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Riemvasmaak 4x4 Trails
7 Jun 2014
 
     

Riemvasmaak 4x4 Trails

The Riemvasmaak Conservancy covers an area of 75 000 ha and its volcanic origin is obvious even to the casual observer. The landscape here is rugged, but spectacularly beautiful. Riemvasmaak boasts three 4x4 trails. The Molopo trail is 41km long and takes about 3 hours (drive time) to complete. The Perdepoort trail is 49km long and also takes about 3 hours (drive time) to complete. This trail involves a lot of sand driving, so keep your tyres nicely deflated. At 79km, the Deurspringer trail is the longest of the three trails...

(GPS coordinates: -28.453869, 20.296688)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/riemvasmaak-4x4-trails

Cape Point MTB Trail
6 Jun 2014
 
     

Cape Point MTB Trail

Get stuck into this easy ride along a network of tarred roads meandering through the southernmost tip of the Cape Peninsula. Don’t moan about the tarmac until you’ve experienced the views – it’s worth it all the way. Start at the Cape Point Nature Reserve entrance gate, with a slight climb before you dip down onto the fynbos plains...

(GPS coordinates: -34.261491, 18.457664)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/mountain-biking/cape-point-mtb-trail

Contermanskloof MTB Trail
6 Jun 2014
 
     

Contermanskloof MTB Trail

When the single track is designed and built by Meurant Botha, you know you are in for a treat. Contermanskloof is no exception, with well-marked trails starting around a beautiful farm dam. Follow the signs and turn left onto the gravel road to start off on the blue route, riding through the farmyard and out again on a very gradual climb. Two well-signposted right-hand turns take you to the base of the main climb, where you can also turn right onto the green route...

(GPS coordinates: -33.802384, 18.584501)

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

Oyster Creek Lodge
6 Jun 2014
 
     

Oyster Creek Lodge is little piece of paradise offering both B&B and self-catering accommodation in a friendly and relaxing atmosphere. Situated on the tip of The Point and nestled between tall trees, this 4 Star Pearl of the Garden Route is surrounded on three sides by the Knysna Lagoon and offers delightful accommodation and wonderful hospitality, with stunning views of the lagoon and Knysna Heads and a range of activities on offer in the area...

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/accommodation/oyster-creek-lodge

(GPS coordinates: -34.0401862, 23.0149824)

Little Switzerland MTB Trails
5 Jun 2014
 
     

Little Switzerland MTB Trails

Enjoy this little piece of heaven set in a 2 000-hectare private reserve on the slopes of the Drakensberg Mountains among bubbling streams, glittering waterfalls and cool forests. Little Switzerland Hotel is sure to leave you breathless, and not only because of the views. There is an extreme 16-kilometre adventure trail that takes about two hours to ride, but can be shortened if it gets too difficult. Some shorter (about 10 kilometres) riding is possible along a mountain jeep track. Although technically easier, it is still quite demanding as there are real mountains here. While catching your breath, savour the awesome view across Africa’s oldest mountain range...

(GPS coordinates: -28.57902, 29.052272)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/mountain-biking/little-switzerland-mtb-trails

Tenikwa Wildlife Awareness Centre
5 Jun 2014
 
     

Tenikwa Wildlife Awareness Centre

Situated at The Crags, Tenikwa Wildlife Awareness Centre is home to a host of captive-bred felines from Africa and beyond and offers one-hour guided tours on which visitors get close to several species of cat and, at the same time, are educated in the natural ways of each. Tours leave every half an hour from 9am to 4.30pm every day of the week. The centre focuses on the 'lesser cats' that are seldom seen. These include genets, servals, caracals, and African wild cats...

(GPS coordinates: -33.952763, 23.487147)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/animals-nature/tenikwa-wildlife-awareness-centre

Meiringspoort
5 Jun 2014
 
     

Meiringspoort

Like all passes and poorts, Meiringspoort was build for utilitarian reasons;: connecting the farming communities of the Central and Klein Karoo, and allowing easier access to the port at Mossel Bay. 

The first road through the poort was completed in the late 1850s, and the final refurbishment was done after the severe flooding of 1996. It was during this last rebuild that the tourist infrastructure of the poort was significantly expanded, and today there are numerous rest areas, lay-bys, and even a tourist information centre. Traffic on the road is mild, allowing ample opportunity to explore the fascinating folds in the sandstone layers of the Swartberg Mountains up close and personal.

High Altitude Climbing Centre
4 Jun 2014
 
     

High Altitude Climbing Centre

With the Drakensberg right on the doorstep, it’s not surprising that there’s a climbing gym in Pietermaritzburg. At the High Altitude Climbing centre, located at the PMB Sports Development Centre, the 250m2 top-roped and lead-climbing area consists of a main wall with eight ropes, each serving three different route options. The routes are about 12 metres long and are graded between 12 and 27. A range of introductory and improver climbing courses, individual coaching and the usual group functions and birthday parties are on offer, and the gym is involved with the regional and national school climbing competitions...

(GPS coordinates: -29.609674, 30.349706)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/climbing/high-altitude-climbing-centre

Kings Kloof Trail Centre
4 Jun 2014
 
     

Kings Kloof Trail Centre

Kings Kloof Trail Centre, near Krugersdorp on the Laurentia Farm, offers great trails through beautiful valleys. It has mountain ascents, river crossings, natural pools, dense thickets and spectacular views and is home to a diverse cross section of fauna and flora. The trails at Kings Kloof are truly stunning, combining sections of jeep track with rugged single-track. Stream crossings, testing ascents and downhills, technical S-bends and the odd scramble are sure to make you come back for more...

(GPS coordinates: -26.041533, 27.785025)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/trail-running/kings-kloof-trail-centre

Ann Bryant Art Gallery
3 Jun 2014
 
     

Ann Bryant Art Gallery

Increasing awareness of cultural diversity through visual arts and promoting the work of contemporary Eastern Cape artists are the objectives of the Ann Bryant Art Gallery in East London.  Its collection of South African art, primarily from the 1960s, includes works by George Pemba, Walter Battiss, Judith Mason, Lawrence Scully, Norman Catherine and names of similar stature. The gallery is located in Bryant’s family residence, The Gables, constructed in 1905…

(GPS coordinates: -33.000224, 27.897329)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/art-craft/ann-bryant-art-gallery

Isandlwana
3 Jun 2014
 
     

Isandlwana

Marking the spot of one of the most definitive Zulu victories during the Anglo-Zulu War, Isandlwana is an exciting place to visit for those with an interest in the history of the region. The mountain and the stories of the battle that took place there on 22 January 1879 always enthuse visitors to the site. Camped at the base of this distinctively-shaped mountain, a group of British soldiers – unaccustomed to the harsh African conditions – were attacked by a Zulu army that far outnumbered them. Underestimated as ‘savages’ by the British military forces, who placed total faith in the technological superiority of their weaponry, the Zulus crushed by them. Allow one of the expert guides to recount the battle as it happened...

(GPS coordinates: -28.359815, 30.640102)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/cultural/isandlwana

Boots-n-All
3 Jun 2014
 
     

Boots-n-All

A while back a debate raged on email, social media and in chat rooms about the best wading boots. There was a wide variety of views expressed with Simms, Korkers, Patagonia and a couple of others being the front runners. I don’t recall that a conclusion was ever reached and the debate faded from the digital world by a kind of consensus that it was a case of horses for courses.

I have been through a few pairs of wading boots, veldt soled and rubber, cheap and expensive and yet I still can’t make up my mind what suits my kind of fishing in the rugged terrain of mountain streams. At present I have a pair of Patagonia Stickys, and must say that to date they have done the job reasonably well, but even with the double stitching the uppers are starting to pull away. 

However, all the wading boots I have owned had their merits and demerits. Most have been okay fishing rivers and streams at lower altitudes. But, when it comes to hiking into the headwaters of our mountain streams, the overall strength of the boot comes into play and none that I have had to date have lived up to expectation. 

It brings me back to my vote for good old fashioned leather boots with stitched, and (not glued) soles. I originally used T3s and more recently Jim Greens. My last pair of T3s hung on for nearly 7 years before the leather rotted. The stitching and soles were still intact. My latest pair of Jim Greens has had 4 years hard labour and is only now just showing the first signs of asking for retirement, again the leather. The downside is that they are not quite as good in the water as specialised boots, but in my experience, not that different. They do take longer to dry and need some tender loving care after a trip. On the upside, cleaned, dried, snow sealed (not dubbin) and then polished, they will be good to go with your suit to your next friends wedding!

Guest blog by Peter Brigg 
callofthestream.wordpress.com

Gold Reef City
2 Jun 2014
 
     

Gold Reef City

When you’re in the mood for some good old-fashioned fun, there’s no better place to go in Johannesburg than Gold Reef City. Sure it’s a bit kitsch, but sometimes that can be jolly good fun. Styled on a gold rush settlement, Gold Reef City pays tribute to Johannesburg’s mining town origins. Unlike the fortune seekers of yore, everyone’s guaranteed to strike it lucky at this historical entertainment complex. Gold Reef City’s most popular attraction is its theme park...

(GPS coordinates: -26.2372, 28.0135)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/entertainment/gold-reef-city

Rosebank Rooftop Market
2 Jun 2014
 
     

Rosebank Rooftop Market

The Rosebank Rooftop Market has been Johannesburg’s favourite lifestyle market for over a decade. More upmarket than a typical trash-or-treasure flea market, the all-day market provides a mall-like shopping experience outdoors. It’s on the second level of the Mall of Rosebank. With over 600 stalls offering clothing, homeware, art, African craft, jewellery, soft furnishings, ceramics, books, toys and home accessories, you can easily spend a whole Sunday at the Rosebank Rooftop Market...

(GPS coordinates: -26.147151, 28.040763)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/shopping/rosebank-rooftop-market

Frogs Trail
1 Jun 2014
 
     

Frogs Trail

The Frogs Trail, in an area known as KwaMahlanga near the famous Premier diamond mine in Cullinan, offers a wonderful escape from the urban sprawl of Gauteng. The trail starts at the farmhouse, where the farmer is normally on hand to greet you and explain the route. After crossing the Elands stream, the path ascends through a rocky area for about 100 metres before continuing for another couple of kilometres on a gentler gradient through mountain grassland...

(GPS coordinates: -25.548796, 28.567409)

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

Project Gateway - The Old Prison
1 Jun 2014
 
     

Project Gateway - The Old Prison

Project Gateway is a church-based charity aimed at the empowerment, care and education of the disadvantaged and needy in the Pietermaritzburg area. This redbrick and sandstone structure, built in 1862, is one of the oldest buildings in Pietermaritzburg. It has become a symbol of freedom, partly due to the important work done by Project Gateway. Visitors can book guided tours of the prison that will take them to what is allegedly Gandhi’s solitary confinement cell. Other areas are the execution block, the gallows, the ‘Whites Only’ section, the hospital and the graffiti-covered general population cells...

(GPS coordinates: -29.613517, 30.372573)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/cultural/project-gateway-old-prison

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