Subscribe to our newsletter!
Spier Wine Estate
25 May 2014
 
     

Spier Wine Estate

 

Spier is a wine estate en route to Stellenbosch that offers a wide variety of activities and attractions for winelands visitors. If you fancy doing something unusual in addition to tasting wine, Spier ticks all the boxes. With the eagle encounter, Segway tours, eco-farm tours, a deli, picnics, a heritage walk, the Spier contemporary art collection, or sustainability grazing at deli-bistro Eight, or the hotel restaurant with the Eerste river in the background, the trick to Spier is figuring out how you’ll fit all the activities in…

(GPS coordinates: -33.973443, 18.782614)

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

Platteklip Gorge Trail
25 May 2014
 
     

Platteklip Gorge Trail

The deep nick in the flat top of Table Mountain's main face, known as Platteklip Gorge, is visible from a considerable distance. This was the route of the first recorded ascent of the mountain by Admiral Antonio de Saldanha, commander of the Portuguese fleet, which sailed into Table Bay in 1503. The path is so popular that it is nicknamed Adderley St by the locals (after the main street in the city), but it is incredibly steep and direct so don’t underestimate it. Nevertheless, the route is well maintained and easy to follow and therefore provides a good, safe ascent or descent route, particularly in bad weather. There’s little shade above the contour path so take water and be prepared for some knee jarring on the descent...

(GPS coordinates: -33.955353, 18.415757)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/hiking/platteklip-gorge-trail

Jakkalsdans Guest Farm
25 May 2014
 
     

Jakkalsdans, a working farm outside Sutherland, provides self-catering accommodation in a house with four beautifully decorated double bedrooms. An entertainment area with built-in braai and a Karoo-style cement dam for swimming will make for a comfortable stay in an area that has much to offer. You can enjoy days filled with a host of activities, relaxing evenings around the braai, and the most wonderful night sky you could wish to imagine.,,

Jakkalsdans Guest Farm Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/accommodation/jakkalsdans-guest-farm

(GPS coordinates: -32.049311, 20.410575)

uShaka Sea Kayaking
24 May 2014
 
     

uShaka Sea Kayaking

uShaka Marine World has fast positioned itself as a key attraction on Durban’s Golden Mile, and included in the offering are self-guided or accompanied kayak tours in front of uShaka Marine World. Guests have the option of hiring their own plastic kayaks between 8am and 4pm, or booking a guided tour with close-up supervision and packed with informative narration. Paddlers going out on solo trips are monitored from the shore, while guided tours take place on demand, with one guide per five kayaks...

(GPS coordinates: -29.866605, 31.046827)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/rafting-kayaking/ushaka-sea-kayaking

Waterfall Trail, Paradise Valley Nature Reserve
24 May 2014
 
     

Waterfall Trail, Paradise Valley Nature Reserve

The Paradise Valley Nature Reserve, 100 hectares of coastal and remnant grassland, boasts one of the two national monuments to be found in Pinetown - The Umbilo Waterworks, which were built in 1887. All four of the trails in the reserve start at the Interpretive Centre and head down through the picnic area. It takes about 20 minutes to reach the waterfall and another half an hour for the return. Cross the wonderful old wooden bridge at the bottom of the picnic area and follow the blue trail markers... 

(GPS coordinates: -29.832433, 30.891975)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/hiking/waterfall-trail-paradise-valley-nature-res...

Draaihoek Lodge
24 May 2014
 
     

Draaihoek Lodge offers 4 Star luxury thatched accommodation, exceptional hospitality, gourmet cuisine, and a wealth of activities, making for a unique bush and beach experience. Situated outside Elands Bay in a private nature reserve between the Atlantic Ocean and the plains of the Sandveld with a fully licenced restaurant, heated pool, and a boardwalk to the 5km private beach, this is the ideal getaway to entice your senses and experience the West Coast while staying in absolute luxury…

Draaihoek Lodge - experience it. 

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

(GPS coordinates: -32.48304, 18.336513)

Southern Comfort Ranch Quads & Hose Riding
23 May 2014
 
     

Southern Comfort Ranch Quads & Hose Riding

The Southern Comfort Western Horse Ranch is situated on the Garden Route, halfway between Plettenberg Bay and Knysna, right next to the Garden of Eden. This out of the ordinary forest retreat is well known for horse rides in the Knysna Forest. Guided horse rides are for the whole family, beginners or experienced riders. Quad bike rides on a guided trail in the Knysna forest can be quite challenging with ups and downs, as well as sharp turns although there are some nice straights as well...

(GPS coordinates: -34.025045, 23.226546)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/4x4/southern-comfort-ranch-obstacle-course

King Cetshwayo's Grave
23 May 2014
 
     

King Cetshwayo's Grave

Born around 1826, Cetshwayo KaMpande was one of several sons of King Mpande, who watched on while his sons fought it out amongst themselves to establish ascendency. In a bloody battle in 1856, Cetshwayo defeated and killed his younger brother Mbuyazi, and then murdered several other siblings to effectively become heir to the throne. When Mpande died in 1873, unusually of natural causes, Cetshwayo became king, establishing his royal kraal at Ondini, ‘the great place’...

(GPS coordinates: -28.757633, 31.080065)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/cultural/king-cetshwayo’s-grave

Schulphoek Guest House
23 May 2014
 
     

Schulphoek Seafront Guesthouse and Restaurant, situated on a quiet bay in Sandbaai, Hermanus, the whale capital of South Africa, offers 5 Star contemporary luxury and simplified elegance in generously sized suites that overlook the garden or have sweeping views of the bay. Spectacular seafront settings, a warm welcome, luxurious rooms and delicious dining set the scene for a most memorable stay. At Schulphoek, the experience is all about you...

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/accommodation/schulphoek-guest-house

(GPS coordinates: -34.427007, 19.200561)

500 kilometre non-stop race on KZN's South Coast
23 May 2014
 
     

500 kilometre non-stop race on KZN's South Coast

Adventure racing is a bit Survivor does Amazing Race; but no-one gets voted off the island, competitors participate in teams of four and they don't get to travel on planes or in cars. Feet, mountain bikes and kayaks will transport these rugged competitors over 500 kilometres of South Africa's South Coast during the 2014 edition of Expedition Africa, which starts on Sunday, 25 May 2014.

Adventure racing is an outdoor sport that sees teams navigating by means of map-and-compass to defined checkpoints and transition areas. It's incorporates multiple sports where each transition area marks a discipline change, say from trekking to mountain biking or paddling. These are the sport's three main disciplines; there's usually a rope section too where participants go up, down, or across a steep and challenging section.

In the build-up to this gruelling endurance event, adventure racing journalist Lisa de Speville delights in telling people about the event. Her conversations with people go something like this:

"There's this really incredible adventure race happening on the South Coast soon," she begins. "There are 40 teams and participants from 17 countries. They'll have to hike, bike and paddle around 500 kilometres from start to finish."

"500 kilometres? For real?" the person asks. 

It's the distance that always catches attention. People gasp at the kilometres rather than the fact that there are people from 17 countries coming to South Africa to play on Kwa-Zulu Natal's magnificent South Coast. Lisa answers the question anyway.

"500 kilometres isn't really as bad as it sounds. The total distance is split into legs and between the different sporting disciplines so there could be say 40 kilometres of hiking and then 80 kilometres of mountain biking and then 30 kilometres of paddling... that's already 150 kilometres. The crunch is that the legs follow one after the next... And it's a race. So the teams just keep going from one leg to the next and the next and the next and the next. OK, so 500 kilometres is sort of as bad as it sounds."

"How long is that going to take? A month?"

"No," she says laughing. "The front teams will be done within four days and the slower teams have like eight days to get to the finish."

"Four days? You've got to be kidding me!  I take it that they stop at night to sleep?" the person responds.

"Nah, they don't. Well, not really," she replies. "When the race starts on the Sunday morning, the teams shoot off. They've got to find checkpoints and pass through transition stations and when they get to the finish they can stop. It may be four, five, six or eight days after the start... They do sleep but not very much. Two hours here, four hours there. It's really quite incredible what one can do on very little sleep." 

For the rest of Lisa’s charming responses, see: 
www.nightjartravel.com/magazine/news-feed

Follow online: Live tracking, team information, feeds, leader board, photographs, daily videos: www.kineticgear.org

Facebook: www.facebook.com/kineticgear

Twitter: www.twitter.com/kineticgear #expafrica

Event Organisers: Stephan and Heidi Muller. Kinetic. www.kineticgear.co.za.

Adventure Racing World Series: www.arworldseries.com

Cape Town Slavery Memorial
22 May 2014
 
     

Cape Town Slavery Memorial

This public reminder of South Africa’s history of slavery was built in 2008 on Church Square and is designed to counter the public amnesia about slavery. It commemorates the contribution slaves made to the culture and heritage of Cape Town and remembers their suffering. It is made of 11 polished black granite blocks of varying heights... 

(GPS coordinates: -33.925281, 18.419555)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/cultural/cape-town-slavery-memorial

Makhado and Soutpansberg MTB Trails
22 May 2014
 
     

Makhado and Soutpansberg MTB Trails

The Soutpansberg mountain range forms a truly impressive 130-kilometre natural barrier between South Africa and the rest of Africa to the north. On the southern side of the range, tangled bushveld chokes gorges and rough cliff faces, and it is here that Komatiland Forests have two plantations through which cyclists may do either an overnight trail or day rides on the forestry service roads...

(GPS coordinates: -23.042368, 29.913915)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/mountain-biking/makhado-and-soutpansberg-mtb-trails

Clico Boutique Hotel
22 May 2014
 
     

Clico Boutique Hotel is a 60-year old Cape Dutch building perfectly situated in the leafy and upmarket suburb of Rosebank, and is recognised as housing one of the top fine-dining restaurants in Johannesburg. Accommodating leisure seeking tourists as well as upmarket corporate guests, all your needs will be met within this tranquil 5-star establishment where each room is individually decorated to create a chic home-from-home ambience...

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

(GPS coordinates: -26.142692, 28.037837)

The Pass at Gamkaskloof / Die Hel
22 May 2014
 
     

The Pass at Gamkaskloof / Die Hel

Although Gamkaskloof was first settled in the 1830s, the road into the valley was only completed in 1962. Farming here was always marginal and as the valley opened up, farm kids got lured away to better opportunities elsewhere and farming eventually came to a halt. The last farm was sold to CapeNature in 1991, and the entire valley is now managed as a conservancy. 

The valley is special for its isolation and rugged terrain, and so is the road. It is narrow, has vertigo-inducing drop-offs in paces, and some of the hairpin bends on the Elands pass section can only be negotiated via three point turns in larger vehicles. But it is always a question of perspective. Many years ago, the ranger responsible for managing the area related two incidents to us that stood out in his memory. One was a chap who arrived at the top of Elands pass in his Land Rover Defender, took one look at the drop, turned around and went back to town. On another occasion the ranger was doing the evening rounds to check that guests were comfortably settled in their cottages, only to find one of the cottages occupied by two city girls who had driven in in a Fiat Uno! Please be clear that the latter is definitely not recommended. Make sure you drive a suitable vehicle and allow half a day for the one-way trip (approx. 40km) and a full day for an in-and-out.

Bivane 4x4 Trail
21 May 2014
 
     

Bivane 4x4 Trail

Ithala is a stunning but rugged reserve stretching from the heights of the Ngotshe Mountains a thousand meters down into a deep valley. Though Ithala is a game reserve and the emphasis here is on game viewing, the steep terrain makes for excellent driving along the Bivane Trail, which explores the remote western part of the reserve. It is a rocky out and back trail to the confluence of the Bivane and Phongolo Rivers, offering some spectacular views along the way. You don't need a guide, but you will need low range. This is a very bumpy ride over some seriously rocky sections, with a few easy river crossings...

(GPS coordinates: -27.502011, 31.198948)

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

Kagga Kamma 4x4 Trail
21 May 2014
 
     

Kagga Kamma 4x4 Trail

Kagga Kamma Private Nature Reserve is in an untouched wilderness area south of the magnificent Cederberg Mountains, three hours from Cape Town. The reserve, set in the Swartruggens region, is well known for its scenic beauty and dramatic rock formations. These are peppered with hundreds of Bushman/San rock paintings and rock art, estimated to be up to 6 000 years old. On a clear day the 4x4 trail offers magnificent views over the vast stretches of the Karoo and the mountains and valleys of the Cederberg. You can plot your route on the detailed map to drive right around the reserve, sleeping over in the bush camps. Or you can just get lost and forget about time and the rest of the world...

(GPS coordinates: -32.746718, 19.562072)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/4x4/kagga-kamma-4x4-trail

Pages

Welcome Message

Nightjar

Welcome to our website. South Africa is awesome and you've come to the right place to help you explore it!

Enjoy the site
Erik