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Fairview Wine Estate
29 Jul 2014
 
     

Fairview Wine Estate

Fairview is a popular wine estate in Suider-Paarl, a winelands town about an hour's drive from the centre of Cape Town. Initially a purely wine-focused estate, Fairview has over the years added award-winning cheese, a gourmet deli, a wine shop and a restaurant to its offerings. The venue is hugely popular at weekends so it's essential to book a table. Before or after lunch, be sure to visit the tasting room, which features two tasting areas. The main tasting area is informal, while the Beryl Back room offers seated tutored tastings of rare Fairview wines, estate goat and cow's milk cheeses and olive oils...

(GPS coordinates: -33.772602, 18.923221)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/food-wine/fairview-wine-estate

Bathurst Agricultural Museum
29 Jul 2014
 
     

Bathurst Agricultural Museum

On the premise that today’s machinery is tomorrow’s history, the Bathurst Agricultural Museum in 1820 Settler country has amassed a healthy and still growing collection of more than 1 400 farming implements. Among the more unusual displays is a stationary steam engine used until 1930 for sawing, pumping and driving threshing machinery; a cyanide tank used to kill insects in crops; and the original engine and generator that powered the Fish River Mouth lighthouse.   A range of veterinary equipment includes ostrich incubators...

(GPS coordinates: -33.497181, 26.828399)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/cultural/bathurst-agricultural-museum

Dream Catchers
29 Jul 2014
 
     

Dream Catchers

Once again I have been privileged that the talented Diane Michelin chose another of my photographs as a reference for one of her beautiful water-colour paintings. www.dianemichelin.com

She aptly decided to name this one Dream Catchers. In her words, ‘There is a moment when fishing becomes a dream of catch and release.’

A couple of the comments from friends on her Facebook page: 

Superb! You not only captured a simple moment perfectly, but you were able to show so much detail when one begins to look closer at your work. Anyone who has ever fished can relate to your picture.

…it worked beautifully Diane. I would have been happy simply making a study of that hat. So many elements go together to make a painting such as this. Chaucer said, ‘The life so short. The craft so long to learn.’ I love seeing all of the details that you have learned in your artistic journeys and endeavours being pulled together and showcased in your work. I can only guess how many paintings you have done to be able to pull off a tricky painting like this one.

I can only endorse these and the many other responses she has received – thank you Diane.

Guest blog by Peter Brigg 
callofthestream.wordpress.com

Battle Cave
28 Jul 2014
 
     

Battle Cave

Battle Cave is named for a famous fight scene that it depicts. It is one of the few places where the public can see such a painting in South Africa. Elements of this painting suggest that it was not a ‘real’ fight. The site is located in the Ukuhlamba-Drakensberg World Heritage Park and is approached from the Injisuthi Camp, operated by Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife. To visit the site a long but easy walk on a path is required. The site is ideal for those who do not want an arduous journey to see rock art but who also do not wish to be jostled among a mass of tourists. Walking through the emerald-green grass of the Drakensberg insummer with spectacular views of the spine of the escarpment is one of the great pleasures the country has to offer travellers...

(GPS coordinates: -29.156673, 29.415839)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/rock-art/battle-cave

Game Capture Safari
28 Jul 2014
 
     

Game Capture Safari

Relax in the African Kalahari bushveld at the Mattanu Private Game Reserve - 2 300 hectares nestled in the shade of indigenous Camelthorn trees, 58 kilometres northwest of Kimberley. The reserve boasts over 36 species, including rare Roan and Sable antelope. Mattanu also operates one of the few privately-owned disease-free Buffalo breeding projects. Experience a game capture adventure to see what happens behind the scenes at a veterinary wildlife conservation project. Join in this unique safari experience on the ground or from a helicopter and have a hands-on experience with numerous wildlife species as they are being tranquilised and monitored for conservation and management purposes…

(GPS coordinates: -28.3994, 24.4988)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/animals-nature/game-capture-safari

Meeting the Squirrels
28 Jul 2014
 
     

Meeting the Squirrels

Being a Durban girl means that I am constantly in awe of the squirrels that roam around Cape Town – I think they are just the cutest creatures. My favourite place to go and play with the squirrels is The Company Gardens, based in the CBD of Cape Town. You can buy a cheap bag of peanuts and literally spend hours feeding these bushy-tailed beauties in the gardens. I recently took Australian friends of mine to this little corner of heaven because they had never seen squirrels before and we discovered that it’s the perfect place to have a picnic lunch in between all the “big touristy stuff’.  

- Daniella Toscano

Kenilworth Racecourse
27 Jul 2014
 
     

Kenilworth Racecourse

Kenilworth Racecourse, home to the ultra-glamorous J&B Met, Cape Town's premier horse race, is the oldest race course in the country. It is unique among South African race courses because it has a conservation area of ecological and cultural significance, the 52-hectare Kenilworth Racecourse Conservation Area (KRCA), at its centre. It is proclaimed "the most valuable piece of Cape Flats Sand Fynbos remaining in Cape Town".  Kenilworth Racecourse, which owns the racecourse and the nature reserve, works with City of Cape Town Nature Conservation and CapeNature Conservation to protect the area.  It is host to 310 plant species (of which 34 are threatened), 11 amphibians, including the critically endangered micro frog and Cape Platanna, and numerous reptiles, birds and small mammals…

(GPS coordinates: -33.997863, 18.479889)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/activities/kenilworth-racecourse

Clarens Hot Air Ballooning
27 Jul 2014
 
     

Clarens Hot Air Ballooning

Anyone who participates in a scenic balloon flight will find the magnificent views across the Maluti mountain ranges around Clarens breathtaking.  A sense of peace and tranquillity will recharge your soul as you soar with black eagles while gazing over the mountain kingdom of Lesotho and Golden Gate Highlands National Park. Hot Air Ballooning SA flies from Clarens on request, and requires a minimum of 4 passengers per flight. Flights last anything from 45 minutes to an hour, but keep in mind that duration will be dependent upon favourable winds and a speedy recovery…

(GPS coordinates: -28.516508, 28.419625)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/activities/clarens-hot-air-ballooning

Midlands Meander Treasure
27 Jul 2014
 
     

Midlands Meander Treasure

Stamped onto the back of the postcards was two words, “SS-Kasernen.” Translated from SS-Barracks in German this was a picture of the Nazi Barracks. And where did I come across such a historical gem? From a little shop in the Midlands Meander. Just the day before a lady had come through the shop doors selling a handful of vintage postcards bought through an auction of an abandoned suitcase. Where had this suitcase come from? Who was the owner? Certainly a traveller, because in my other hand I held a scene from New Delhi and a illustration from Germany. 

- Megan Pilditch

Bronkies Rock Climbing
26 Jul 2014
 
     

Bronkies Rock Climbing

The most popular crag in Gauteng, Bronkies, is on the banks of the Bronkhorstspruit River. Bronkies used to be a trad climbing venue, but bolting has become increasingly popular over the last couple of decades and it now has 56 sports routes in three different sections. The best climbing is in the intermediate grades with some superb cranking on good, solid quartzite rock...

(GPS coordinates: -25.882571, 28.724125)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/climbing/bronkies-rock-climbing

Breede Rafting, Swellendam Section
26 Jul 2014
 
     

Breede Rafting, Swellendam Section

The Swellendam, or lower section of the Breede river is more popular than the upper (flat water) section for weekend packages and midweek breaks as the scenery and wildlife is in abundant away form the busy farming and hustle of Worcester. Thanks to a private camp on farmland alongside the river, rafters now have the opportunity to lap up a weekend of good-natured fun. Located just three hours from Cape Town and George, the Fish Eagle River Camp has been revamped and reopened after the November 2008 floods and offers a wide range of outdoor adventure activities. It is best experienced as a two-night getaway, where rafting down the Breede River takes centre stage...

(GPS coordinates: -34.216274, 20.54114)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/rafting-kayaking/breede-rafting-swellendam-section

Roger Young Woodwork and Photography
25 Jul 2014
 
     

Roger Young Woodwork and Photography

One of the most scenic roads in the Western Cape is the dirt road that runs from Calitzdorp to the foot of the Swartberg Pass. One of the people who has made this valley his home is woodworker and photographer, Roger Young. There is no showroom, because all his pieces are bespoke and almost all are made to order. On the other hand, there are two rooms full of gripping Karoo images, mostly in black and white, but with a smattering of colour here and there. To top it all, they serve a limited menu of light lunches, teas and coffees on the verandah of the gallery, making this a very rewarding stop over when in need of a short break…

(GPS coordinates: -33.442013, 21.884851)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/art-craft/roger-young-woodwork-and-photography

City Rock Rock Climbing
25 Jul 2014
 
     

City Rock Rock Climbing

Cape Town’s indoor climbing gym is the country’s best, with about 100 lead and top-rope routes – some of which go right across the ceiling - a self-belay tower with four automatic belay stations (so you can rope climb even if you don’t have a partner) and a huge, sculpted bouldering area that has both easy vertical faces and steep overhanging walls that meet up in a cave with routes to test even the strongest rock jock. Routes are reset every 45 days, so there are always new challenges….

(GPS coordinates: -33.9365, 18.470525)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/climbing/city-rock-rock-climbing

High Tea at the Mount Nelson
25 Jul 2014
 
     

High Tea at the Mount Nelson

I couldn’t believe the way a few cakes and china cups could make me feel like I was royalty. I sat up straighter, stuck out my pinky and embraced the entire experience of the Mount Nelson High Tea. I think that tiered servers full of treats, bite-sized canapés and exotic teas have this strange ability to remove you from reality and add this lavishness to an otherwise ordinary daily routine. It’s an unexpected adventure, a cultural experience and, in my opinion, an indulgence that travellers should enjoy. Besides, in-between all the hiking and exploring, it’s wonderful to get dressed up, relax and drink some tea.

Mount Nelson Hotel : 76 Orange St, Cape Town 8001

- Daniella Toscano

Eagle Encounters
24 Jul 2014
 
     

Eagle Encounters

Eagle Encounters is a unique and fully interactive wildlife attraction, housed at the Spier Wine Estate, in the heart of the Cape Winelands. A memorable experience that enthralls all ages, you will be able to hold an eagle on your arm, cuddle fluffy owls and have other amazing birds of prey flown to you in the spectacular interactive shows. There are 4 shows daily at 11h00, 14h00, 15h00 & 16h00…

(GPS coordinates: -33.974648, 18.781992)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/activities/eagle-encounters

Kurisa Moya MTB Trails
24 Jul 2014
 
     

Kurisa Moya MTB Trails

Kurisa Moya, nestled in the northern Drakensberg escarpment, overlooks the breathtaking Kudu's River valley. This piece of paradise truly embodies its Tsonga name, Kurisa Moya, which means “tranquil spirit”. Various marked trails of graded difficulty and length lead you through a wide range of habitats on the farm and the adventure Mountain-Bike Trail is a new attraction. The beginners trail starts with a single-track downhill through indigenous forest, which makes for an awesome start to an awesome trail. The advanced trail starts by riding the intermediate trail before making your way up towards Schnelskop...

(GPS coordinates: -23.803997, 29.921662)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/mountain-biking/kurisa-moya-mtb-trails

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