Round the benz on the KZN Midlands Meander


🌂It was a brolliant start to the #iTopFormMeanderMotoring Day, the ominous weather could not dampen our high spirits as we gathered at Mercedes’ Garden City Motors in Pietermaritzburg (PMB).  The crowd that gathered were clearly hip people taking part in this bucolic happening, and I wondered if some were local celebrities. And yes, I wore my gumboots as usual, lol.

We completed the necessary paperwork to take million-rand Mercedes Benz vehicles on the iTopForm pitstop tour of the Midlands Meander, and set out armed with our brollies (umbrellas) as weapons against the wild Kwa Zulu Natal (KZN) weather.

First stop was breakfast at iLawu Boutique Hotel’s Botanic Restaurant in PMB, and my my, there was so much tech before breakfast! All kinds of media equipment and the tapping of phone screens was soon replaced by a sumptuous breakfast and excited chatter about the day’s events.

The next stop was something everyone should do in their lifetime, a visit to the Nelson Mandela Capture Site in Howick. A tour through the Apartheid Museum took our minds down a dark path of South African history, ending in a lifting-of-the-spirits at the sculpture of the face of our freedom, Nelson Mandela.

Back on the Midlands Meander road, seven cars snaked along in luxury to the third stop of the day: Chocolate Heaven at the Junction Village Centre (exit 132 from N3). And what a sweet stop indeed! Trays and trays of delights to every taste with over 40 combinations to dip in a swirling pool of melted Belgian chocolate. Needless-to-say everyone had a smile almost all the while 😊

The last leg on our tour was lunch at the Bend Country House, where my eye spied only the glorious curves and serene luxury that is the Midlands Meander.  A place rich in history, the 1400 hectares of pristine Nature Estate and the hotel’s elegant architecture and décor were a breath-taking sight.

Our hearts full with the comradery of the iTopForm experience, we filled our bellies with a hearty three course meal as the rain poured over the moody countryside. When we rolled out of the dining room, our highly-polished Benz vehicles had received an aesthetic make-over, courtesy of the stormy KZN sky.

Out came many forms of camera, the cold and raindrops forgotten in the heat of the moment. Now all that was left was to meander the road back home, perusing opulent files that will remain forever in the memory banks.

Mt Moreland KZN – Barn Swallows & Legavaan Sighting

The weekend before my Cape Town Christmas trip, my friend and I went up to Mount Moreland, Kwazulu Natal, South Africa.

Mount Moreland is about 15 kms from Umhlanga, and is best known for its Barn Swallows.


The public can view this awesome sight of the up to 3 million Barn Swallows descending on their roost.



This initiative is courtesy of Mount Moreland Conservancy



Visitors bring their own chairs, food, drinks, binoculars, and mosquito repellent.



The roosting time is about half an hour before sunset, but we went on the trip for the serenity and quite of the landscape.



A pathway leads from the top of the view point, down towards the marshlands




I begin descending, the only sound the wind whistling and rustling through the cane fields



The path rounds a bend, and a tunnel of foliage leads down to the marsh, igniting the imagination



The sparse clouds provide little relief from the midday sun, I head back up the path.




En route out of Mount Moreland, we crossed a bridge


Stopped to take photos, my friend noticed a Legavaan (or Rock Monitor) in the road behind us in the road


The Legavaan vanished as quickly as he had appeared, scampering back to the safety of the brush.


Further along our route back to Umhlanga, we came across the Dust Pit Tavern.


It is housed in a picturesque building, Cape Dutch style almost.



The road home

Beautiful Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa

As part of my job I visit various sites in Kwa-zulu Natal, South Africa.

I usually take 2 or 3 day trip, and go as far as Bergville (plus minus 4 hours from home in Durban), stopping in Ladysmith, Estcourt, BostonPietermaritzburg, Richmond, and Eston.

I also go down the KZN South Coast (Hibiscus Coast), as far as Port Edward, and inland, to Harding.

I prefer taking the back roads, and avoiding major highways.

Here are some pics from my last two trips.


Inland – en route Boston, a tiny farming town in rural KZN


Climbing the hill on the N2 to Harding


N2 to Harding under re-vamp

From the top of the hill en route to Harding

From the top of the hill en route to Harding


Nearing Harding, I spotted this Crowned Eagle


Back route from Harding to Port Edward, Izingolweni Road 


Terrain contrast of the Hibiscus Coast


Rolling sugar cane fields bordered by thick forests


Route: Richmond to Eston – April 2013


Richmond to Eston – October 2013


Bougainvillea in full bloom – October 2013


R624 – nearing destination Eston


Rolling hills on the R624


The in-coming summer rains will see the hills transformed into God’s pallets of fabulous greens


Majestic evergreen forests


Finally, returning home to Umhlanga Ridge area