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Zuurberg Pass MTB Trail
17 Mar 2014
 
     

Zuurberg Pass MTB Trail

No matter where you stay in the Sundays River Valley, you’ll find a road to ride on. For fit and adventurous riders, there is the challenge of the Zuurberg Pass along the R335 that used to be the old Coach Route from Port Elizabeth to Johannesburg. This ride starts on the floor of the Sundays River Valley and climbs to about 750 metres, all the way to the Zuurberg Mountain Inn.

Two sections of the ride are specifically tough: the first is about four kilometres before you get to the pass itself, and the other is just after the pass and about five kilometres from the hotel...

(GPS coordinates: -33.455183, 25.721462)

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

Hillton Manor Guesthouse
17 Mar 2014
 
     

Hillton Manor, a 4 Star luxury guesthouse situated in the culturally rich area of Richards Bay, offers the luxury of a friendly and relaxing home away from home in tranquil surroundings with a magnificent view over the Mzingazi Lake.

Hillton Manor offers the discerning traveller privacy and peace, with the Country Club and Golf Course, beaches, shops, and small crafts harbour with its numerous waterfront restaurants, all within close proximity to the Guesthouse...

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/accommodation/hillton-manor-guesthouse

(GPS coordinates: -28.762961, 32.119817)

The Chairman- Jazz Lounge
17 Mar 2014
 
     

The Chairman- Jazz Lounge

A recent discovery by a group of friends has led me fall in love with Durban’s rendition of the classic Jazz Lounge. ‘The Chairman’ is found on Mahatma Ghandi road in the centre of Durban. Although not your expected area for an elegant, comforting and charming Jazz Lounge, the atmosphere of ‘The Chairman’ is hard to top. The bustle of the lounge only gets going towards the later evening when Jazz bands and wide mix of people come to sit and drink with friends while being transported in to an era of sophistication and class.

- Ashleigh Bargate

The Gates Trail
16 Mar 2014
 
     

The Gates Trail

The Gates refers to a short section on the Eastern Cape coast where the Qolora River gets hemmed in by sheer cliffs on both sides.  Travelling up-river, the Gates lies about three kilometres from the river mouth. At the lower end of this small canyon the river forms a deep tranquil pool, the fringes of which are lined with weavers’ nests. A sharp right takes you straight into the Gates. Two opposing sheer cliff faces, a freestanding boulder here or there in the river and the perfect wedge-shaped “stopper” at the end create a picture that would be difficult to improve upon. The trail to the Gates does not really qualify as a day walk, since almost half of it is covered by boat…

(GPS coordinates: -32.623642, 28.418973)

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

Buffelsfontein 4x4 Trail
16 Mar 2014
 
     

Buffelsfontein 4x4 Trail

The 1 600ha Buffelsfontein Game and Nature Reserve has much to offer. Set in the heart of the West Coast, it shares a boundary with the West Coast National Park and is less than an hour's drive from Cape Town. A variety of game such as bontebok, kudu, zebra, eland, ostrich, springbok and giraffe can be viewed, as well as lions and cheetahs. The meat-eaters are not roaming the farm freely but are in a special enclosure. You can also expect bat-eared jackal, lynx or porcupine to cross your path during this outing.

The 4x4 route is short but fun. It is also the perfect spot to come and brush up on your rusted sand driving techniques. The route, or rather call it a large sand playpen in a natural dune maze, is only 7km long one way, but you can drive it both ways as many times as you wish...

(GPS coordinates: -33.265393, 18.218717)

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

Hermanus Lodge on the Green
16 Mar 2014
 
     

Nestled in the majestic Hermanus mountains, Hermanus Lodge on the Green is an enchanting base from which to explore the wonders of Hermanus. Adjacent to the picturesque Hermanus Golf Club and overlooking the 25th green, it is only minutes from the beach, cliff path, whale watching and the Hermanus Village. 

This exclusive guest house accommodation in a golf course setting offers innovative designer bedrooms with vaulted ceilings, African-Indo furnishings and a neo colonial wrap around balcony combining to bring you an unforgettable experience...

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/accommodation/hermanus-lodge-green

(GPS coordinates: -34.406155, 19.244771)

The Mandela Capture Memorial
16 Mar 2014
 
     

The Mandela Capture Memorial

I have to say that this spot is my new favourite place to visit during a Midlands Meander roadtrip. Built around the exact place where Nelson Mandela was captured in 1962, it really exceeds expectation. With a proudly South African-themed restaurant, a museum dedicated to Madiba’s story and a “long walk to freedom” pathway that leads to a beautiful memorial sculpture of our former president, tourists will find themselves immersed in the culture and history that defines our country today. The new sculpture marks the 50-year anniversary of Mandela’s freedom, and comprises 50 steel column constructions – each between 6.5 and 9.5 metres tall. There is no excuse for not visiting this innovative site.

- Daniella Toscano

Lammergeier Jozana MTB Trail
15 Mar 2014
 
     

Lammergeier Jozana MTB Trail

The Lammergeier Private Nature Reserve is situated near the southeastern part of the Drakensberg, commonly known as the Witteberg, and covers an area of about 25 000 hectares of prime mountain terrain. It ranges in altitude from 1 500 metres at the lowest riverbed to 2 750 metres at Snowdon, the highest mountain peak on the reserve. You will be spoilt with spectacular views from the mountain peaks into the gorges below.

You can choose from a variety of routes, depending on your level of fitness, preferred distance and technical abilities. Anything goes, from short morning rides to multi-day trails that will test even the fittest of riders...

(GPS coordinates: -30.746686, 27.361794)

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

Ivanhoe Sea Safaris
15 Mar 2014
 
     

Ivanhoe Sea Safaris

Ivanhoe Sea Safaris operates from Gansbaai, a fishing village across the bay from the whale watching capital of the world - Hermanus. From July to December every year you can be sure of seeing southern right whales mating and performing antics such as spy hopping and breaching. The specifically designed whale watching vessel sails out into Walker Bay, where privileged passengers can safely view these magnificent leviathans from a high vantage point.

When the whales return to the southern waters of Antarctica in January, you can still go on trips on the Ivanhoe. You can cruise out to Danger Point to look for the elusive Bryde’s whale, a year-round resident. You also sight Gansbaai’s most famous marine attraction: the great white shark. If you scan the coastline with your binoculars you’ll also see a variety of marine birds. Or you can simply sit back and enjoy the magnificent surroundings on a sunset cruise...

(GPS coordinates: -34.583583, 19.348914)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/activities/ivanhoe-sea-safaris

Beaver Creek Coffee Estate
14 Mar 2014
 
     

Beaver Creek Coffee Estate

Arguably one of the most loved commodities in the majority of homes worldwide, coffee is both a luxury and a source of daily enjoyment, relief and comfort. The wares and services on offer at Beaver Creek Coffee Estate embody these sentiments. A family business spanning three generations, the Estate is founded on a passion for fine coffees. This dedication translates into the Estate’s locally grown, harvested and roasted Arabica coffee, which has had the effect of frequently swaying and creating connoisseurs amongst its guests...

(GPS coordinates: -31.0507, 30.2094)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/food-wine/beaver-creek-coffee-estate

Lupela Lodge
14 Mar 2014
 
     

Lupela Lodge is situated in a peaceful, scenic valley in the Witteberg Mountains on a working farm, 'The Camp'. Essentially the last farm in this little valley it affords a great sense of seclusion and tranquillity and is pleasingly decorated, well equipped and homely, providing a comfortable base from which to explore the area. The rock formations are impressive and beg to be explored on long rambling walks. The fly fishing in the Karnemelk Spruit is excellent. There are a number of other activities on the farm, and others that can be arranged locally, while the night sky offers incredible stargazing in this scarcely populated region - ask for a star map and explore the universe...

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

(GPS coordinates: -31.138753, 26.710714)

Shuttleworth Weaving
13 Mar 2014
 
     

Shuttleworth Weaving

A family business run by some of the founder members of the Midlands Meander, Shuttleworth Weaving adheres to the original ethos of the Midlands Association. In operation for over 30 years, the studio has served as inspiration for persisting good quality. Situated in a beautiful indigenous forest overlooking a serene valley, it gives guests a keen sense of the underlying passion for the area that is fundamental to the running of the business. Helping their local workers through a sense of purpose, skills development and employment is a key element...

(GPS coordinates: -29.40983, 29.939064)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/art-craft/shuttleworth-weaving

Blue Rock Cable Ski
13 Mar 2014
 
     

Blue Rock Cable Ski

A 30-minute drive from Cape Town, Lake Blue Rock is nestled below the beautiful Helderberg Mountains. It’s a hop and a skip from Somerset West, Gordon’s Bay and Sir Lowry’s Pass and has spectacular views of all three, with Table Mountain in the distance.

There are many activities on offer in the 60m-deep, crystal-clear lake, but the fuss is really about the cable skiing. The cable, an overhead pulling system, is designed for waterskiing, kneeboarding, and wakeboarding. All sorts of other weird and wonderful things have been tried there, including surfing on a door, jumping events and barefoot skiing. On windless days it’s also the perfect spot for frustrated kitesurfers to brush up on their board skills...

(GPS coordinates: -34.126709, 18.901146)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/activities/blue-rock-cable-ski

Alfa Apartments, Tulbagh
13 Mar 2014
 
     

Alfa Apartments, centrally located in historic Tulbagh village with views of the surrounding mountains, provides spacious, clean and comfortable self-catering budget accommodation that is managed by owners who do their utmost to ensure a peaceful, pleasant stay for all their guests.

Alfa Apartments is conveniently situated behind the NGK church, away from the bustle but within walking distance of restaurants, pubs, theatre, shops, museums and historical Church Street in this scenic valley that offers a multitude of activities and provides good reason to stay for longer than a day...

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/accommodation/alfa-apartments

(GPS coordinates: -33.282113, 19.141681)

Kloof Gorge
13 Mar 2014
 
     

If you’re into breathtaking views, nature, hiking, waterfalls, and all that jazz, then you need to get in your car and make a trip to the Kloof Gorge in Kwazulu Natal. This popular place is situated within the 4.47km Krantzkloof Nature Reserve and during the peak of summer it is often visited by families and groups of young people who can be found sliding down and jumping off rocks into the crystal clear water or picnicking on the sidelines. It’s a great alternative to the beach and a much more exciting option than a swimming pool, so get to the gorge!

- Daniella Toscano

Daberas 4x4 Trail
12 Mar 2014
 
     

Daberas 4x4 Trail

Daberas Farm is an eco-tourism destination situated on the north-western border of the Augrabies Falls National Park. You can expect beautiful desolation, fascinating geology, wonderful rugged scenery, dry riverbeds, dramatic backdrops of large rocky koppies, jagged outcrops and amazing quiver trees. Pack your bags for a long weekend in this part of the country.

Most of the routes are suitable for 4x2s and the first steep climb can be bypassed by soft-roaders and 4x2s. The terrain is predominantly rocky, but there are also challenging sections in dry riverbeds, especially during summer when the sand is hot and dry... 

(GPS coordinates: -28.49206, 19.953253)

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

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