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Klein Tafelberg 4x4 Trail
25 Sep 2014
 
     

Klein Tafelberg 4x4 Trail

Klein Tafelberg towers above the sandy plains in the heart of the West Coast Sandveld between Aurora and Redelinghuys. It’s only just over two hour’s drive from Cape Town. This lonely landmark invites you off the district roads and onto the veld trails snaking along sandy fynbos-covered slopes and weathered sandstone formations. The beauty of this trail is that you can drive on sand as well as rock. Both surfaces offer different challenges in great surroundings and amazing views...

(GPS coordinates: -32.556691, 18.474085)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/4x4/klein-tafelberg-4x4-trail

Hyde Park: London
25 Sep 2014
 
     

Hyde Park: London

The place is bigger than I thought it would be. I didn’t expect not to be able to see the end of it. But, encompassed by browning trees, blankets of leaves and flowered paths, the park holds a dam, old statues, residents' homes and little animals. I walked through, kicking up autumnal leaves and chasing pigeons or searching for squirrels. At one point, I came across a single lamppost standing black, tall and unlit. It was so odd that I didn’t move for fifteen minutes. I was waiting for Mr Tumnus from Narnia to jump out with a pipe flute. Alas, he did not. But, you find the places you’re looking for in these short moments. Let Narnia have its fiction, because England is made of so much more.

- Brad Harris

Qambathi Mountain Lodge
25 Sep 2014
 
     

Qambathi Mountain Lodge is a stylish getaway in the heart of the Kamberg valley with breathtaking views, excellent service, superb cuisine, and a wide range of on site and nearby activities on offer. Set in a private wildlife reserve against the backdrop of the majestic Drakensberg mountains, Qambathi Mountain Lodge offers walking trails with a beautiful waterfall within the mountain streams in summer, and the indigenous forest offers exceptional bird life. Scenic drives are on offer and on request picnic lunches are available at special spots. The Kamberg Mountain Reserve and Rock and Art Centre is only a short distance away, with the Midlands Meander only a few kilometres down the road...

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/accommodation/qambathi-mountain-lodge

(GPS coordinates: -29.339861, 29.711515)

Lost City MTB Trail
24 Sep 2014
 
     

Lost City MTB Trail

Surreal salt pans dot this region in the vicinity of Mier, offering riding along lunar-like flats measuring more than 20 kilometres across in places. Lay fresh tracks on surfaces varying from blistered mud and shifting sands to coarse salt fields stretching as far as the eye can see. Endless gravel roads and jeep tracks wind amongst the rocky outcrops and windblown dunes, but be prepared for a ride verging on the rough side. There is no organised route here, so you need to invest in a good topographical map and think for yourself. And don’t ask the locals, as most of them would think you’ve got a hole in your head if you ask where you can ride your bike...

(GPS coordinates: -26.964468, 20.223706)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/mountain-biking/lost-city-mtb-trail

Wreck of the Meisho Maru
24 Sep 2014
 
     

Wreck of the Meisho Maru

The Meisho Maru No 38 was a small Japanese fishing vessel that ran aground in the stormy waters around L'Agulhas on 16 November 1982. The accident occurred close to shore and the crew of 17 all managed to swim to safety. After surviving seas than at times can produce swells of up to 30 metres, the ship finally broke apart a few years ago. The prow can still be seen, but the ocean will eventually claim even that. In the meantime, it makes for an ideal spot for a sunset sundowner...

(GPS coordinates: -34.829829, 19.983911)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/animals-nature/wreck-meisho-maru

Gondwana Game Reserve
24 Sep 2014
 
     

Gondwana Game Reserve is a Western Cape private game reserve 30km from Mossel Bay that provides a perfect safari break for visitors, offering a distinctive and luxurious malaria-free experience. Indigenous fynbos vegetation cloaks the undulating valleys, adding vivid colour and interest to a Big Five Safari experience with awe inspiring views of the towering Cape fold mountains. Guests can look forward to attentive service, superb cuisine, luxury accommodation with Khoisan styling, expert game rangers and an array of activities for all ages...

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/accommodation/gondwana-game-reserve

(GPS coordinates: -34.074266, 21.88009)

Eden Adventures
23 Sep 2014
 
     

Eden Adventures

Eden Adventures is situated at the historic Fairy Knowe Hotel. The office is easily recognisable from the row of canoes along the banks of the Touw River. Eden Adventures has been in the adventure business here since 1997 and has built up a solid reputation for excellent service and exciting adventure. If you fancy a bit of paddling and bird-watching, they hire out single, double, and triple canoes all equipped with life jackets and waterproof containers for picnics and cameras. They also offer a range of other activities, including an abseil alongside a waterfall, kloofing (from September to April), and half- and whole-day tours that take in a combination of activities...

(GPS coordinates: -33.994444, 22.601111)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/activities/eden-adventures

Storm Shelter
23 Sep 2014
 
     

Storm Shelter

Southern Africa has been called ‘the richest storehouse of prehistoric mural art in the world’. Storm Shelter, 44km from Maclear, is a site discovered by researchers in 1992 and published by National Geographic Magazine in 2001. There are some 236 visible images at the site, many of which are well preserved. This is due to a large rock that fell from the roof preventing livestock from getting too close to the art and damaging it by rubbing. A visit to this site takes one through some of the remote and most spectacular parts of the Drakensberg. It is a long and steep hike that is not for the unfit or faint-hearted. The site can only be visited with a guide...

(GPS coordinates: -30.910114, 28.146527)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/rock-art/storm-shelter

Winter in Gordon's Bay
23 Sep 2014
 
     

Winter in Gordon's Bay 

There is something so endearing about the sounds and smells of a fishing town. Waking up in the morning in a bed and breakfast at Gordon’s Bay and stepping outside onto white beach sand, with an expanse of silver ocean in front of it, is exactly how I wish to spend my long, winter weekends. Everyone knows the Cape waters are too cold to swim in, but oh my word, the beauty that surrounds you as you go for a walk on the beach is breathtaking. The reason I choose to visit this part of the Western Cape in Winter, is because the bustle of tourists is missing from the equation. It’s my favourite choice for a quiet getaway.

- Daniella Toscano

Gooding's Groves Olive Farm
23 Sep 2014
 
     

Gooding’s Groves Olive Farm and Guest House in the Franschhoek winelands offers warm hospitality with a personal touch. It is an ideal getaway for couples. Surrounded by towering mountains, vineyards and mature olive trees and just three kilometres from the centre of the historical village, Gooding’s Groves offers a luxury farm experience, typical of the Franschhoek way of life – a valley of splendid wines and culinary delights. Spectacular vineyards cover the mountain that were slopes settled over 300 years ago by the French Huguenots, who brought with them an age-old culture and appreciation of the finer things in life…

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/accommodation/goodings-groves-olive-farm

(GPS coordinates: -33.888838, 19.087248)

Otter Trail
22 Sep 2014
 
     

Otter Trail

There are ‘the others’, and then there is The Otter! No other trail is as popular as this multi-day hike along the sea cliffs and beaches of the Garden Route. The only downside to this popularity is that you have to book the trail at least one year ahead. At 42,5km in length, the Otter Trail can be compared to an off-road marathon. Unlike a marathon, it takes 5 days to complete. (However, during the gruelling HI-TEC Otter African Trail Run, endurance athletes have managed to trump the route in less than 5 hours!) As a sampler of what the full trail holds in store, you can always do the first day's hike as a "there and back" daywalk…

(GPS coordinates: -34.022926, 23.898118)

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

Klipkraal Hiking Trail
22 Sep 2014
 
     

Klipkraal Hiking Trail

The Klipkraal hiking trail runs across the old farmsteads of Rietfontein, Hartebeesfontein and Stryfontein southeast of Johannesburg. The farms have numerous old kraals and dry stone walls that are evidence of ancient habitation and are currently used for cattle and game farming, so hikers often see zebra, blesbok and black wildebeest. The trail begins at Habitat, an old restored milk shed that can be booked by those who wish to make a weekend of it, and for the first two kilometres you hike through rock-strewn bush along a mountain track that offers views across the valley with its herds of game. A second trail of nearly 12 kilometres is also available...

(GPS coordinates: -26.79442, 28.229236)

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

Raptor Retreat Game Lodge
22 Sep 2014
 
     

Raptor Retreat is an owner managed game lodge offering luxurious accommodation and excellent service, situated on the Parsons Nature Reserve bordering the Kruger National Park. This unspoiled corner of South Africa is renowned for its abundance of wildlife, mountainous scenery and indigenous forests. Raptor Retreat offers a great game lodge experience, with chalets delving into the home of wilderness, game drives etching you into the ebullience of your surroundings, and the careful touch of hospitality making your stay ‘never long enough…

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/accommodation/raptor-retreat-game-lodge

(GPS coordinates: -24.140111, 30.917683)

De Stades Trail
21 Sep 2014
 
     

De Stades Trail

Port Elizabeth has some spectacular hikes but few offer the sense of wilderness that you experience in the Maitland Nature Reserve to the west of the city. The 250-hectare reserve comprises dense indigenous coastal forest alive with abundant birdlife and a variety of small animals, but one of the main attractions is the giant sand dunes that flank the pristine beaches of the Maitland River Mouth. There are three marked trails, including the nine-kilometre De Stades Nature Trail (named after the river that flows through the reserve), which rewards hikers with magnificent views of the dunes, and, on a clear day, you can see all the way to St Francis Bay...

(GPS coordinates: -33.978528, 25.313448)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/hiking/de-stades-trail

Noordhoek Beach and Village
21 Sep 2014
 
     

Noordhoek Beach and Village

Noordhoek, meaning the Northern Corner, was named in 1743, when it described the north corner of a Cape Town farm called Slangkop. Over time, the land was subdivided, with farmers growing vegetables to supply the ships calling at Simon's Town and, later, the growing city. Today, the Noordhoek Valley, situated at the foot of Chapman's Peak, has managed to retain its rural atmosphere and rustic surroundings. There is a variety of hiking trails in the mountains surrounding the valley, which vary from one to four hours in duration and give hikers great views of the Atlantic Ocean, fringed by the seven kilometres of white sand that make up the Noordhoek Beach...

(GPS coordinates: -34.101215, 18.355172)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/activities/noordhoek-beach-and-village

Chestnut Country Lodge
21 Sep 2014
 
     

Chestnut Country Lodge is set in indigenous bush on a 48-hectare farm situated 12km from Hazyview, and boasts magnificent mountain and valley views together with great lodging, friendly service and fine dining. Situated on the doorstep of the Kruger National Park, and ideally situated for all the major scenic attractions of Mpumalanga, Chestnut Country Lodge is a great base from which to explore the many attractions that the area has to offer…

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/accommodation/chestnut-country-lodge

(GPS coordinates: -25.049987, 31.051221)

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