KwaZulu Natal DestinationsInchanga, Valley of 1000 Hills
Roughly halfway between Durban and Pietermaritzburg rests a darling station. It is a real example of Victorian architecture set in the typical, lush green hills of KwaZulu-Natal and a reason to visit the area. It's been here since 1895 actually and functioned as something of a halfway mark for travellers. In a sense it has always been a place to refresh oneself, and remains so even today.
There is a steam train that leaves Durban for Inchange once or twice a month over weekends. At Inchanga people set up craft and food stalls with pony rides for children at what is known as the Inchange Craft Market – fun for all.
Just up from the station, which rests just down the hill from the interesection of Thousand Hills Road and Inchange Drive, are a few shady lanes where people live. It isn't densely populated and the feeling is one of living in the country. Some people own small holdings with vegetable gardens, and other properties are rambling with typical sub-tropical gardens that appear to mushroom out of nowhere.
Aside from being a lovely space in which to stay, up outside of Durban, and away from the intense heat of the city, there is also the outdoor lifestyle that comes with staying in the countryside.
The Valley of 1000 Hills is right on Inchanga's doorstep and the area is riddled with walks, streams, hilltop views, farm stalls and an arts and crafts route. The Umgeni River wends its way through these hills and the Shongweni Resources Reserve, a Natural Heritage Site, provides hours of wildlife and bird viewing. Add to that both Springside Nature Reserve with its beautiful wetlands, and the Nagle Reserve, where you can fish, and you can understand why a stay in Inchanga is so very worth while.