New Hanover, Natal Midlands

New Hanover is a small farming community town just north east of the Albert Falls Dam. It lies on Route 33 between Pietermaritzburg and Greytown.

There's little to the town to merit a stop. A general dealers called Mafutas, which does have a Standard Bank ATM, might warrant a detour but otherwise there is only the local independent preparatory school, a post office, a community centre and the odd shop.

In the old days when New Hanover was originally established, the town would have functioned as a necessary halfway coach stop, with tired travellers staying overnight at the Travellers Rest Inn, recently restored and renamed The Travellers Rest.

New Hanover is not the only village in the area of German origin. Wartburg, Harburg, Lillienthal, Kirchdorf, Hermannsburg and Shroeders are all in the Midlands. And whilst this Wartburg lacks the World Heritage Site and castle that its European counterpart boasts, there are other beautiful places to visit in the area.

Karkloof Nature Reserve, just 48km north west of New Hanover, is a birder's paradise, due in no small part to the mistbelt forest, mistbelt grassland and indigenous forest of the 2800ha reserve.

The added bonus is sightings of several highly threatened species – the Cape parrot, southern ground hornbill, all three crane species, oribi and the Karkloof blue butterfly, as well as several grassland flowers and indigenous trees.

Include a stop at Albert Falls Dam and game reserve for the variety of birds, fishing or motor-boating.

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