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Steenkampsberg Nature Reserve
2 Dec 2015
 
     

The Steenkampsberg Nature Reserve is set on the edge of the northern Drakensberg. It’s set in high altitude grassland, once described as a land of everlasting mist and everlasting cold. The plateau stretches for over 20km and includes over 100 private farms. Most of these are over 2 000m above sea level with a sub-Alpine microclimate. The Steenkampsberg is renowned for two things – its fishing and its birding. It is also home to Africa's only breeding community of wild black leopard...

(GPS coordinates: -25.548017, 30.107689)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/parks/steenkampsberg-nature-reserve

Sterkspruit
2 Dec 2015
 
     

This stream has its source on the slopes of Vaalkop near Barkly Pass on the escarpment where the southern Drakensberg begins. This river has less of a gradient and a wider, cultivated flood plain over its course than other rivers in the area. As you move downstream, its main tributaries, the Coldbrook, Koffiehoekspruit, the Bokspruit and, finally, the Bell River, join the Sterkspruit. After this last confluence, the river is known as the Kraai. The Sterkspruit has a mixture of sandstone, cobbles, gravel and sand substrate over its course. At times the earthen banks have been eroded to a depth of up to four metres...

(GPS coordinates: -31.052364, 27.833798)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/fly-fishing/sterkspruit

De Doornkraal Historic Country House Boutique Hotel
2 Dec 2015
 
     

Surrounded by vineyards and mountains in the peaceful Western Cape town of Riversdale, De Doornkraal is a Cape Dutch style country house which provides luxurious accommodation for guests seeking well-heeled relaxation. The country house has a long and esteemed history and offers an authentic, scenic and luxurious Cape Winelands experience. The estate’s award winning organic wines and sumptuous gourmet fare are well worth savouring...

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/accommodation/de-doornkraal-historic-country-hous...

(GPS coordinates: -34.088761, 21.261784)

Dwesa Wildlife Reserve
1 Dec 2015
 
     

Dwesa is the ideal destination for people who wish to spend a holiday in pristine nature away from the maddening crowds. A wonderful, clean and desolate beach awaits those wanting to work on a great tan or nap under an umbrella. It is bordered on one side by the Indian Ocean and on the other by rugged grasslands of the former Transkei. Activities include walks guided by a community member, 4x2 and 4x4 trips (own vehicle), and visitors can organise a boat trip over the Mbashe River to have a meal or a drink in the Haven Hotel in Cwebe...

(GPS coordinates: -32.309252, 28.827749)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/parks/dwesa-wildlife-reserve

Settler Settlements Tour
1 Dec 2015
 
     

This tour covers the life, history and conquests of the 1820 Settlers, discovering their pioneering spirit and their stories as they played out in the Grahamstown area of the Eastern Cape. Join Mosaic Tourism for a full-day guided exploration through the rich history of the enchanting city of Grahamstown. Sights include old forts, prisons, Rhodes University, old stone churches, museums and much more. One of the main attractions is the 1820 Settlers National Monument...

(GPS coordinates: -33.966, 25.626)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/cultural/settler-settlements-tour

Caracal
1 Dec 2015
 
     

The caracal is a magnificent wild cat which is seldom seen because it is predominantly solitary and nocturnal, increasing its daytime activity during winter. The caracal’s name originates from the Turkish words kara kulak which means ‘black ear’. Their ears are their most distinctive feature, because of the amazing long black tufts that arc from their ear-tips. Caracals are also known as ‘desert lynx’, although they are not taxonomically classified as part of the lynx genus. They are widely distributed in the wild, particularly in arid areas, and are healthy in numbers.

The Vineyard on Ballito
1 Dec 2015
 
     

The Vineyard on Ballito is a luxurious guest house featuring six individually-decorated rooms, a swimming pool and a wide range of good facilities and personalised service. The guest house offers lovely sea views mixed with an atmosphere that draws inspiration from the romance of South Africa’s winelands. Cooler boxes, beach towels and picnic baskets are available for guests to enjoy an idyllic day at the beach, which is within walking distance...

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/accommodation/vineyard-ballito

(GPS coordinates: -29.539334, 31.212643)

Verloren Vallei Nature Reserve
30 Nov 2015
 
     

Verloren Vallei Nature Reserve just outside Dullstroom has become synonymous with the conservation of cranes. It is an international RAMSAR site because of this. The 5 800ha reserve is part of the scenic Steenkampsberg plateau. It is home to three endangered crane species – the wattled crane, the crowned crane and the blue crane. The Crane Breeding project at Verloren Vallei is a popular and inspiring attraction...

(GPS coordinates: -25.310744, 30.141313)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/parks/verloren-vallei-nature-reserve

Big Cat Sanctuary Game Drive
30 Nov 2015
 
     

Take a drive around Lionsrock Big Cat Sanctuary in an open game-drive vehicle and enjoy the spectacular views, abundant game and tranquil surroundings. This 1 240 hectare farm is home to a big variety of game, and, for the avid bird lovers, there is also a wide variety of bird species that have found refuge on the farm. There are up to eight different predator species on the farm at any one time, including Bengal tiger, caracal, leopard, lion, hyena and wild dogs, accommodated in high standard enclosures all adapted to ensure the safety of both humans and animals. These predators were rescued from poor conditions...

(GPS coordinates: -28.239476, 28.473525)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/animals-nature/big-cat-sanctuary-game-drive

Plumwood Inn
30 Nov 2015
 
     

Situated on a leafy street in cultural Franschhoek, Plumwood Inn offers luxury bed and breakfast accommodation in rooms of immense comfort and panache. The inn boasts creatively-designed contemporary rooms just a two minute stroll from Franschhoek’s village centre. Breakfast is enjoyed on the outdoor terrace overlooking a sparkling pool, with mountains providing a stunning backdrop...

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/accommodation/plumwood-inn

(GPS coordinates: -33.913194, 19.118928)

The Swamp Nature Reserve
29 Nov 2015
 
     

The Swamp Nature Reserve lies nestled in the southern reaches of the Drakensberg. It is not a formal nature reserve in that there are no facilities, no entrance gate and no staff permanently on the property. The area is, however, incredibly rich in biodiversity and forms part of the Ezemvelo KwaZulu-Natal parks management system. About 60 hectares of the reserve consists of wetlands, which attracts a great variety of water birds.  A sighting of grey crowned crane is almost guaranteed in the wetlands or farm lands around the reserve...

(GPS coordinates: -29.766389, 29.618797)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/parks/swamp-nature-reserve

Umzimkulu River Fly Fishing
29 Nov 2015
 
     

The mighty Umzimkulu is KwaZulu-Natal’s largest and probably longest river with a habitat suitable for its rainbow trout population. It winds its way through the picturesque pastoral setting of the southern Drakensberg area, flowing past the village of Underberg. The headwaters rise in the mountains above the Drakensberg Gardens Resort. Here, it is a slip of a stream that has never been particularly productive for fly-fishing. The higher sections are also very susceptible to low water levels during the drier periods. Lower down, once it has passes Lake Navarone, light-line fishing can be rewarding, but the trout are mainly small...

(GPS coordinates: -29.754654, 29.240311)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/fly-fishing/umzimkulu-river-fly-fishing

Turaco Lodge
29 Nov 2015
 
     

Inside the boundaries of the wildlife-filled Marloth Park conservancy on the Crocodile River, bordering the Kruger National Park, Turaco Lodge offers well-appointed luxury accommodation, a swimming pool and hearty South African cuisine. Guests share their luxury safari experience with the wide variety of wild, but habituated, animals which visit the lodge. With only three rooms, guests can enjoy good privacy, especially in the gorgeous Coral Tree Deluxe Room, which has its own boma and splash pool...

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

(GPS coordinates: -25.394461, 31.765248)

Emakhosini Ophathe Park
28 Nov 2015
 
     

Ophathe Game Reserve was proclaimed in 1991, principally as a sanctuary for the endangered black rhino. Situated on the southern banks of the White Mfolozi River, this 8 825 ha reserve is less than 10 km from Ulundi and lies at the edge of the eMakhosini valley, in the area now known as the eMakhosini Ophathe Heritage Park. Easily accessible by main road, and situated astride one of KZN's main tourism routes, near a town and an airport, this park opens the way to realising a rare combination of opportunities: linking a rich historical and cultural heritage site with a game reserve…

(GPS coordinates: -28.451911, 31.391029)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/parks/emakhosini-ophathe-park

Bloukrans Bungee Tour
28 Nov 2015
 
     

Start the day off with a stroll through the indigenous Tsitsikamma Rain Forest to view the majestic world-renowned "Big Tree", estimated to be between 600 - 800 years old, 40 metres tall, and with a trunk circumference of 9 meters. Then, after this tranquil interlude, test your might by "throwing" yourself off the Bloukrans bridge, the world's highest commercial bridge, standing over 210 metres above the Bloukrans River in the Western Cape...

(GPS coordinates: -33.9664, 23.6589)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/activities/bloukrans-bungee-tour

Purple crested turaco
28 Nov 2015
 
     

This bird, like many turacos, has a guttural, croaking call that is quite at odds with its beautiful appearance. Although secretive, Purple-crested Turacos are often tempted into the open by fruit-bearing trees and water sources. By far the most colourful southern African turaco, the rich rose-pink, gold, emerald and indigo shades of the Purple-crested Turaco’s feathers are exquisite to behold. These turacos are the national bird of the Kingdom of Swaziland, and their brilliant scarlet flight feathers are important elements in the ceremonial regalia of some Nguni groups.

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