I decided on the scenic Midlands Meander instead of the national motorway when making my way towards the Southern Drakensberg.  The R103 is just that – a meander.  I started in Hilton which is just a slipway off the national motorway.  Hilton is a gorgeous town that is well known in South Africa for its excellent schools.   Once I got going on the Midlands Meander’s windy scenic route, I didn’t think I would make it to my evenings destination!

With 184 craft shops, coffee shops, restaurants, spa’s, playgrounds and photo opportunities, you can spend days exploring the area, and go home with a suitcase full of gorgeous goody’s.  I stopped for lunch at “The Junction” near Notthingham Road and tasted some of the famous homemade Ginger Beer.

The local home made Ginger Beer

Reaching the Drakensberg Escarpment the sky and scenery open up.  It is moody out here, looks like a thunder storm brewing in the distance.  Browns, greens, yellows, reds – all the leaves on the trees changing colour.  School children in smart blue uniforms are waiting for lifts home.  The sky is threatening but it just adds to the magnificence of the place.  I am blown away……

The moody sky en route to Cleopatra's

I have been waiting to come to Cleopatra Mountain Farmhouse for years.  It lives up to all my expectations.  I can’t fault a thing.  I feel like I have been transported to another world.  Like I left the city months ago!  You may wonder why the name “Cleopatra”?  If you look closely at the nearby mountain named Cleopatra, you will see the historical Queen’s profile!  Glorious food, a log fire sleep, a beautiful early morning run with wide sky’s and huge mountains, excellent coffee and then sadly, I have to meander my way back to King Shaka International airport near Durban.

Looking down onto Cleopatra's from the mountains behind

I think Natal really has so much to offer as a destination, for those visiting South Africa for the first time or those returning again!  You can spend 2 or 3 weeks here and see the Big 5, deserted beaches, South Africa’s highest mountains, historical battlefields and stunning scenery.  It is a destination I am going to be raving about for a while.