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Bushman's Kloof Wilderness Reserve
5 Jan 2014
 
     

Bushman's Kloof Wilderness Reserve

Bushman’s Kloof is one of the most densely painted rock art areas in South Africa and, indeed, in the world. The reserve is unsurpassed as a place where a great many San (Bushman) and possibly Khoe (or Khoi) rock art sites can be views. Together with the nearby destination of Traveller’s Rest, this area of the Cederberg is truly one of the great rock art destinations of the world. 

Bushman’s Kloof caters to the well-heeled traveller who prefers to be shown rock art imagery by a professional guide on a safari-style tour. Coupled with luxurious 5-staraccommodation and excellent dining it is a wonderful destination to escape to for a weekend or longer. Only 270km from Cape Town it is a relatively short trip by car through scenic landscapes. The venue is not open for day visits and booking is essential...

(GPS coordinates: -32.116474, 19.107589)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/rock-art/bushman%E2%80%99s-kloof-wilderness-reserve

Serendipity 4x4 Eco Trails
5 Jan 2014
 
     

Serendipity 4x4 Eco Trails

Serendipity Eco Trails is situated on Tierkloof, a private game farm of over 2 000 hectares of mountainous bushveld with a variety of game. It’s only 140km north of Pretoria. The trails at Serendipity stretch over an unusual combination of valleys, gorges and savannah and cross over countless mountain streams. Rock pools with crystal clear water, indigenous forest, waterfalls, and panoramic views of the Waterberg await you. A large variety of trees, and abundant bird life and game can be seen while on the trails.

The main trail, which is the longest, is less technical than the two shorter trails. It still presents some challenging driving across mountains and through streams, however. Many rock pools along the way will have you stopping for a quick swim in-between some steep rocky ascents. The shorter technical trails present a few hairy obstacles and will surely get your adrenalin pumping...

(GPS coordinates: -24.616731, 28.600904)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/4x4/serendipity-4x4-eco-trails

Battambang, Cambodia
5 Jan 2014
 
     

Battambang, Cambodia

This unique experience is soon to be a thing of the past as trains are reintroduced into Cambodia but, for now, it is a not to be missed experience!!! The bamboo train runs on the old French rail lines which have been abandoned and are almost overgrown and your mode of transport is a two wheel axis with a motor and a bamboo ‘raft’. 

We took a seat on said ‘raft’ and the driver started the engine and before we knew it we were literally flying along! It goes faster than you ever would have expected and it rattles and vibrates under you – just a few bamboo poles separating you from the rails racing below! 

So there we were, admiring the scenery, trying not to be taken out by stray branches and marvelling at the unique experience when suddenly we noticed another bamboo ‘raft’ flying towards us… now what? There are no diverting rails or sidelines or curbs – in fact there are just bushes on either side of us which then drop away to nothing. We slowed to a standstill in front of the other ‘raft’ – a stand-off! Measuring each other up, the drivers reacted to some invisible signal and jumped into action. The passengers on the other ‘raft’’ were instructed to ‘disembark’ as the drivers quickly dismantled the raft, removing it from the track and we were on our way, leaving the other raft to reassemble and carry on. 

I can only equate this experience to what it must feel like to be on a magic carpet, and strongly recommend that anyone who finds themselves in Battambang, Cambodia, give it a go!

- Shan Routledge

The Goblin's Cove
4 Jan 2014
 
     

The Goblin's Cove

They’re appealingly ugly and enormously cute, those goblins that pop up like toadstools at The Goblin’s Cove. It’s a Magaliesberg eatery and weekend favourite for urbanites seeking both physical and mental escape from the city. 

Sculptor Charles Gotthard has created a  fantasy world of faeries in the forest.  The cove-shaped venue peeks out behind the trees overlooking a lake. Indoors, there’s a maze of rooms. Inside them you can enjoy hearty fare like a beef fillet drenched in chilli chocolate sauce, or a malva pudding with sticky toffee sauce. The latter has a reputation stretching all the way to the suburbs of Johannesburg...

(GPS coordinates: -25.918676, 27.608122)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/food-wine/goblins-cove

Glasgow Pont Hotel
4 Jan 2014
 
     

Glasgow Pont Hotel

The magnificent Gariep Dam - more than 100km long and 24km wide – certainly is a water sport enthusiast's paradise. At more than 374sq.km in size, it is South Africa’s largest man-made lake, with excellent access for sailing, jet skiing and powerboating enthusiasts. The Glasgow Pont Hotel, situated in the tiny town of Norval’s Pont village on the hillside overlooking the dam, is a perfect local base for adventurous travellers keen to explore these and other action options. 

Loads of sunny days and a lack of heavy wind means you can ski, tube, wet bike and sail to your heart’s content in this full-throttle water wonderland. The arid backdrop of ‘ysterklip koppies’ and savannah grassland plains add a tranquil dimension to a day out on a dam. There are a thousand secret hideaways just waiting to be discovered. One thing: watch out for those summer thunderstorms!...

(GPS coordinates: -30.624295, 25.458144)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/activities/glasgow-pont-hotel

Kabouga Cottage, Addo
4 Jan 2014
 
     

Kabouga Cottage, Addo, miles of solitude.

Lanseria Lion Park
3 Jan 2014
 
     

Lanseria Lion Park

The Lion Park is conveniently situated on the outskirts of Johannesburg. It is not a nature reserve or a zoo - but something in between. It houses its animals in large enclosures that simulate their natural environments. It has been split into two areas -  one for herbivores and one for carnivores.

The Lion Park also offers guests the chance to to interact with young lion cubs and to walk around and view other indigenous young animals such as cheetah, hyena, leopard and caracal, as well as the ever-popular and rare white lions. You can also touch and feed giraffe at eye level or walk with a fully-grown cheetah...

(GPS coordinates: -25.993112, 27.930121)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/animals-nature/lanseria-lion-park

Eight Passes Route
3 Jan 2014
 
     

Eight Passes Route

The Eastern Cape Highlands, also known as "The Wild Side of the Drakensberg" is a safe and off-the-beaten-track mountain destination with spectacular scenery. The air here is clean and invigorating, but the weather is totally unpredictable so come prepared for four seasons in one day. Summer is bright and sunny; autumn brings magnificent colours; winter has lovely fairytale snow; and in spring the landscape blooms with fresh green grass and wild flowers. 

While visiting you should not miss the opportunity to tick off the ultimate driving adventure with the 'Eight Passes Challenge'. This is your chance to combine spectacular scenery with some of the highest public passes in SA. All eight passes are easily accessible and can be linked to either create consecutive day drives, or be tackled as a circular multi-day drive...

(GPS coordinates: -30.967472, 27.594352)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/4x4/eight-passes-route

Encephalartos altensteinii
3 Jan 2014
 
     

Encephalartos altensteinii, Addo.

Credo Mutwa Cultural Village
2 Jan 2014
 
     

Credo Mutwa Cultural Village

African sangoma, spiritualist and cultural commentator, Credo Mutwa, is among South Africa’s more colourful and controversial traditional spiritual leaders. He is also a diviner, healer, artist and poet.

The Credo Mutwa Cultural Village in Jabavu represents an outpouring of Mutwa’s creative and spiritual vision from 1974 to 1986. After Mutwa abruptly abandoned his creative enterprise, the sculpture park fell into decline. It has since been restored to its full eccentric glory...

(GPS coordinates: -26.244296, 27.86846)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/cultural/credo-mutwa-cultural-village

Koranna Getaway 4x4 Trail
2 Jan 2014
 
     

Koranna Getaway 4x4 Trail

The majestic and unspoilt Korannaberg Mountains set in the Eastern Free State offer stunning views, spectacular landscapes, awe-inspiring starry night skies and breathtaking sunsets. Don't miss this opportunity to explore the folds of the Koranna Mountain range in an ideal destination for those who want to get away from it all.

There are two routes at Koranna Getaway, but the Kloof Trail is the 'Big Boy' - even though it is also the shortest. This route was initially built more than a hundred years ago by woodcutters needing to pull trees down from the mountain. Later on local farmers started using it as a cattle track to drive their cattle to the grazing areas on top of Koranna Mountain...

(GPS coordinates: -28.882103, 27.317682)

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

Malopeni 4x4 Trail
1 Jan 2014
 
     

Malopeni 4x4 Trail

When you set off on the Malopeni Eco Trail you are in for an amazing wilderness experience condensed into 24 hours. The vast Kruger National Park offers this experience to thousands of tourists, but the Malopeni Trail makes it intimate. You'll access remote areas where the wildlife is still skittish when you approach and few others will be there to see it. A variety of experiences await, including seeing different animal spoor, animals, plant and bird species as well as a variety of different landscapes.

At night counting stars and listening to grunting hippos while sitting around a fire is definitely one of the greatest African experiences around. And your morning coffee on the banks of the Letaba River staring over the ageless plains as Africa awakes is just brilliant...

(GPS coordinates: -23.945745, 31.166043)

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

Magoebaskloof and Debengeni MTB Trails
1 Jan 2014
 
     

Magoebaskloof and Debengeni MTB Trails

The Debengeni Downhill is actually the off-road parallel to the famous Magoebaskloof Pass Road. Riders engage in self-flagellation annually at the Magoebaskloof MTB Classic, when they ride up the Debengeni Downhill (www.magoebaskloofclassic.org.za).

Debengeni is a stunning 15- to 18-kilometre downhill ride with a drop of about 1 000 metres, depending on where you start. Resident mountain-bikers have reached speeds of between 70 and 85 kilometres an hour. If you want to blast it, put on body armour; if not, it is fun anyway. Fitness and skills are no issue if you just want to take it easy. With gravity as your friend, you can relax and admire the secret valleys and emerald mountains unfolding before you...

(GPS coordinates: -23.888631, 29.995717 )

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/mountain-biking/magoebaskloof-and-debengeni-mtb-t...

Look Ma, I Can Swim
1 Jan 2014
 
     

Look Ma, I can swim.

Silvermine
31 Dec 2013
 
     

Silvermine

Silvermine Nature Reserve forms a part of the Table Mountain National Park. It takes its name from the Silvermine River, which starts in the reserve and runs to Clovelly. Just 20 minutes' drive away from the city centre, the reserve is an important conservation area for indigenous fynbos.

The Silvermine reserve is a favourite destination for locals and tourists alike, particularly on weekends, when families and friends make the short trip to the reserve. Approaching the reserve from the city side of the mountain along Ou Kaapse Weg gives good views of most of the greater Cape Town area. Further along, the road winds over the top of the mountain itself and through indigenous fynbos, where thousands of plants unique to the Cape floral kingdom can be seen...

(GPS coordinates: -34.075279, 18.400898)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/animals-nature/silvermine

Umdoni Trail, Springside Nature Reserve
31 Dec 2013
 
     

Umdoni Trail, Springside Nature Reserve

The Springside Nature Reserve is nestled in the Valley of a Thousand Hills, right in the middle of suburban Hillcrest. It's one of Durban’s smaller reserves, with just 21 hectares of indigenous grasslands, wetlands and riverine forests running next to a gentle stream. 

The Umdoni walk basically follows a stream on a very well-maintained and clearly marked path all the way from the car park to the far end of the reserve. The first point of interest is the interactive sundial: stand on the correct day of the year and your shadow shows the time. Not far beyond this, there is a beautiful shady glen with a few young tree ferns. Further on, the Protea trail cuts in on the left from the upper grassland area and in this area you'll find wonderful butterflies and birds...

(GPS coordinates: -29.782448, 30.776291)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/hiking/umdoni-trail-springside-nature-reserve

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