Durban - The Mercury’s Festival of Fine Living Hall at this year’s Royal Show will include a tourism stand.
From safaris to scuba diving, wind surfing to wine tours, mountain hikes to relaxing on a pristine beach, this is the hall to visit when it comes to mapping out the options for your next getaway destination.
If you are looking to book local, the quaint hamlet of Wartburg offers some hidden treasures.
Located in the Midlands 30kms from Pietermaritzburg, this little piece of Europe is known for its rich cultural heritage. History recalls that the town was named after Wartburg Castle in Germany, the place where Martin Luther stayed when he translated the New Testament of the Bible from Latin into German.
The area was settled in the late 19th century by relatives and friends of the German settlers of Hermmansburg. They established a small but tidy trading town and a prosperous farming community.
The Lutheran religion and traditions were nurtured and remain strong today. Many of the inhabitants of Wartburg are fourth generation Germans and it is not unusual to hear German spoken around town.
Overlooking pine forests and rolling sugar cane fields, the Orion Wartburger Hof Hotel offers all the comforts of a country house hotel.
Originally built as a Bavarian lodge, the hotel’s distinctive lineage can be seen in the rich wood finishes, large fireplaces and an inviting country pub, adding to the ambiance of this homely holiday hideaway. It is a strategic start point for the Midlands Meander and the Valley of a Thousand Hills.
Many things to do in scenic area
Albert Falls Dam
One of the largest dams in KZN, Albert Falls Dam is popular with sailors, canoeists, twitchers, hikers, horse riders and fisherfolk.
Secluded nature trails and picnic spots around the dam form part of the Albert Falls Dam Nature Reserve, established in 1975. The land here is given over to tracts of mixed woodland, open grassland and small marsh areas, and in the wet seasons birdlife is abundant and includes widows, weavers, waxbills and cisticolas.
The dam has some of the best bass fishing in the world.
The cry of the magnificent fish eagle can be heard across the water. Wildlife in the reserve includes zebra, springbok, red hartebeest, oribi, rhino and giraffe. In winter see magnificent aloes in bloom near Otto’s Bluff.
Also known as the Albert Falls Amble, this complementary route to the Midlands Meander and Boston Beat markets itself as “the road less travelled”.
It includes the towns of Bishopstowe, Wartburg, New Hanover, Dalton, Seven Oaks, Greytown, Kranskop, Ashburton, Hilton, Karkloof, Manderson, Baynesville and Thornville.
The Amble describes itself as a delightful collection of friendly, well established and lesser-known attractions in a beautiful and historic part of KZN. - Sunday Tribune