Cato Ridge is a town situated halfway between Pietermaritzburg and Durban and is probably the best seting off point for the Valley of 1000 Hills, is one of KwaZulu-Natal's best-kept secrets. The Valley of a 1000 Hills forms around the majestic valley created by the Mngeni River and it's tributaries. Many artists and crafters have been attracted to the beauty and tranquility of this area, which is dotted with snug guest lodges, friendly pubs and tea gardens with sweeping views over the hills and dams. Most South Africans associate Cato Ridge with the annual running of the world famous Comrades Marathon between Pietermaritzburg and Durban.
A tourist route is being developed between Cato Ridge and Hillcrest, a half-hour's drive. There are plenty of other activities in the area, including microlight flights over Table Mountain from Cato Ridge airfield. The 1000 Hills Choo Choo offers steam train trips from Kloof station to Cato Ridge on weekends. There are also boat cruises on Shongweni, Nagle and Inanda Dams, and visitors can spend a day on a guided fishing trip or on escorted 4 x 4 drives along the valley bottom.