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Dingane's Royal Kraal
20 Sep 2014
 
     

Dingane's Royal Kraal

After killing his brother, Shaka, to succeed him as the leader of the Zulu Kingdom in KwaZulu-Natal, Dingane went on to build an immense kraal on top of a hill. This became as much a symbol of the empire as a military stronghold and homestead. It was strategically-placed, with expansive views of the surrounds, and flanked by two streams. The kraal housed around 1 500 huts, the largest of which was home to Dingane and his 90 wives. The kraal gives an important glimpse into Zulu history and culture, as well as offering insights into traditional South African settlements in general...

(GPS coordinates: -28.435921, 31.267519)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/cultural/dinganes-royal-kraal

The Bergkelder
20 Sep 2014
 
     

The Bergkelder

The Bergkelder is a multipurpose wine complex on the outskirts of the historic town of Stellenbosch operated by the Distell Group, a large-scale producer and marketer of wines and spirits. Built in 1968, the cellar is famous for its "mountain cellars" built into the lower slopes of the Papegaaiberg. The Bergkelder offers one of the slickest wine experiences in the Cape, with a visitors' centre, cellar tours, all-day wine-tasting, a museum, a wine shop and a Vinotéque...

(GPS coordinates: -33.93437, 18.851659)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/food-wine/bergkelder

Museum Africa
19 Sep 2014
 
     

Museum Africa

Museum Africa is an urban cultural museum in Newtown, in what was once downtown Johannesburg’s old fruit and vegetable market. Founded in 1945, when it was the Africana Museum, Museum Africa is Johannesburg's pre-eminent cultural museum. It houses extensive collections covering everything from the Stone Age to modern African history. With a particular emphasis on Johannesburg, Museum Africa seeks to stimulate critical debate around South Africa’s complex geological, social, political and economic history and identity. This it does through its permanent and temporary exhibitions...  

(GPS coordinates: -26.202191, 28.03134)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/cultural/museum-africa

Biggarsberg Horse Trails
19 Sep 2014
 
     

Biggarsberg Horse Trails

Open grassland stretches, umkhamba trees, sparkling streams and panoramic views stretching as far as the Drakensberg 90 kilometres away, are all part of the splendour of The Biggarsberg Conservancy, situated in the region surrounded by Biggarsberg, Wasbank and Elandslaagte. The horseback excursions are mostly long-distance riding, although shorter outrides are possible. Trails vary markedly and encompass a range of terrain types, including river crossings as well as long, open stretches perfect for cantering…

(GPS coordinates: -28.257064, 29.964588)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/activities/biggarsberg-horse-trails

Whalesong Lodge
19 Sep 2014
 
     

Whalesong Lodge is an intimate guest house magnificently located on top of the rugged cliffs of De Kelders, overlooking the picturesque Walker Bay. Just 70 metres from the ocean, Whalesong Lodge offers whale watching from the comfort of your room, and views stretching from white sand dunes all the way to Cape Point. The guesthouse was purpose-built in 2003 to provide accommodation in a relaxed environment and to share the abundance that this coastline has to offer with fellow travellers...

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/accommodation/whalesong-lodge

(GPS coordinates: -34.554548, 19.365715)

Burchell's Track 4x4 Trail
18 Sep 2014
 
     

Burchell's Track 4x4 Trail

This scenic trail through the Little Karoo traces the route pioneered by British botanist WJ Burchell in March 1814. This famous botanist travelled in South Africa between 1810 and 1815, covering 7 200km and collecting 63 000 specimens. The Burchell’s coucal and Burchell's zebra are two of the species named after him. Set within the Middle Keurbooms Conservancy, this 4x4 trail takes you in the footsteps of early pioneers, road builders and botanists. The 20km Burchell’s Trail passes through at least four distinct biomes, from renosterveld to indigenous forest...

(GPS coordinates: -33.798381, 23.121017)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/4x4/burchell’s-track-4x4-trail

Lower Injesuthi Caves Trail
18 Sep 2014
 
     

Lower Injesuthi Caves Trail

The walk to Lower Injesuthi is an easy morning's or afternoon's stroll. It’s never really steep, although the valley can get stiflingly hot on summer days. Unfortunately, after the first crossing, there is little chance for swimming until you get to the final cave, but once there, you are in for a treat. Time your walk to coincide with the daily 10am guided trip to Battle Cave, one of the top five or so accessible rock art sites in the Drakensberg. It's more of a huge overhang than a cave, and much of the original shelter has fallen to the floor, but more than enough remains to make this a national treasure...

(GPS coordinates: -29.12641, 29.440385)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/hiking/lower-injesuthi-caves-trail

Cradock Peak
18 Sep 2014
 
     

Cradock Peak: Garden Route

Nearly 500 metres higher than Table Mountain, Cradock Peak is a long climb. It’ll took us most of our morning to conquer the peak, but thick clouds blanketing the Garden Route and fading when reaching the sea, is a sight worth seeing. We began under a Pine forest, and rose above it to wander through escalating fynbos paths that eventually reach the saddle of the mountain. Right goes to George Peak, the lesser, and left to Cradock Peak, the greater. Of course, we chose the greater out of some misplaced sense of bravado. It isn’t easy, the last stretch, and the rock climb at the end may turn away some more sensible hikers, but it is worth it all. When you’re sitting on the summit surveying the Garden Route’s expanse and watching the tops of clouds drift around, it’s worth the climb.

- Brad Harris

J-Bay Zebra Lodge
18 Sep 2014
 
     

J-Bay Zebra Lodge, situated on the Garden Route, only 20 minutes from the surfing mecca of Jeffreys Bay and 30 minutes from Port Elizabeth, is perfectly positioned on the top of a hill, with panoramic views overlooking the Indian Ocean, the indigenous bush and the mountains. A timeless tranquillity emanates from the bush life and the presence of wild animals, and guests can enjoy the romantic and peaceful surroundings and appreciate magnificent panoramas and nature at its best, while having a wide range of activities available. The owner's passion for cycling and his competition experience guided the creation of the adjoining J-Bay Bike Park, which features mountain bike trails catering for various skills levels, as well as walking trails for non-riders, all winding through the indigenous bush…

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/accommodation/j-bay-zebra-lodge

(GPS coordinates: -33.908138, 25.100036)

Bass Lake MTB Track
17 Sep 2014
 
     

Bass Lake MTB Track

The Bass Lake Resort, situated a mere 45 minutes’ drive south of Sandton, surrounds a lake with a surface area of 10 hectares. The mountain-biking track has been set out in this private estate of about 76 hectares featuring natural vegetation and frontage onto the Klip River. With both the casual and experienced rider in mind, this jeep-track circuit is only 9km long but can be extended by backtracking over certain areas. If you feel like testing your skills, rest assured, there is a wide range of obstacles along the way with just that in mind...

(GPS coordinates: -26.510855, 28.06739)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/mountain-biking/bass-lake-mtb-track

Groenkloof Nature Reserve MTB Trail
17 Sep 2014
 
     

Groenkloof Nature Reserve MTB Trail

Situated in the Fountains Valley, Groenkloof Nature Reserve is a prime example of nature conservation. Very rocky terrain means challenging, yet extremely satisfying riding for the experienced mountain biker on anything from undulating hard-pack to short, steep rocky climbs and descents. Take your time viewing some of the resident Burchell’s zebra, superimposed against the city skyscrapers, or you may be treated to seeing the 'Two Towers', a unique skyline created by the visual unison of graceful giraffe with the landmark silhouette of the Telkom tower at the University of South Africa...

(GPS coordinates: -25.788898, 28.19990)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/mountain-biking/groenkloof-nature-reserve-mtb-trail

Mai's Guest Lodge
17 Sep 2014
 
     

Mai’s Guest Lodge is a comfortable 19th century home in the tranquil village of Prince Albert, an oasis in the otherwise dry Great Karoo. Owner Mai came from her native Ireland to live in South Africa many moons ago and brought the Irish tradition of grand hospitality with her to create a charming B&B establishment, a short walk from the town’s many attractions. Mai’s is an ideal place to sit back and relax next to a sparkling swimming pool or on a private vine-shaded terrace, with the bubbling courtyard fountain providing the soothing soundtrack. Guests retire to comfortable bedrooms with all the modern trimmings...

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/accommodation/mais-guest-lodge

(GPS coordinates: -33.222527, 22.02921)

Strubens Valley Rock Climbing
16 Sep 2014
 
     

Strubens Valley Rock Climbing

Although Strubens is a small crag, its location, close to Johannesburg’s northern and western suburbs, and large number of easy routes, means it is very popular, especially with beginners and children. There are about 40 bolted climbs, all short (between six and 10 metres), with many boulder-type problems. The Lower Section has most of the bolted routes, while the Upper Section, directly above the “normal” lower crag, was generally climbed on trad. But the first climbers have given permission for many of these lines to be retro-bolted, so expect more sports routes there in the future...

(GPS coordinates: -26.128509, 27.894201)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/climbing/strubens-valley-rock-climbing

Umgeni Valley Rock Climbing
16 Sep 2014
 
     

Umgeni Valley Rock Climbing

Arguably the best sport crag in the country after ‘Boven, the spectacular cliffs overlooking the scenic Umgeni Valley are home to about 60 routes across the grade range, most of which are bolted. The climbing is on coarse sandstone on vertical to slightly overhanging rock, with the majority of routes in the intermediate grades...

(GPS coordinates: -29.474716, 30.238455)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/climbing/umgeni-valley-rock-climbing

Woodstock Lounge
16 Sep 2014
 
     

Woodstock Lounge

Most people think that there is nothing to do in Cape Town during the cold and rainy winter months, but I am here to tell you that you don’t have to be confined to your house. Instead, you can drink a delicious mug of hot chocolate and curl up on a couch while being warmed by the flames coming from the fireplace. I’m convinced that the Woodstock Lounge is the place to be during winter and the dimly lit room provides a romantic atmosphere, so it’s also the perfect place to go for a date. Sitting there, having a friendly conversation with the waitress, I felt like I was just hanging out at home – that’s how welcoming the restaurant feels. 

- Daniella Toscano

Strandloper Ocean Boutique Hotel
16 Sep 2014
 
     

Strandloper Ocean Boutique Hotel is tucked away in the quaint West Coast fishing village of Paternoster, a coastal destination of immeasurable charm. If you are looking for an unspoiled ocean getaway, it doesn't get better than Strandloper Ocean, with concierge and porter service, safe parking, and magnificent views. From the moment you arrive here, you will be immersed in a feeling of tranquillity. Expect spectacular nature, long sandy beaches, a vibrant marine life, and unforgettable vistas of sky, sand and sea…

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/accommodation/strandloper-ocean-boutique-hotel

(GPS coordinates: -32.80446, 17.901181)

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