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Hatfield Flea Market
22 Mar 2014
 
     

Hatfield Flea Market

Hatfield Plaza Flea Market, now trading as Milestones Market, is located in Hatfield, the student district near the University of Pretoria. Cheap and cheerful is the name of the game at this popular Sunday market. Food stalls at the Hatfield flea market lean towards fast food, but the ‘boerewors’ rolls and ‘vetkoek’ are local and ‘lekker’. They’re certain to provide you with the calories you need to keep bargain hunting. Alternatively, find a spot to soak up the Pretoria sunshine and enjoy the live music performances. If it’s treasure you’re after, on the first Sunday of every month the Hatfield Antiques & Collectables antique dealers fair takes place, with furniture, art works, silverware and more up for grabs... 

(GPS coordinates: -25.750253, 28.236912)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/shopping/hatfield-flea-market

Ash River Rafting I
22 Mar 2014
 
     

Ash River Rafting I

The Lesotho Highlands Water Project has had a pronounced effect on the Ash River, which was once a small stream but now runs at a good volume all day, every day. Water flows from the Katse Dam to the Muela hydropower station, and then through an underground pipe for 37 kilometres before reaching the Ash River Outfall. Numerous weirs help slow the energy of the water, but there are still plenty of places to raise the adrenaline.

Trips are done in six- or eight-man rafts and the best time to go is from September to April. The water on the Ash River is cold all year round, so be prepared. Winter often sees higher flows in order to generate more hydroelectric power...

(GPS coordinates: -28.447044, 28.395377)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/rafting-kayaking/ash-river-rafting-i

Tillietudlem Trout & Game Lodge
22 Mar 2014
 
     

Tillietudlem Trout & Game Lodge os situated 45km from Howick in the Midlands Meander, and is an exclusive game, fly fishing and eco-lodge offering an extraordinary eco-experience and exceptional hospitality in two luxury lodges, ranging from 4-Star fully-catered pampering to secluded self-catering comfort, all with spectacular views in a relaxed and magnificent environment.

Set on 2 000 hectares in a secluded mountain valley in the Upper Dargle, Tillietudlem is renowned for its trout fishing, African game and many other animals, Nguni cattle breeding, bountiful bird life, diverse flora, fynbos, indigenous forest, with a mountain protea forest and aloe gorge…

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/accommodation/tillietudlem-game-trout-farm

(GPS coordinates: -29.613731, 29.938815)

Table Mountain Cableway Special
22 Mar 2014
 
     

Birthday Special 

"The cable car floor is about to revolve in 1… 2… 3…" Time stands still, as you you glide into the air, your receding view of the city and harbour below gradually giving way to a magnificent 360-degree panorama amid gasps of amazement from the sixty-five or so locals and tourists in your car. Dizzying up-close rock formations herald your arrival at the top of what early Khoi San inhabitants called Hoerikwaggo, 'Mountain of the Sea', formed below the ocean more than 600 million years ago.

I have a vague memory of a rather terrifying trip up Table Mountain in a small open cabin, now on display along with two other cable cars dating back to the Cableway's 1929 inception. Being a Capetonian, the thought of going up again didn't feature until I decided to give the Birthday Special a go, arriving at the Lower Cable Station only to find the cableway closed due to high winds. Cape Town weather is always a gamble.

Issued with a free pass valid for 7 days, the promise of a perfect day dawned and I seized the opportunity. Walking along well laid out paths to various lookout points, I felt the same breathtaking awe that hits you at the rim of the Grand Canyon. At every turn, you're confronted with indescribably spectacular and never-ending views - over the city with the V&A Waterfront, Table Bay and Robben Island beyond, the Atlantic seaboard with its surprising number of beaches, the southward stretch all the way to the Kommetjie Lighthouse, and the Cape Flats with those pale blue mountains far in the distance. 

Free short guided walks are also offered at the Twelve Apostles Terrace below the Shop at the Top and the Table Mountain Café. Ameer, knowledgable and user-friendly, enlightened us about the Fifteen Apostles, the elephant-related dassies that feed on blister bushes, the diverse fynbos, floral kingdom and much more. A geographically-correlated relief map of the Peninsula showing relative direction and distance to far off cities was of special interest to a sudden horde of schoolkids, and Hong King honeymooners were amazed to learn that they were 11,863km from home, "just over there…" 

The clouds were beginning to roll in from the south as we started our descent with much camera action and self-congratulation on our perfect timing. As you leave, you can buy your pre-expedition photos, bundled with a convincingly contrived sunset shot, a CD of general pics, and two post cards - alas, too late for snailmailers to pop into the postbox at the top this time round, but you'll be back! A Cable Card for a year's unlimited access is a bargain at R510.

If you have the time and energy, a popular alternative is to hike up the 3km Platteklip Gorge route and take the cableway down. If not, skip the crowds by arriving mid afternoon, preferaby after booking online at www.tablemountain.net and checking the weather conditions.

For the Birthday Special, all you have to do is grab your South African ID and carpe diem natalis!

Salt River Prologue Trail & Event
21 Mar 2014
 
     

Salt River Prologue Trail & Event

The 5km Salt River Mouth Hiking Trail traverses coastal bush, a river estuary and the shoreline. It offers steep forest single-track, sand and pebble beaches, and some scrambling along rocky outcrops. The Prologue takes place the day before the Hi-Tec Otter African Trail Run. Its purpose is to seed the field to alleviate bottlenecks at the start of the race proper. The Prologue course, unlike the Otter Trail, is open to the public and gives a wonderful taster of SA’s premium trail race...

(GPS coordinates: -33.984917, 23.54764)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/trail-running/salt-river-prologue-trail-event

Namaqua Horse Trails
21 Mar 2014
 
     

Namaqua Horse Trails

The Northern Cape is one of the most underrated areas of South Africa. Wide open spaces, a huge sky and surprisingly varied scenery make for the most fantastic riding country. Relatively inexperienced riders can join a one- or two-hour ride close to the farm. More experienced and fitter riders can opt for a 6-hour ride in the Goegap Nature Reserve. Multi-day trails offer the opportunity to sleep under the star-spangled desert night sky. Children’s camps are available, offering the usual horse riding as well as a range of other fun and mildly challenging activities...

(GPS coordinates: -29.731524, 17.935623)

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

Morgan Bay Rock Climbing
20 Mar 2014
 
     

Morgan Bay Rock Climbing

If climbing sea cliffs is your thing, head to the spectacular dolerite cliffs of Morgan Bay, some 80km from East London. There are around 500 short routes on the cliffs just west of town, ranging from grade 10-27, with the majority in the moderate (17-22) grade range. The blocky dolerite rock is rough and generally of excellent quality, with most routes following obvious crack lines...

(GPS coordinates: -32.712218, 28.336975 )

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/climbing/morgan-bay-rock-climbing

Harvard Club
20 Mar 2014
 
     

Harvard Club 

The Harvard Trainer, or T-6 Texan, was designed as a military training plane. It saw active service in both the Korean and Vietnam Wars. Closer to home, it was used by the Portuguese in Angola and Mozambique, and by the British in Kenya during the Mau Mau uprising.

Now retired, the Harvard is used mostly for recreational flying and aerobatics. At the Harvard Club you can enjoy the gut-wrenching pull of a few Gs as a passenger while your pilot whirls and twirls the plane around the sky.The Harvard Club is based at Swartkops Air Force Base, just outside Pretoria...

(GPS coordinates: -25.806983, 28.160663)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/activities/harvard-club

Makarios B&B
20 Mar 2014
 
     

At Makarios B&B in Langebaan, you can enjoy a luxurious home away from home with generous West Coast hospitality. Comfortable stylish guest units are located in a beautiful and peaceful area next to a golf course, about 500m from the club house.

Makarios offers four spacious, uniquely styled rooms, each with its own flair and character, in a tranquil setting that is a mere five minute drive from the calm waters of the breathtaking Langebaan lagoon, a paradise for water sports, angling and bathing, with plenty of shops and restaurants nearby. The name Makarios means 'To Be Blessed' and the owners believe that their blessing is shared by everyone who enters their premises...

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/accommodation/makarios-bb

(GPS coordinates: -33.083377, 18.052991)

Gingindlovu Battlefield
19 Mar 2014
 
     

Gingindlovu Battlefield

The battle at Gingindlovu was a major turning point in the war, inflicting further draining losses on the Zulu ranks and restoring British confidence that, provided they weren’t caught out in the open or unprepared, their superior fire power would prevail.

On 2 April, the British camp was surrounded by 10 000 Zulu warriors commanded by Prince Dabulamanzi, King Cetshwayo’s impetuous half-brother. The Zulu regiments adopted their classic ‘horns of a buffalo’ formation, while the British formed a defensive square, interspersed with Gatling machine guns for good measure. In this war, neither side took prisoners, nor spared the wounded. The Zulus lost 1 200 men, the British 12...

(GPS coordinates: -29.011563, 31.579151)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/cultural/gingindlovu-battlefield

Prince Imperial Memorial
19 Mar 2014
 
     

Prince Imperial Memorial

One of the more exotic casualties of the Anglo Zulu War was the young French Prince, Louis Napoleon, the last scion of the Bonaparte dynasty. Although the British Government initially refused to allow him to join the Zulu campaign, he persuaded his mother, the Empress Eugenie, to get Queen Victoria to intervene in his favour. On 1 June 1879 he went with a small mounted party to scout an area that was considered safe. Stopping at a deserted kraal for coffee, the seven-man party was surprised by 40 Zulus who crept up in the tall grass, killing two of the British soldiers. The remainder mounted and bolted, except for the Prince, who fell off his horse when his saddle snapped. He put up a spirited fight, but was over-powered, killed and ritually disembowelled…

(GPS coordinates: -28.132169, 30.797148)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/cultural/prince-imperial-memorial

Lebombo 4x4 Trail
18 Mar 2014
 
     

Lebombo 4x4 Trail

The Lebombo Eco-trail is called the “wilderness experience on wheels”. This outdoor adventure will allow you to traverse the nearly 2 million hectares of the world-renowned Kruger National Park. You’ll travel from Crocodile Bridge on the southern tip of the park close to the Mozambique border to Pafuri, the northernmost gate only a few kilometres from Zimbabwe. This is not so much a 4x4 challenge or obstacle course as a nature experience for true bush lovers. Covering more than 500km with only four unfenced campsites en route, you’ll need to be completely self-sufficient...

(GPS coordinates: -25.358308, 31.893471)

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

Church Square, Pretoria
18 Mar 2014
 
     

Church Square, Pretoria

Church Square is a Pretoria landmark, considered to be the heart of the city, and worth a visit for its historic buildings and shady green lawns. It was named Church Square because farmers, amongst others, used to gather in the former marketplace to hold Holy Communion. Several superb examples of 19th- and 20th-century architecture can be seen on its perimeter. A bronze statue of Paul Kruger, the former president of the old Transvaal Republic, sculpted by artist Anton van Wouw, presides over Church Square...

(GPS coordinates: -25.74639, 28.188032)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/cultural/church-square-pretoria

Umngazi River Bungalows & Spa
18 Mar 2014
 
     

Umngazi River Bungalows & Spa is perched on the panoramic hillside of the Umngazi River mouth, overlooking the scenic splendour of the Wild Coast, 26km from Port St Johns. The thatch-roofed bungalows are situated in indigenous gardens that provide the perfect setting for a totally relaxed holiday. Guests can choose from 6 categories of bungalows, all of which are individually furnished & tastefully decorated. Weekly fly-in packages are available, and run from Friday to Friday. You fly in from Durban at 500ft above sea level along the beautiful coastline – a wonderful way to start your holiday…

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/accommodation/umngazi-river-bungalows-spa

(GPS coordinates: -31.6721, 29.4552)

Lee den Hond
18 Mar 2014
 
     

Lee den Hond - Third SA woman to climb Everest

If you've climbed Kili somewhere in the past decade, how do you challenge yourself further? Well, Lee den Hond decided to go all the way, becoming the third South African woman to climb Everest!

The Nightjar Adventurer 2014 will be announced 8th May at the Cape Union Mart Canal Walk Adventure Centre.

See more! http://nightjar.travel/nja2014

Vioolsdrif Rafting II
17 Mar 2014
 
     

Vioolsdrif Rafting II

This is truly one of SA’s last pure adventure trails. Rafting down the Richtersveld section of the  !Xhariep is an unparalleled outdoor escape for those in search of  tranquillity and adventure. In the Nama language, !Xhariep (Gariep in Afrikaans) means 'Great River', although it is often still referred to as the Orange River by locals. Paddlers depart from base camp and head out for adventure, prepared for the days of wild camping to follow, days spent paddling, swimming, floating, bird-watching and negotiating some rapids and fast-flowing water...

(GPS coordinates: -28.6977, 17.4980)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/rafting-kayaking/vioolsdrif-rafting-ii

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