Situated just seven kilometres from Howick and 24 kilometres from Pietermaritzburg, the Midmar Dam Nature Reserve is a great spot for locals and visitors alike. The large fresh water dam is fed by the uMngeni River, offering a fun water sports and fishing venue. Day trippers often make use of numerous shady picnic areas and braai facilities along the shoreline.
Windsurfing, canoeing, swimming and mountain biking are popular activities around the Midmar Dam. In certain areas it is zoned for yachts and powerboats. The world’s largest open water swimming event, the Midmar Mile, draws over 16 000 international and local competitors annually to swim the dam in record time.
The reserve is also home to numerous red hartebeest, blesbok, reedbuck, black wildebeest, oribi and zebra. Carp, bass, scalies and bluegill fish proliferate in the dam. Pick up a freshwater fishing licence at the office near the entrance gates. Below the dam, the uMngeni River plummets over the Howick Falls on its way to the Indian Ocean.