more information
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 ... more information
The Gorge Walk at Howick Falls is probably one of the best ways to see some pretty spectacular views of the falls and the gorge, through which the uMngeni River flows, some 20 kilometres north of Pietermaritzburg, to the east of the N3. It is easy to follow and not difficult to do, but will take you ... more information
The enchantment of the Midlands has long inspired many a visitor and resident to creativity and as a result, local artists, potters and weavers combined to create an arts and crafts route in 1985, which was to become the highly successful and popular Midlands Meander. The route stretches ... more information
The large stretch of fresh water from the uMngeni, coupled with 1000 hectares of game park that contains red hartebeest, blesbok, reedbuck, black wildebeest, oribi and zebra, is what makes the Midmar Dam Nature Reserve so attractive. And the fact that it’s just 7 kilometres from Howick and 24 kilometres from ... more information
Sakabula Golf Club is a unique combination of agricultural smallholdings around a delightful 18-hole, par 73, golf course in a scenic rural environment. Sakabula Golf Club, situated in the KwaZulu Natal Midlands, is an 18 hole, par 73 course consisting of two very distinct and different 9 holes. The first 9 holes ... more information
In the heart of the KwaZulu Natal Midlands lies a valley created by the Umgeni River, after cascading over the majestic Howick Falls. The greater part of the Umgeni Valley nature reserve lies in the spectacular gorge below the Howick Falls, while the upper part is the fringe of a rolling plateau which has ... more information
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