Inchanga is a delightful country style area approximately halfway between Pietermaritzburg and Durban. Its cute station is a real example of Victorian architecture and a reason on its own to visit the area.
Once a month over the weekend, a steam train runs from Durban to Inchanga and travellers can visit the Inchange Craft Market at the station where locals set up craft and food stalls with fun activities such as pony rides for the kids. Close to the station is the well-known Inchanga Hotel which stands proudly along the edge of the picturesque Valley of a 1000 Hills.
Inchanga is a wonderful spot to stay for a breakaway, close to the city but still in the countryside. With the Valley of 1000 Hills literally on your doorstep the outdoor lifestyle here offers walking and biking trails, farm stalls, traditional villages, arts & crafts, streams, wildlife, birds and incredible hilltop views. The drive via the Valley to Durban is a worthwhile outing all on its own!
Inchanga accommodation includes self-catering cottages, Guesthouses, B&B’s and of the course the Inchanga Hotel.
Things to do and see
- Inchanga Railway Station
- Umgeni Steam Railway
- Groovy Balls Adventure Park
- Horse ‘n Home Equestrian Centre
- Fat Tuesday Gallery
- Shongweni Resources Reserve
- Nagle Reserve
- Shongweni Farmers Market
- Drummond Farmers Market
- Cato Ridge Golf Course
- Kloof Golf Course
Inchanga receives approximately 975 mm of rain annually with the majority of its’ rainfall occurring during the summer months.
Summer months, November to March will have average temperatures of between 18˚C and 29˚C.
Winter months, May to August will have average temperatures of between 11˚C and 22˚C.
Inchanga was known as the location of a 27 meters tall rail viaduct that was poorly constructed and required extremely slow crossing (10km/h) from the steam trains back in the 1889’s, and if the wind speed exceeded 15km/h the passengers were made to walk across the bridge, after which the train followed. Inchanga Bridge served Natal till 1892, when a deviation was built to take trains around the ravine rather than over it.
A new station with was built at Inchanga in 1896 and a hotel near the station in 1903. The hotel at Inchanga suffered after the new main line bypassed it sometime in the 1920s and changed hands many times. It's said to have served at various times as a school, a brothel, and a den of iniquity where stolen goods were stored and drugs consumed quite freely.
Today, both the hotel and the train station have been restored and are operating in their original function. The station serves as the midpoint on the excursion trips of the Umgeni Steam Railway.
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