Langkloof behind the Langeberge, top of Garcia Pass in the Western Cape.
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)
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)
Bukit Peninsula, Indonesia
Separated from the rest of Bali by a small strip of land, Bukit Peninsula still holds some of the rustic charm for those who are trying to escape the chaos of Kuta. Boasting some of the most beautiful beaches on this paradise of an island, such as infamous Padang-Padang, Balangan and Dreamlands, Bukit has something to offer everyone.
From a surfers point of view the peninsula is heaven, with a variety of breaks to choose from and some of the most famous waves in the world right on your doorstep. If you just like to watch the surfing you can grab a seat at one of the many bars or restaurants dotted along the cliffs above the Ulu Watu break.
Ulu Watu is also a famous temple and one of Bali's nine key directional temples. Perched on a steep cliff 70 metres above the roaring Indian ocean waves, it really is an incredible sight. (While there watch out for the temple monkeys who steal slip-slops and sunglasses and trade for food!)
From soaking up the sun to eating traditional food to sipping on an ice cold Bingtang with your feet in the warm ocean and the sun setting over horizon, this is a special place not to be missed when visiting Bali.
- Shan Routledge
Lindbergh MTB Trail
The exclusive Lindbergh Lodge is set on 5 000 hectares of archetypal African savannah and is often called the “Jewel of South Africa’s North West province”.
Mountain-biking is done along sandy jeep tracks and gravel roads, swooping among umbrella acacias and through the grassland plains of the North West savannah...
(GPS coordinates: -27.270728, 25.719252)
Little Lion's Head Trail
This wonderful short walk above Hout Bay offers outstanding views and makes a lovely evening outing, so be sure to pack sundowners. It should take no more than 40 minutes to the top.
Follow the sign to "Mount Rhodes" off the M6 between Llandudno and Hout Bay. Turn left into Little Lionsheadweg and left again into Valley View Road. A big gate blocks the road that leads up to the right...
(GPS coordinates: -34.018058, 18.347836)
This cicada was photographed in summer at Giant’s Castle in the Drakensberg, using a technique called photo stacking to get the whole bug in sharp focus. It involves taking about 40 images of the bug at different focus points and then 'stitching' them together using dedicated software (HeliconFocus in this instance). It also requires the bug to sit perfectly still for about a minute.
Sethuthuthu Tours Quad Bikes
The rather onomatopoeic name of this company is the Sotho word for motorbike. It’s the sound you’ll hear as you sethuthuthuthu along the hills and plains of the beautiful Eastern Free State. The trails traverse a number of different farms that have joined together to form a conservancy. You are likely to see some game like black wildebeest, eland and other antelope, lots of birds and beautiful plants and flowers. The geology of the area is particularly interesting with the iconic cave sandstone cliffs that glow golden in the morning or evening light…
(GPS coordinates: -28.486157, 28.432574)
Coastal Fynbos Trail
This circular trail starts at Sappershoek, which is located at the east end of the seaside village of Schoenmakerskop. The complex geology, together with variations in topography and the influence of salt-laden winds and fire, have led to a mosaic of vegetation types.
Park your car at Sappershoek and then follow the Coastal Fynbos signs up the hill. After a couple of kilometres of walking through the coastal fynbos, you’ll see a short cut back to the start (a four-kilometre loop), but the main trail continues for another 1,5 kilometres to a cellphone tower from where there are outstanding views over the rugged coastline...
(GPS coordinates: -34.041163, 25.554427)
Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/hiking/coastal-fynbos-trail
Bloemfontein is justly famous for its roses, but visitors with a horticultural interest should make a point of visiting the Orchid House.
Set in a circular glass greenhouse, the Orchid House is an oasis of colourful, exotic beauty. Everywhere you look as you wander along the circular wooden boardwalk there are orchids growing out of pots, climbing trees, and overflowing from baskets...
(GPS coordinates: -29.10405, 26.223185)
Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/animals-nature/orchid-house
Wolkberg Wilderness Trails
Step onto your personal little Cloud Nine in the breathtaking Wolkberg Wilderness, a remote and unspoilt area covering 24 000 hectares. This eco-paradise has to rate as one of Limpopo’s (and also South Africa’s) best-kept secrets. Experience this pristine wilderness on foot along an incredible network of hiking routes and trails. Best of all, you can literally walk wherever you like...
Lookout Hill Centre
The Lookout Hill Centre On the corner of Mew Way Road and Spine Road, Khayelitsha, consists of an art and science centre, a restaurant and gift shop and an information kiosk. Visitors can get information and book township tours and other activities, such as a sangoma consultation, a bicycle tour or an overnight stay in a B&B.
At the centre, be sure to climb to the look-out at the top of the dune, which has a 360-degree view of False Bay, the Hottentots Holland Mountain range, the Helderberg mountains and the Groot Drakenstein mountains...
(GPS coordinates: -34.045121, 18.656191)
Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/shopping/lookout-hill-centre
After the British defeated King Cetshwayo’s army at Ulundi in July 1879, they divided Zululand into 13 territories, each with its own chief, principally selected from those who had shown little support for Cetshwayo during his war with the British. This proved the perfect recipe for strife, as competing chiefs fought for supremacy.
The obelisk-shaped memorial to the battle is just outside Ulundi, on the road signposted to Mfolozi/Hluhuwe Game Park…
(GPS coordinates: -28.323019, 31.465699)
Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/cultural/ondini-battlefield
Tugela River Rafting, Upper Canyon
Sourced high in the Drakensberg Mountains at Mont-aux-Sources, the Tugela River soon tumbles 947 metres down the five-level Tugela Falls - the world’s second-highest waterfall after Venezuela’s Angel Falls.
The upper tributaries offer some extreme creeking options for self-supported kayakers, but the upper stretches of The Canyon just outside Colenso are where the formal commercial rafting options begin...
(GPS coordinates: -28.679519, 29.920149)
Addo Elephant-Back Safaris
Situated in the Zuurberg mountains section of Addo Elephant National Park, the Addo Elephant-Back Safari Lodge is just on an hour's drive from Port Elizabeth. These valleys support no less than 5 of the 7 southern African biomes or eco-regions.
An exhilarating experience awaits those who ride these magnificent beasts; it’s an incomparable way of viewing the African bush and natural wildlife of the park. Revel in the natural surroundings from your lofty seat as these gentle giants amble through montane woodland and along savannah plains. After your safari you can interact on a personal level with these remarkable pachyderms as they play and commune...
(GPS coordinates: -33.302628, 25.735586)