Things to do near
*Distances are shown as the crow flies and not necessarily the actual travelling
Galleries and Museums
Fort Nottingham (12.8 km from Nottingham Road)
Fort Nottingham is very quiet and there’s not much to do except visit the smallest town hall in South Africa – it’s more like a medium-sized garden shed – and spend an hour or so in the museum that’s now housed in the old fort.
Fort Nottingham derives its name from Nottingham shire's Regiment - the 45th 'Sherwood Foresters', who were stationed there in 1856. This fort was originally developed when a body of troops manned it to protect settlers in the foothills of the Drakensberg from Bushman or San cattle raids. Visitors can visit the Fort Nottingham Museum located 15 km southwest of Nottingham Road.
Open Wednesday to Sunday, 10:00 – 16:00. Closed Monday to Tuesday.
The annual Bell’s Fort Nottingham Highland and Traditional Games are held on the grounds of Fort Nottingham (8 km from the village). The festival encompasses events, exhibitors, food stalls, highland dancing and athletic games typically found at the Breamar Games in Scotland.
Howick (22.8 km from Nottingham Road)
Madiba fans and struggle history buffs all make their political pilgrimage to the Mandela Capture Monument. This significant site is where the world's most famous anti-apartheid activist, Nelson Mandela, was apprehended while driving incognito from Durban to Johannesburg. On the 5th of August 1962 Mandela was arrested at a point on the main R103 near Lions River and was imprisoned in the Johannesburg Fort. He had been on the run from the Security Police for seventeen months. The monument has been erected at this spot, the place where he said goodbye to freedom for 27 years.Need to know? Look for the road sign on the R103.
Howick (27.1 km from Nottingham Road)
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.
Howick (30.2 km from Nottingham Road)
Abseil Howick FallsIf life has become a little dull, why not walk over the edge and abseil down the second tallest waterfall in South Africa. At the bottom of the thundering 107-metre-high Howick Falls, you plop into an inflatable boat that takes you to the start of an indigenous forest walk.The trail takes you through the Howick Falls Conservancy where you may catch a glimpse of nesting crowned and fish eagles. If you’re quiet you might even spot shy bush buck in the shadows. The Zulu name for Howick Falls is KwaNogqaza, meaning Place of the Tall One. According to local teachings, the plunge pool at the bottom is the home of the Inkanyamba, a Loch Ness-type creature. It is believed that only sangomas can safely approach the falls, and only to offer prayers to the Inkanyamba ancestral spirits.Contact www.spiritofadventure.co.za for abseiling: +27 (0)31 769 1981.
Howick (31.3 km from Nottingham Road)
The Karkloof Falls is an 88m waterfall situated in the the beautiful Karkloof hills. Picnic and braai under trees surrounding the Falls.
Karkloof indigenous forest offers the Karkloof Canopy Tour.
Central Drakensberg (37.8 km from Nottingham Road)
The Kamberg Rock Art attraction is very popular in the area.
The rock art has existed for hundreds of years and attracts people from all corners of the world. The climb to the rock art takes about 1 and a half hours and you can get a guide for as little as R25. Guides have a rather extensive knowledge of the area and are very informative.
Estcourt (37.8 km from Nottingham Road)
Wagendrift Dam is a picturesque dam named after a drift through the Bushmans River used by transport wagons on their to the Witwatersrand goldfields. The dam is surrounded by the Wagendrift reserve, a protected area.
Boating and fishing are the main activities. There is a 3 km self-guided trail along the Bushmans River. Look out for fish eagle and black eagle which nest in the reserve. Species of fish include bluegill, bass, carp, eel and the occasional trout.
Drakensberg (37.9 km from Nottingham Road)
The Kamberg Nature Reserve is located on the foothills of the mountains in the Natal Drakensberg Park. There are many picnic sites near the river, trout dams, and well-maintained walks, one of which is handicap friendly.
The self-guided and guided trails pass through the surrounding areas of the 'Little Berg' and along the Mooi River. There is also a rock art shelter with original Bushman rock art. The San people inhabited the area before they encountered violent clashes with the white settlers and the Nguni tribes.
Wildlife in the reserve includes reedbuck, blesbok, black wildebeest, grey rhebuck, eland, duiker, red hartebeest, and oribi.
Winterskloof (40.8 km from Nottingham Road)
The Doreen Clark Nature Reserve is only a short distance from the north of Pietermaritzburg. The seven hectare nature reserve consists of a podocarpus forest with grassland running along its edges.
There are quaint picnic spots scattered around the reserve, as well as hiking trails ranging in difficulty but suitable for all ages. The reserve is a bird watcher's paradise with regular visitors such as the African emerald cuckoo, narina trogon,and white-starred robin. The magnificent African crowned eagle is also a resident bird of the nature reserve, and visitors can spot more than five different species of cuckoo during the summer season.
Drakensberg (41.8 km from Nottingham Road)
The Kramberg Valley trail is nestled in the foothills of the majestic Ukhahlamba Drakensberg Park. It passes through farmlands and forests and is between two to three hours long.
On the trail you can expect to see plenty of wildlife and bird life. The Drakensberg is an excellent place for both beginners and experienced riders to explore the magnificent Kamberg countryside on horseback.
Hilton (42.6 km from Nottingham Road)
Serving as the headquarters of Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, KwaZulu-Natal’s nature conservation service, this small reserve offers an outdoor leisure and environmental education facility for the Natal Midlands.
Situated in Hilton, Queen Elizabeth Park Nature Reserve is home to impala, zebra, blesbok, bushbuck, grey and blue duiker, dassies, and crowned eagles. Numerous indigenous and exotic plants grow throughout the park. Of special interest are several cycads species and endangered Hilton daisies occurring naturally in the grasslands.
There is no accommodation but day trippers can make use of three picnic areas with braai and ablution facilities. More energetic folk can do the circular self-guided iDube trail.
Albert Falls (45.7 km from Nottingham Road)
One of the largest dams in KwaZulu-Natal, Albert Falls Dam and Nature Reserve is a popular playground for sailors, canoeists, twitchers, hikers, horse riders and fisherfolk.
The dam is rated one of the best bass fishing dams in the world and an international bass fishing competition is held there annually.
The reserve has abundant bird life as well as zebra and several antelope species. In winter Otto's Bluff is worth checking out when the aloes are flowering.
Four By Four Trails
Mooi River (48.8 km from Nottingham Road)
The Hidden Valley Trail or Southern Cross is a scenic and mountainous 4x4 trail, 40 km from Mooi River. The trail is ideal for both the experienced and beginner 4x4 driver with a difficulty grading from 3 to 5. Low range, high clearance vehicles are necessary for this trail. The trail can be completed in about 3 hours. Please call for further information.
Galleries and Museums
Pietermaritzburg (50.8 km from Nottingham Road)
You’re always assured of seeing something new at the Natal Museum
Here you’ll view a constant array of fascinating temporary exhibitions and happenings ranging from xenophobic violence to a mixed children’s art exhibition at this dynamic museum.
2010 sees the celebration of the 150th anniversary of the arrival of Indian people and an exploration of the history of segregation in the US.
Eight natural history and ten cultural history galleries showcase numerous mammals including the last wild elephant in KwaZulu-Natal, birds, amphibians, insects and an extensive mollusc collection. Kids will love checking out the life-size T-Rex model.
Stroll through a life-size rendering of a Drakensberg rock art cave or walk the plank of a wrecked trading vessel in the Towns and Trade Exhibition.
The museum has an internet café, resource library for learners, film room and coffee/snack bar.
Open Monday to Friday 09:00 – 16:30, Saturdays 10:00 – 16:00 Sundays 11:00 – 15:00.
Galleries and Museums
Pietermaritzburg (50.8 km from Nottingham Road)
The statue of Mahatma Ghandi commemorates the centenary of his experience at the Pietermaritzburg railway station in 1893 when he was cast out from a first class carriage because he was not White. Gandhi had close links to Pietermaritzburg and his passive resistance campaign is closely linked to the city.
“My life is my message”, Mahatma Ghandi.