Subscribe to our newsletter!
Eureka City 4x4 Trail
1 Feb 2014
 
     

Eureka City 4x4 Trail

Travel back to beyond the Precambrian era as you step onto the ridges of the Makonjwa ranges encircling the town of Barberton. These outcrops are judged to be part of the oldest rock formation on earth. The ruined city of Eureka is also central to the gold pioneering history of the region.

Oppikoppi Inni Krater is a gorgeous lodge set upon the very edge of an ancient volcanic crater. Getting there is pretty easy, but expect the going to get tough once you head onto the exclusively managed and unique 'Eureka City’ Trail. It boasts a breathtaking blend of geologicalwonders and gold mining history. This 25km one-way trail is not an obstacle course and any vehicle with good suspension and ground clearance will be able to make it...

(GPS coordinates: -25.766859, 31.049388)

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

Seweweekspoort
1 Feb 2014
 
     

Seweweekspoort

The turn off to Seweweekspoort is on the R62 between Ladismith (22km) and Calitzdorp (28km), opposite the small settlement of Amalienstein. After turning off on the dirt road, continue for about 10km to get to the poort.

From this point, time will slow down to a trickle, particularly if you have a camera in your hand, as every bend in the road brings a brand new variation on a theme of contorted sandstone. Although it is traditional for photographers to seek out the rich ambers of early morning or late afternoon light, the poort is deep and narrow and many of its cliff faces are swallowed in deep shadow at these times. So, it is best to break this golden rule and photograph the kloof at midday for best results. 

The poort is similar to Meiringspoort in structure, but less touristy and makes for a more authentic experience.

JCI Geological Trail
31 Jan 2014
 
     

JCI Geological Trail

A network of paths leads through the diverse landscape of the well-maintained Walter Sisulu National Botanical Gardens – home to one of the few remaining patches of Bankenveld vegetation in Gauteng.

The short but strenuous JCI Geological Hiking Trail commences at the bottom of the magnificent Witpoortjie Waterfall, where the Crocodile River tumbles over a 70-metre cliff. In the breeding season, from March to September, you’ll often see Verreaux’s (black) eagles soaring in the sky and might spot their nests in the cliffs to the left of the waterfall. They are one of 230 bird species that have been recorded in the gardens, and the area also supports a diverse range of plants, including cycads and succulents...

(GPS coordinates: -26.087094, 27.844765)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/hiking/jci-geological-trail

Blyde River Rafting, Lower Section
31 Jan 2014
 
     

Blyde River Rafting, Lower Section

The Blyde river flows into the Blyde River Dam, which is located at the base of the Swadini buttress, which forms the divide between the Highveld (the inland plateau that extends over much of inland South Africa) and the Lowveld (the flat plain that slopes gently towards the coast). Rafting trips on the lower section start below the dam wall, and there is an option of an hour-long trip over three kilometres, or a two-and-a-half hour drift covering six kilometres. Tubing is also popular and in bigger water will provide more of a thrill...

(GPS coordinates: -24.523538, 30.817809)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/rafting-kayaking/blyde-river-rafting-lower-section

Cats se Pad Trail
30 Jan 2014
 
     

Cats se Pad Trail

This easy, linear trail from the Haute Cabrière wine estate to the top of the Franschhoek Pass has wonderful vistas, and its historical interest alone makes it a worthwhile outing. But please remeber that you need a valid hiking permit (issued by Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve) in order to pass through the Fransche Hoek Estate security checkpoint, which gives you access to the trailhead. 

You can walk from town or park on the road at the trailhead. The trail runs along the side of the vineyard then up towards some housing, before gradually climbing the slopes of Middakrans on the Cats se Pad, the first path over the mountain, built in 1819...

(GPS coordinates: -33.907911, 19.13107)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/hiking/cats-se-pad-trail

Muizenberg Peak Rock Climbing
30 Jan 2014
 
     

Muizenberg Peak Rock Climbing

Muizenberg Peak has the highest concentration of easy to moderate trad routes in the Western Cape. This, combined with the short, easy walk-in, means that it’s a very popular and social venue. Novices will find the nameplates at the base of many of the older routes to be a huge help with route finding. It does your confidence the power of good to be sure that you are on track.

Muizenberg is a great half-day crag and the short, technical routes are less strenuous than those on Table Mountain. Most of the routes are 4 or 5 pitches long and almost all have a band of poor rock in the middle.  Otherwise the rock is generally solid sandstone, which is a joy to climb...

(GPS coordinates: -34.097768, 18.464992)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/climbing/muizenberg-peak-rock-climbing

Gulu to Kidd's Beach Trail
29 Jan 2014
 
     

Gulu to Kidd's Beach Trail

The Gulu River, just west of East London, is the start of the out-and-back beach walk to the village of Kidd’s Beach. Park on the west bank of the river at a formalised ablution area then proceed west to Monkey Bay. There are well-developed primary dunes all the way along the route and it is worth detouring to climb one for the great views of the Indian Ocean that open up to a distant horizon.

Good bird life, particularly waders, also abound along its banks and this stretch of coast is a good place to observe marine life during the winter months, when the “sardine run’’ passes by. Many inshore dolphin species enjoy surfing the waves all year round. This is an easy, flat walk and should be done leisurely. Note also that on a windy day you can switch the start point to have the wind at your back. There are no entry or exit restrictions, nor permits required, and the restaurant at Kidd’s beach welcomes beachcombers...

(GPS coordinates: -33.116904, 27.731713)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/hiking/gulu-kidd%E2%80%99s-beach-trail

Ulundi Battlefield
29 Jan 2014
 
     

Ulundi Battlefield

After a humiliating defeat at the Battle of Isandlwana in 1879, the British returned to set up camp beside the White Umfolozi, across the river from Cetshwayo’s royal kraal, called Ondini, ‘the great place’. Crossing the river, they shuffled across the plain in a huge hollow square, with Gatling machine guns and artillery deployed at regular intervals. The battle was over within an hour, leaving 1 500 Zulus dead. The British lost only 13 men. The triumphant British set fire to Cetshwayo’s kraal and marched off. The battle effectively marked the end of the independent Zulu kingdom.

The monument to the battle is an elegant dome memorial. This is where the British formed the square which the Zulus charged with great heroism and terrible casualties. In the garden of acacia trees and aloes are the graves of the 13 British soldiers...

(GPS coordinates: -28.311212, 31.426357)

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

Microlighting
28 Jan 2014
 
     

Microlighting

Big-Five country is the perfect place to experience some of the best flying in the world. With near-perfect weather nearly all year round and scenery to blow your mind, the game farms and rugged landscape of the region are sure to leave you breathless. Seeing the wildlife of Africa from the sky is very different from ground level, and it is an experience you will cherish for life.

You can choose whether you want to sit back and enjoy this exhilarating flight, or have a hands-on experience as co-pilot, all the while viewing the Limpopo landscape from up on high. Follow the meandering course of the Olifants River to experience the many game farms lining its banks, or navigate the skyways through the world’s third-largest canyon. Beyond the Blyde River Canyon, the impressive cascades of Sabie and Graskop area awaits, including such famous and arresting sights as Berlin, Lisbon and Tofu Falls…

(GPS coordinates: -24.352204, 30.950144)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/activities/microlighting

Experience the San
28 Jan 2014
 
     

Experience the San

!Xaus Lodge, set on a shimmering Kalahari salt pan, is the perfect place to learn how to read the “Bushman newspaper”, or “stories in the sand”. The deceptively monotonous looking Kalahari plays host to hundreds of species of flora  and, apart from the famous black-maned lion, predators to be found in the park include leopard, cheetah, hyena (brown and spotted), black-backed jackal, Cape fox, caracal and the African wild cat.

Pan drives, dune walks, “listening” to the desert sun setting, guided wilderness hikes… there are dozens of ways of exploring the Kalahari. San guides will help identify tracks, fauna and flora, and elaborate on any traditional or medicinal use. Go from stressed to rested in a day - or feel your adrenal glands rev up should you cross paths with the infamous black-maned lion…

(GPS coordinates: -26.1500, 20.2565)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/animals-nature/experience-san

Tradouw Pass
28 Jan 2014
 
     

Tradouw Pass

The turnoff to the Tradouw Pass lies about 13km beyond Swellendam. It is the main thoroughfare connecting Swellendam and Heidelberg in the south, to Barrydale and the R62 in the north. The village of Suurbraak lies about halfway between the turn-off and the foot of the pass. It started life as a mission town and life here still harks back to an era of simplicity. Rumour has it that City yuppies have started buying up property here, so the bargain basement prices will probably not hold forever.

Tradouw Pass carves a gentle curve up the Langeberg Mountain as it follows the course of the Buffelsjags River. Its traffic load is surprisingly low, giving ample opportunity to explore the many viewpoints without being harassed by high speed traffic the whole time.

Skeleton Gorge to Maclear's Beacon Trail
27 Jan 2014
 
     

Skeleton Gorge to Maclear's Beacon Trail

This shaded trail, which starts in the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens, is steep but is mostly on a good, well-marked path. It forms part of the Smuts Track, which was the favourite ascent of Field Marshall Jan Smuts, a keen mountain walker.

Pay your entrance fee to the Gardens and follow the signs to Skeleton Gorge. Initially, you hike from the main entrance gate along a broad gravel track, the Yellowwood Trail, before entering the forest. The trail crosses a couple of jeep tracks until, after about half an hour, you reach the Contour Path, where you will come across the first of several plaques commemorating Smuts and the true start of the Skeleton Gorge path...

(GPS coordinates: -33.988518, 18.434436)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/hiking/skeleton-gorge-maclear%E2%80%99s-beacon-trail

Ballito to Salt Rock Trail
27 Jan 2014
 
     

Ballito to Salt Rock Trail

This wonderful coastal trail from the seaside resort of Ballito north to Salt Rock takes just more than an hour walking at a comfortable pace, but with its tidal pools and rock platforms, you can easily make a whole day of it in stunning weather.

It is ideal to have two cars and leave one at either end if walking this trail, but it’s a very doable return walk if this proves to be a logistical nightmare. There are several tidal pools en route, so don’t forget a swimming costume, mask and snorkel...

(GPS coordinates: -29.544862, 31.214983)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/hiking/ballito-salt-rock-trail

Langkloof
27 Jan 2014
 
     

Langkloof behind the Langeberge, top of Garcia Pass in the Western Cape.

Faerie Sanctuary
26 Jan 2014
 
     

Faerie Sanctuary

Besides all its history, another Swellendam highlight is its faerie sanctuary called the “Continent of Sulina”. This well-established curiosity is much loved by children and adults alike. It’s been going for 20 years and the owners, Ian and Minky Sulina, who call themselves the “faerie-nuf folk”, have created a magical world of wishing wells and winding pathways, hidden creatures and mushroom rings…

(GPS coordinates: -34.023545, 20.435844)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/entertainment/faerie-sanctuary

Tugela Falls Trail via Chain Ladders
26 Jan 2014
 
     

Tugela Falls Trail via Chain Ladders

The magnificent Drakensberg Mountains, known to the Zulu people as uKhahlamba ("barrier of spears"), form the border between KwaZulu-Natal and the Kingdom of Lesotho. Hiking to the top of the plateau normally involves a lengthy, strenuous slog up one of the rugged passes that is only achievable by strong, fit backpackers. So, this relatively quick, straightforward route to the top of the Amphitheatre is a real bonus for day-walkers. The chain ladders are not for the scared of heights but can be avoided if necessary...

(GPS coordinates: -28.727446, 28.890838)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/hiking/tugela-falls-trail-chain-ladders

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