Vaal Stop 1
One of the biggest first stops on the N3 to Durban from Joburg is the Vaal 1 Stop East-West. Here you can stretch your legs, grab something to eat and fill the old jalopy up before you take on the big road. Engen has done a great job of running this popular stop.
Puma Service Station
Thandu Tau is a great place for a stop-over to turn your trip to the coast into a journey of discovery (read all about it below).
Tugela One Stop
Just before you get to Ladysmith you will see the Tugela One Stop. We suggest you take a break here, grab an energy drink and chill a bit.
Morija Guest House
The large dining room and lounge of the main house can welcome up to 24 people and acts as a great detour off the N3. Visitors can choose from an extensive menu, a homely atmosphere, and their commitment to eco-tourism and integration in the community.
Who would have ever thought the finest chocolate in all of South Africa is not hiding in some shop in Sandton? Chocolate lovers, head to an old antiques shop in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands to get your cocoa fix. Good old-fashioned hard work and some crazy ideas replaced the dusty old furniture, and made way for handcrafted artisanal chocolates. Chocolate Heaven uses old-school methods and the finest quality ingredients in their pure couverture Belgian chocolate, free of preservatives, palm oils and hardeners.
Located in the tranquil and majestic Valley of 1000 Hills and overlooking the Phezulu Nature Reserve, Intaba View owns a panoramic view of the valley and offers great food. Open Monday to Sunday for breakfast and lunch, al fresco dining is available on their patio and grassed areas and during the winter months, a cosy fireplace warms the interior of their restaurant. Note that evening dinners and functions are only hosted by arrangement.
Places To Sleep
Right next to the N3 highway you will find one of the most prominent stops for travellers en route to Durban from Johannesburg. At Thandu Tau, snuggled up in the Free State, you’ll discover a unique combination of South African art and culture while relishing in a variety of dining experiences, and the opportunity to interact with their majestic wildlife… just stay away from those with the big teeth and big claws (you’ve been warned!). With a unique blend of luxury and the natural environment, Thanda Tau aim to deliver a truly holistic South African experience to a wide variety of travellers.
Points Of Interest
Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve
One of the most popular nature reserves in the country, the Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve is home to over 200 bird species and boasts creatures all the way from the aardvark to the zebra. The reserves also has a holiday resort which has a massive pool, two water slides and an indoor heated pool. There are a couple of dedicated hiking, mountain biking and running trails as well.
Two turns off the N3 you will find a little Zulu town called Intabazwe in Harrismith. Here you can rest your bones and catch up on all the Zulu history you’ve missed. There are a handful of B&Bs to stay at, friendly people to meet and tonnes of places to chill at… Just leave thoughts of city life behind though – this is a one-horse-town type of vibe. Besides, you have the rest of the year to get your metropolitan kicks in.
By Shawn Greyling