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India Venster Hike
8 Nov 2015
 
     

This hike takes a challenging and adventurous route up the face of Table Mountain. It takes its name from India Ravine, which resembles the shape of India on a map when seen from the city, and Venster, which is a framed window in the rocks offering views of Devil’s Peak. On the last part of the four-hour hike, you round onto the Twelve Apostles or Atlantic Ocean side of the mountain and head gradually up a peaceful ravine. Once you reach the top, you descend via the Cableway…

(GPS coordinates: -33.955054, 18.415314)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/hiking/india-venster-hike

Kasteelpoort Hike
1 Nov 2015
 
     

This four-hour route starts by heading up the jeep track from the stunning Twelve Apostles side of the mountain in Cape Town. You connect to the historical pipe track and head up a route called Kasteelpoort, which is a steady climb up a beautiful ravine. Once you reach the top of Kasteelpoort, you make your way to the historical Old Cableway, from where you go up the back side of the mountain to the Valley of the Red Gods and the Valley of Isolation, which has interesting rock formations that create a bowl-like valley. Then you head down into Echo Valley and up the back of Table Mountain, climbing up three ladders. When you are finished, you make your way to the cableway and head down in the cable car... 

(GPS coordinates: -33.951441, 18.393599)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/hiking/kasteelpoort-hike

Heritage Day hike at Melville Koppies
23 Sep 2015
 
     

Are you looking for something to do on Heritage Day tomorrow? Melville Koppies, one of Joburg's beautiful natural heritage sites, is hosting a three hour cross-koppie hike that will traverse all three sections of the nature reserve. If you are reasonably fit (and older than 6), this gives you the chance to see grasslands, forests, a shaded wooded spruit, and The Cave, framed by a rock-breaking fig, all in good company.

Did you know that the Melville Koppies Management Committee employs three full-time and one part-time workers, in order to do the necessary litter and alien species removal, maintenance and conservation of the 160ha reserve? Labour, security and maintenance are all funded by donations on tours and hikes such as tomorrow's, and private contributions.

To partake, bring water, a snack and a R50 donation. Park and meet at Marks Park parking lot before the start at 08h30 sharp. Enquiries: 011 482 4797 or www.mk.org.za

 

Chapman's Peak Trail
14 Sep 2015
 
     

With its outstanding views, beautiful fynbos and the accompanying sound of crashing surf, this is one of the most rewarding climbs on the peninsula. So it’s fitting that it was the first peak climbed by the Mountain Club after its inauguration in 1893. If coming from the Hout Bay side, ask for a free day pass at the toll gate and then park your car at the picnic spot on the last big bend before the top of Chapman’s Peak. From the top, you’re treated to a truly magnificent 360-degree view. Noordhoek Beach stretches out beneath you and you can see right over Hout Bay to the sheer-sided peak of the Sentinel...

(GPS coordinates: -34.077274, 18.36453)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/hiking/chapmans-peak-trail

Silwerfontein Trail
8 Sep 2015
 
     

This circular mountain trail on Silwerfontein Farm in the Voelvlei Conservancy, an hour outside Cape Town, is an absolute gem. You can hike it in a day and there's a deep, well-protected cave near the top of the mountain for those wanting an overnight trail. The trail starts at the picturesque Cape Dutch homestead (or at the converted double-decker bus that serves as the base camp should you want to arrive the previous day) and then follows a dirt road through the forest until signs direct you up towards the mountain and left on to a path…

(GPS coordinates: -33.352419, 19.065093)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/hiking/silwerfontein-trail

Hadeda Trail
6 Sep 2015
 
     

The small Burman Bush Nature Reserve is situated in the heart of the built-up Durban area, but it a still surprisingly green and pleasant. To get there, head north on Umgeni Road until you get St Mathias Road. This becomes Burman Drive and the parking for the reserve is on the right. The reserve protects a pocket of coastal bush with plenty of interesting indigenous vegetation, butterflies, blue duiker and a number of bird species such as the spotted eagle owl, lanner falcon, purple-crested loerie and the buffspotted flufftail. There’s a map of the area and its three trails at the pedestrian gate...

(GPS coordinates: -29.817694, 31.017621)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/hiking/hadeda-trail

Aloe Trail
5 Sep 2015
 
     

The Aloe trail, which is marked with red arrows, starts at the gate at the top of Tippers Creek Road between Amsterdamhoek and Bluewater Bay and takes a circular route via the escarpment overlooking Amsterdamhoek, about 15km north of Port Elizabeth. The trail largely follows clear tracks and old game paths as it climbs to the top of the escarpment. Just before the one-kilometre mark, the shorter, two-kilometre yellow trail branches off on an eroded game track, while the red trail continues inland for a while before returning to the escarpment at a trig beacon, from where where there are far-reaching views…

(GPS coordinates: -33.853105, 25.622612)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/hiking/aloe-trail

Lion's Head Trail
2 Sep 2015
 
     

If you do only one hike in Cape Town, this should be it. The views from the top of the 669-metre peak - across to the cable stations and the front face of Table Mountain, Green Point and the World Cup stadium, over the city bowl and the glorious beaches of Clifton and Camps Bay, down the Twelve Apostles and to Robben Island - are breathtaking, so it’s an incredibly rewarding outing. Tradition dictates that this be done as a full-moon walk – but it has become so popular that you can expect long queues if you opt to follow the crowd...

(GPS coordinates: -33.936735, 18.394984

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/hiking/lion's-head-trail

Stinkhoutsbos Trail
30 Aug 2015
 
     

This circular trail is on the Flower Valley farm, renowned as a centre for showcasing sustainable fynbos-harvesting practices, environmental education and conservation projects. The trail incorporates beautiful fynbos landscapes, as well as the Stinkhoutsbos indigenous forest. To reach the start, drive for 13 kilometres past Stanford on the R43 and then take the Grootbos turn-off. Follow the gravel road for five kilometres until you see the Flower Valley turn-off to the right. The parking is 2,5 kilometres down this road. The trail starts at the amphitheatre and heads up the fynbos-clad hills on the eastern side of the valley...

(GPS coordinates: -34.548303, 19.470896)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/hiking/stinkhoutsbos-trail

Wolfberg Arch Trail
28 Aug 2015
 
     

The striking sandstone cliffs of the Wolfberg dominate the Dwarsrivier Valley and are a popular playground for hikers and rock-climbers. Permits and maps are issued at Dwarsrivier farm. Please note that the trail is on private property, so permits have to be obtained before the hike, even if you have a WildCard. The hike to the Arch and back is challenging and will take eight hours, so start early in the day, before the sun hits the steep path up. You can either hike from the camping site, or park your car at the trailhead at the top of the rough dirt road...

(GPS coordinates: -32.480497, 19.272891)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/hiking/wolfberg-arch-trail

Suikerbosrand Trail
27 Aug 2015
 
     

If there’s one spot to add to your upcountry to-do List, it is Suikerbosrand. This arresting nature reserve, more than 11 595 hectares in size, is named for the Transvaal Suikerbos, or Protea Caffra, which grows in profusion here along the slopes of the eponymous mountain range. Pick up your permits and keys for the overnight huts from the reception, then boot up to explore a network of 66 kilometres of hiking trails. Either crisscross the whole of the reserve in six days or opt to do sections of the trail at a pace that suits you and your group...

(GPS coordinates: -26.517162, 28.193375)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/hiking/suikerbosrand-trail

Muizenberg Peak Trail
25 Aug 2015
 
     

Park opposite the sign indicating Pecks Valley above Muizenberg and go through the stone arch and up wide stone steps for 100 metres or so, to a contour path. Turn right and follow the path up the valley. Initially it climbs gently, then more steeply alongside a stream (where there is water almost year round) before finally zigzagging to the plateau. Soon (about 45 minutes from the start) you’ll come to a junction. Muizenberg Peak is signposted off to the right and some easy scrambling gets you to the summit beacon (at 507 metres) in another 15 minutes...

(GPS coordinates: -34.107394, 18.465303)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/hiking/muizenberg-peak-trail

Cove Rock Trail
24 Aug 2015
 
     

The Cove Rock Walk starts at the coastal village of Winterstrand, west of East London. Park your vehicle at the bottom of the tar road just before you reach the village, walk 70 metres onto the beach and then head towards the great promontory of Cove Rock. Famed in Xhosa tradition as harbouring a sea dragon, the rock is a large coastal sandstone outcrop with associated wave-cut platforms, coves and middens...

(GPS coordinates: -33.093636, 27.79394)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/hiking/cove-rock-trail

Port St Johns to Mbashe Trail
24 Aug 2015
 
     

The Wild Coast Hiking Trail, from Port St Johns to Coffee Bay, captures the breathtaking beauty of the Wild Coast. The rugged shores take walkers through nature at its most dramatic. There are high coastal cliffs, rural villages, river crossings, scenic promontories, and the sculpted beaches of Mdumbi and Coffee Bay. Visit cragged landmarks such as Brazen Head and Hole in the Wall before you finally trek inland through forested hills and valleys stretching south towards the Mbashe river mouth...

(GPS coordinates: -31.624111, 29.552031)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/hiking/port-st-johns-mbashe-trail

Harkerville Trail
23 Aug 2015
 
     

The Garden Route (these days known as the Western Cape’s Eden Region) certainly rates as one of Africa’s most spectacular shores. It combines the azure seascapes of the Indian Ocean with its rugged, dramatic sea cliffs and verdant forest to create an unmatched destination for hikers and nature lovers. The two-day Harkerville Trail is just one of the hiking options in the Plettenberg Bay and Knysna area. This is a spectacular trail, but technical and challenging, especially if you suffer from vertigo. Hikers will cover approximately 30 kilometres over two days, hiking for up to seven hours a day...

(GPS coordinates: -34.047628, 23.230709)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/hiking/harkerville-trail

iDube Trail
23 Aug 2015
 
     

The iDube trail is a circular, self-guided trail in Queen Elizabeth Park, a small nature reserve on the northern slopes of Pietermaritzburg. The name iDube means zebra and if you’re lucky you may stumble on the small resident herd of Burchell’s zebra grazing on route. The trail starts across the road from the education centre and immediately drops down into an indigenous forest. All the rough sections are paved, so it’s easy walking the whole way...

(GPS coordinates: -29.57104, 30.321901)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/hiking/idube-trail

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