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Adam Kok House
13 Jun 2014
 
     

Adam Kok House

Adam Kok, a freed Griqua slave, first led a small multiracial group of ”bastards” across the Orange River, away from white rule in the Cape. Under Kok, the group moved to Philippolis in 1827, claiming the land between the Orange and Modder rivers as their own. Visitors to Philippolis can see the house where the Griqua leader, Adam Kok III, lived – it is thought to be the oldest surviving building in Philippolis...

(GPS coordinates: -30.264331, 25.273919)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/cultural/adam-kok-house

Star House
13 Jun 2014
 
     

Star House, a stylish and inviting self-catering holiday house in Betty's Bay with beautiful mountain and lake views, is situated in almost complete seclusion at the edge of the lake, with two pristine beaches nearby. Designed with Greek influenced architecture and finished with great attention to detail, Star House rates high in aesthetic appeal and comfort, and is an ideal weekend getaway from Cape Town, just over an hour's drive away…

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/accommodation/star-house

(GPS coordinates:-34.359582,18.892053)

Rovos Rail
12 Jun 2014
 
     

Rovos Rail

On Rovos Rail’s seven vintage steam locomotives, your rail adventure to some of southern Africa’s most spectacular destinations begins with a warm welcome onboard and a chilled flute of champagne. Billed as the world’s most luxurious train, travel on Rovos Rail is first class all the way. The company’s rebuilt and restored antique railway carriages with wood-panelled, Edwardian era interiors equate to a five-star hotel on wheels. They have all the en-suite comforts, unobtrusive personalised service and fine dining one would expect…

(GPS coordinates: -25.718464, 28.188643)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/activities/rovos-rail

Cradle of Humankind MTB Trail
12 Jun 2014
 
     

Cradle of Humankind MTB Trail

Come and explore this rolling highveld grassland dotted with islands of sinkhole forest, the valleys with indigenous bush-lined streams and the textured dolomite rock formations from the saddle of your  mountain bike. Start off from The Cradle Restaurant towards Lanseria, enjoying the panoramic views over the Crocodile River valley. Turn right and cross the Crocodile River, continuing straight along this road until you reach the Kromdraai Road, crossing the Crocodile River again, and ride past the Rhino Reserve for some gentle cruising back to The Cradle Nature Reserve…

(GPS coordinates: -25.918758, 27.847402)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/mountain-biking/cradle-humankind-mtb-trail

Robinson Pass
12 Jun 2014
 
     

Robinson Pass

Robinson is one of the lesser-known passes of the southern Cape. It lies on the main drag between Mosselbay and Oudtshoorn, so it can’t be that folk haven’t heard of it. Perhaps it’s too utilitarian? It is true that the road sweeps over the pass rather rapidly, and unlike many others, it is a simple up and over pass. But at the right time of year, the view from the top of the pass can be spectacular.

We were lucky enough to photograph the pass in spring when the Leucadendrons were in full bloom. Leucadendron salignum is one of the most widespread of the 80 Leucadendrons, and occurs in large numbers from Ceres in the west to Port Elizabeth in the east. The top of Robinson Pass is a great example of a really dense stand of these beautiful Proteaceae.

The Kouma hiking trail runs west from the top of the pass, and is a worthwhile excursion, particularly at this time of the year.

St Blaize Trail
11 Jun 2014
 
     

St Blaize Trail

Stretching along sea cliffs in Mossel Bay from the cave below St Blaize Lighthouse, this beautiful trail winds its way for more than 13km to the small coastal town of Dana Bay. For the most part, the trail follows the 30m contour, so you can be assured of a relatively flat run for most of the way. The path itself is very runnable throughout, probably due to the many hikers frequenting the route…

(GPS coordinates: -34.186359, 22.156496)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/trail-running/st-blaize-trail

Green Goose Organic Farm
11 Jun 2014
 
     

Green Goose Organic Farm

Food lovers and anyone interested in organic produce travelling through the eastern Free State should programme their GPS to lead them to Goose Green farm, 20km outside Ficksburg. Green Goose offers a range of home grown products ranging from artisanal cheeses to eiderdown duvets, all produced in accordance with organic principles. All cheeses are handmade on the farm from raw (unpasteurized) milk produced by 100% grass-fed and organic certified cows...

(GPS coordinates: -28.711752, 27.93172)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/food-wine/green-goose-organic-farm

Tsitsikamma Falls Adventures
10 Jun 2014
 
     

Tsitsikamma Falls Adventures

If you’re into adrenalin activities, you’ll love this one. Tsitsikamma Falls Adventures offers a thrilling zipline over the tumbling waterfalls of the Kruis River. The fun begins as you strap yourself into a harness. The adrenalin pumping begins when you attach the harness to the cable. The fun begins as the guides egg you on and you launch yourself from the platform...

(GPS coordinates: -33.97407, 23.887399)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/activities/tsitsikamma-falls-adventures

Crafty Duck
10 Jun 2014
 
     

Crafty Duck

Crafty Duck is the ultimate fun farm experience in Pietermaritzburg. Overlooking the city, it is the ideal place to see a variety of animals in one place. Farmyard animals are waiting to be petted, and children have a chance to feed them and handle some of the smaller, tamer creatures. There is also an animal sanctuary, and a snake and reptile park...

(GPS coordinates: -29.562054, 30.445937)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/animals-nature/crafty-duck

Vices and Flies
10 Jun 2014
 
     

Vices and Flies

Winter is that time of the year when my fly tying station becomes a centre of focus. Here I spend many evenings hunched over the vice, glass of red wine within reach, the sounds of my favourite music in the background and the occasional visit from my grandsons who always want to be part of the fascination of it.

But, mostly it is a time to replenish favourite flies, experiment with a few new patterns and attempt to improve others based on the past season’s experience. 

My approach to tying is centred on a few solid, in my opinion, cornerstones. 

I don’t try to create exact imitations, but rather generic ones with distinctive features that the trout will recognize – wings, legs, feelers, shape, size and colour. 

I like materials that will give the fly a buggy appearance and provide movement or perceived movement; dubbing with plenty of guards hairs, peacock herl, CdC, soft flexible hackles such as grizzly, partridge and Coc de Leon.

I avoid overdoing the sparkle, adding just enough to reflect light and sheen, giving an impression of luminescence that you would expect to find in the natural. 

I guess the average size is about a 16, with a few 12’s at the upper limit and down to some 22’s at the other end. I seldom go below this simply because I don’t think it makes much difference at this end of the scale. In truth though for me they are just plain hell to tie. If I do, it is rather to prove something to myself than for the fishing.

Guest blog by Peter Brigg 
callofthestream.wordpress.com

Helicopter Flips in Cape Town
9 Jun 2014
 
     

Helicopter Flips in Cape Town

Climbing to the top of Table Mountain is not the only way to get a birds-eye view of the Mother City. A much easier way to see one of the most stunning skylines in the world is from a helicopter. There are several operators offering flights from the helipad at the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront. Nac Makana is one of them. It has a variety of packages, but if you are short of time opt for The Hopper. This takes you around the outer boundaries of the city and mountain...

(GPS coordinates: -33.901504, 18.426001)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/activities/helicopter-flips-cape-town

Kyalami Racing
9 Jun 2014
 
     

Kyalami Racing

Ask any petrolhead where to go for edge-of-your-seat motorsport racing in Johannesburg and they’ll answer: “Kyalami”. As South Africa’s FIA graded circuit, Kyalami is synonymous with fast cars and bikes, and famous names in local and international racing. From production cars, modified V8s and single-seaters to super sport and superbikes, Kyalami offers motorsport lovers a packed calendar throughout the year. Qualifying heats followed by championship races take place over entire weekends...

(GPS coordinates: -25.996508, 28.07054)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/activities/kyalami-racing

Bushbuck Trail, Island Reserve
8 Jun 2014
 
     

Bushbuck Trail, Island Reserve

The Island Nature Reserve, to the west of Port Elizabeth, is a good example of a climax community growing on consolidated dunes and offers numerous walks, the most well known being the 16-kilometre Bushbuck hiking trail, which has three clearly marked shorter loop options. The trail starts just outside the main office, passing through a subway under the tar road before following old extraction roads and bridle paths through the forest...

(GPS coordinates: -33.985542, 25.37006)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/hiking/bushbuck-trail-island-reserve

Oak Valley MTB Trail
8 Jun 2014
 
     

Oak Valley MTB Trail

Riding the superb Oak Valley trails will make you happy, and the more you ride them, the happier you are likely to be. Built by resident wine maker Pieter Visser, this network of routes is a true mountain-biking gem that rates near the very top of most mountain-bikers’ bucket lists. Your adventure kicks off on single track that gently meanders along the course of a small stream through a forest of oak trees. Fences are crossed by riding over wooden bridges designed to allow riders to gain easy access yet keep the cows in. Follow the red arrows and just keep on riding and enjoying the views...

(GPS coordinates: -34.155843, 19.046377)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/mountain-biking/oak-valley-mtb-trail

I Love My Laundry
8 Jun 2014
 
     

I Love My Laundry: 59 Buitenkant Street, Cape Town

Laundry, dim-sum, chocolate, coffee and laughter. Apparently they do go well together, and the founders of I Love my Laundry on Buitenkant Street had the vision to build on this thought. Bring your dirty laundry, sit down to some coffee and "original recipe" dim-sum on heavy wood furniture, relax… and an hour later you’ll walk out with clean clothes and a box of Saszali Chocolates truffles. Perhaps you’ll even learn what “original recipe” dim-sum is. I Love my Laundry is quirky. It’s fun. It doesn’t try to be anything else, and it doesn’t need to. Who else offers quirky fun while waiting for old jeans to circulate in soapy water? The idea is worth dirtying your clean clothes only for the experience.

- Brad Harris

Plettenberg Bay Diving
7 Jun 2014
 
     

Plettenberg Bay Diving

Plettenberg Bay offers an excellent choice of sites in the protected bay and surrounding areas, as well as a first-rate dive school. The sheltered sites close to shore are covered in vibrant soft corals, anemones and sponges and there’s spectacular topography and sightings of sharks and seals further up and down the coast. The top dive site is the pristine, extensive reef of Grootbank, between Plettenberg Bay and Nature’s Valley, prized for its dramatic topography and rich marine life...

(GPS coordinates: -34.058228, 23.37801)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/scuba-diving/plettenberg-bay-diving

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