Tourism, Accommodation and Historical Attractions in Natal, South Africa
The Midlands Region
The Natal Midlands: Ixopo
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Ixopo, immortalized in Alan Paton's Cry the Beloved Country is the main centre of the Southern Midlands. Although originally designated 'Stuartstown', the original onomatopoeic Zulu name has prevailed.
When pronounced in Zulu, the 'click' (letter 'x') is reminiscent of the sound of the hooves of cattle as they move through one of the local marshes.
Tourism is still in somewhat of a nascent stage in this area but there are an increasing number of B&Bs and craft outlets cropping up and a very warm welcome can be guaranteed.
The original Dead Men's Tree where funeral notices were posted is still outside the old Post Office. The Off Saddle Hotel is reputedly the oldest hostelry in South Africa to have retained its original name.
The countryside is certainly very attractive, ranging in height from 400m to 1800m and as a result, encompassing many different topographies.
There are many opportunities for hiking as well as several pleasant waterfalls along the Mzimkulu and Mkhomazi rivers.