You know when the aloes start firing up the landscape and the early mornings get a nip in the air that it is heading into the winter. And it is our totally unbiased opinion that the Midlands won the weather lotto. It’s the dry season so the days are bright and crisp and the nights perfect for snuggling.
In celebration of this season, we are going to be rounding up some of the highlights you can experience on a wintery visit to the Natal Midlands.
With pretty temperate and consistent weather in the Midlands, it’s not often we get to cosy up to a fire. But the cool winter months are going to give you just that opportunity. In fact, when the conditions are just right, the Midlands even gets a blanket of snow. So gather your friends and family together and head up to the Midlands. You can huddle around the fireplace, and roast marshmallows while you swap stories and listen to the pop and hiss of the fire. Oooh, yes we’ll have some of that, and pass the gluwein over too, please!
For those out there with itchy feet, who need to be doing and not just hibernating, then worry not! Winter days often unravel a bright blue sky with nary a cloud to be seen. Great weather for most outdoor pursuits. You can hike, fish, or cartwheel around the bush without reducing yourself to a puddle of perspiration. Clear winter skies are great for hot air ballooning, micro-lighting, zip-lining and viewing game. And on the subject of game viewing, with this being the dry season, the animals are easier to spot and more inclined to gather around the remaining sources of water. So, strap on your takkies and let’s head outdoors.
With clear skies and low night temperatures, why not try a bit of star gazing? Luckily, in the Midlands, there is low light pollution, which means no pesky artificial light to wash out your night sky. And in winter, it’s even better because little humidity means that haze is reduced, clearing the way for spectacular starscapes. Pack a pair of binoculars and download a stargazing app like Stellarium Mobile Sky App or GoSkyWatch Planetarium… There are loads of apps out there, so do a little research and pick the one that’ll suit you best. Then it’s just a case of snuggling up outside and watching the stars as our ancestors have done in ages past. And if you get there before 6th June, you may catch a glimpse of the International Space Station.
Of course, this being the dry season also means that our bodies are going to need a little more careful ministration. So while you are enjoying the winter weather in the Midlands, be sure to treat yourself to a spa session. Rehydrate that epidermis, loosen up those muscles and unwind those nasty knots. It’s basically medicinal, right?
If you want to make sure you plan your trip to coincide with a few winter events on the go during the winter months, then read on for some inspiration.
Head on over to the Fort Nottingham Museum to immerse yourself in all things French. On the 16th July 2019, the Bastille Day Festival is being held at the Museum, and it promises such delights as barrel rolling, cancan dancing and live music. There will be French-inspired food for sale, market stalls and local art on exhibition. So dust off your beret, don your striped shirt and brush up on the lyrics to the La Marseillaise - because you’ll all be feeling a little Gallic for a day. Vive la France!
This year the Mandela Day Marathon is kicking off on the 26th August. And if there is anything to warm you up in the chillier winter weather, a good old jog will do the trick. There is something for everyone, as well. The 42km run is for licensed runners, but there are 21km and 10km options as well. So get into the spirit of the day and enjoy the freedom of the open road. And if running is just not your bag, then why not support the athletes from the roadside? If trail running through the bush is more your style, then KZNTR, in conjunction with Mandela Day Marathon, is hosting a Mandela Day Trail Run event on 24th August. The short course is 4km, the medium 8km, and the long is 15km. So pack your takkies and get ready to hit the trail. And why not book in a massage at a spa afterwards? You’ll have earned it after all!
In the mood for something on the literary side? Well, it is the perfect weather for snuggling up with a book, so why not visit the Midlands Literary Festival being held at Fern Hill on 31st August to 1st September? The festival, which aims to celebrate and promote local authors, is in its 10th year of existence. And this year it will be hosting authors such as Peter Storey, Fred Khumalo and Ekow Duker. If you are of a mind to soak up the words of published authors, revel in the rhythm of reading poetry or be inspired by key speakers, then the Midlands Literary Festival was “written” for you!
Cosy nights, brilliant skies and entertaining events, there’s a lot to love about this season in the Midlands. So our advice? When winter sets in…head for the hills!