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Greater Striped Swallow
15 Sep 2015
 
     

A Greater Striped Swallow perches on a dried aloe flower in the rain. These swallows breed in southern Africa in summer, and migrate to Angola, DRC, Zambia and Tanzania in winter. They are very gregarious, nesting colonially under overhangs or bridges. Their nests are hollow balls made of mud pellets which are collected from puddles and carried in their beaks. These nests are sometimes taken over by other birds after the swallows vacate them, or used again by a pair of swallows returning after migration.

Ashbrook Country Lodge
15 Sep 2015
 
     

Ashbrook Country Lodge offers a range of self-catering accommodation on two separate properties in the heart of the village of Clarens. Six cottages and two studio rooms cater to everyone from singles to couples and large families and groups of friends. Guests will enjoy the independence of flexible self-catering accommodation while admiring stunning views of the surrounding mountains. The cottages act as a perfect base for exploring the sights and sounds of beautiful Clarens...

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/accommodation/ashbrook-country-lodge

(GPS coordinates: -28.52063, 28.41756)

Raggy Charters
14 Sep 2015
 
     

One of the best ways to appreciate Port Elizabeth is to take to the water. Raggy Charters run a variety of year-round catamaran cruises from Algoa Bay Yacht Club including beachfront cruises, trips to Bird Island, pelagic birding cruises, whale-watching and penguin cruises on which you can appreciate the marine life and the sublime setting of Algoa Bay. The morning cruise to see the African penguins on St Croix island is a must do. Trips are run in stable, motorised catamarans so are suitable for visitors of all ages...

(GPS coordinates: -33.964954, 25.627281

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/activities/raggy-charters

Chapman's Peak Trail
14 Sep 2015
 
     

With its outstanding views, beautiful fynbos and the accompanying sound of crashing surf, this is one of the most rewarding climbs on the peninsula. So it’s fitting that it was the first peak climbed by the Mountain Club after its inauguration in 1893. If coming from the Hout Bay side, ask for a free day pass at the toll gate and then park your car at the picnic spot on the last big bend before the top of Chapman’s Peak. From the top, you’re treated to a truly magnificent 360-degree view. Noordhoek Beach stretches out beneath you and you can see right over Hout Bay to the sheer-sided peak of the Sentinel...

(GPS coordinates: -34.077274, 18.36453)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/hiking/chapmans-peak-trail

Skeiding Guest Farm
14 Sep 2015
 
     

Skeiding Guest Farm, just outside the Western Cape village of Heidelberg, accommodates guests in country-style comfort on a working ostrich, cattle, sheep and grain farm. The farm offers some unusual, fun-filled activities suitable for the entire family. If you get a hole-in-one at the nine-hole golf course, you get an extra night’s accommodation free. Farm tours allow you to get an exciting first-hand experience of life on the farm...

Read more  at www.nightjartravel.com/accommodation/skeiding-guest-farm

(GPS coordinates: -34.07927, 20.80646)

Gliding over the Gariep
13 Sep 2015
 
     

The little village of Gariep Dam is nestled high against the hillside at the western end of this massive man-made lake. It was originally built to house construction workers who built the imposing dam wall during the 1960s. The local municipality has repositioned the town as a tourism zone, as the vast water body offers an excellent base for members of the outdoor tribe keen to fish, sail, waterski, hike or mountain bike. Gliding is one of the lesser-known adventure options in Gariep Dam town, but those in the know have long revelled in the exceptional thermal activity prevalent in this arid Karoo region. It rates as one of the world's best soaring areas in summer…

(GPS coordinates: -30.561873, 25.528321)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/activities/gliding-over-gariep

Chapman's Peak Drive
13 Sep 2015
 
     

Chapman’s Peak is an iconic drive that connects Noordhoek and Hout Bay. Situated on the Atlantic Coast side of Cape Town, it ranks among the most spectacular marine drives in the world. The 9km route has 114 curves that skirt the rocky coastline of Chapman's Peak, the 593m high southerly extension of Constantia Berg. The drive offers stunning 180° views of the sandy beaches and aquamarine seascapes below, with a number of stops where you can enjoy the scenery, take some great photos or have a picnic...

(GPS coordinates: -34.077581, 18.357248)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/animals-nature/chapmans-peak-drive

Peacehaven Guesthouse
13 Sep 2015
 
     

Guests to Peacehaven are invited to experience a cosy getaway in the lush Kargs Post Valley just outside Kokstad, with majestic mountains providing a scenic background for your Drakensberg stay. Offering homely and intimate value-for-money accommodation, Peacehaven has beautiful views overlooking wetlands and mountains and has a variety of outdoor and historical activities on its doorstep. A friendly atmosphere and warm hospitality ensure a very cosy stay in the countryside...

Read more  at www.nightjartravel.com/accommodation/peacehaven-guesthouse

(GPS coordinates: -30.51852, 29.48835)

Nguni Cattle Round-up
12 Sep 2015
 
     

The Molweni Private Game Reserve lies in the foothills of the Great Winterberg mountains near Adelaide in the Eastern Cape. Multi-hued Nguni cattle, an indigenous African breed descended from the extinct wild oxen of Europe, were introduced to southern Africa more than 2 000 years ago. If you want to experience the thrill of close encounters with game, sure-footed ‘boerperd’ horses, magnificent meals, tall stories and a horse safari that will go down as a lifetime highlight, then join this ‘African Cowboy’ round-up of 4 or 5 days...

(GPS coordinates: -32.642148, 26.375438)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/activities/nguni-cattle-round

Nan Hua Buddhist Centre
12 Sep 2015
 
     

Nan Hua (which means ‘Southern Splendour’) is a Chinese Buddhist cultural and educational complex in Cultura Park, a suburb of Bronkhorstspruit. The largest Buddhist seminary in the southern hemisphere, it is the spiritual home in Africa of the Fo Guang Shan (‘Buddha's Light Mountain’) - a Taiwanese Humanistic Buddhist order. The Nan Hua complex includes the African Buddhist Seminary (ABS), Nan Hua Village, a guest house and the Pureland Ch'an retreat. Visitors of all faiths are welcome at Nan Hua. The main shrine - with its African carvings, glowing interior and three huge golden Buddhas - is worth the trip alone...

(GPS coordinates: -25.824549, 28.734033)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/cultural/nan-hua-buddhist-centre

Yellow Mongoose
12 Sep 2015
 
     

Yellow mongooses are one of southern Africa’s most well-known creatures. They are also known as red meerkats. There is still much public interest in meerkats, and affection for them, after a family of Kalahari meerkats gained celebrity in the BBC production Meerkat Manor. Their familial interplay and frisky movements are very entertaining.

Tierhoek Cottages
12 Sep 2015
 
     

Situated on an organic fruit farm in the foothills of the Langeberg mountains outside Robertson, Tierhoek provides comfortable self-catering accommodation in cottages sleeping between two and 10 guests. All of the elegant cottages are exceptionally well equipped and secluded, occupying gorgeous locations surrounded by mountains. The vast farm is filled with indigenous vegetation, wildlife and fruit trees, making it a nature lover’s playground, and guests can enjoy the scenery from the privacy of their own pool and braai areas...

Read more  at www.nightjartravel.com/accommodation/tierhoek-cottages

(GPS coordinates: -33.71212, 19.78937)

Katberg Eco Trail & Event
11 Sep 2015
 
     

Situated a lofty 1 000m above sea level in the Winterberg, the Katberg Eco Golf Estate, Hotel and Spa is a perfect Eastern Cape getaway for the whole family. It is reached by a wonderful drive off the N2 via Fort Beaufort. Game footpaths and single tracks traverse dense indigenous forest to join up with forestry roads and jeep tracks through the surrounding plantations. Various hiking trails traverse the bold mountain ranges, crossing perennial streams with water more pure than any you can buy. The entire route is 95% runnable for the fit, even if you are only an average athlete...

(GPS coordinates: -32.487617, 26.68112)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/trail-running/katberg-eco-trail-event

Cowrie Cove
11 Sep 2015
 
     

Situated under milkwood trees in the tranquil Kwazulu-Natal village of La Lucia, the vibrant Cowrie Cove offers top-notch luxury accommodation and a meditative atmosphere perfectly suited to a seaside holiday. Cowrie Cove’s modern take on oriental luxury is a delight to the eyes, and guests can expect a stay of utmost comfort in this Bali-style villa. The guesthouse boasts a short private pathway leading straight to a pristine beach...

Read more  at www.nightjartravel.com/accommodation/cowrie-cove

(GPS coordinates: -29.75791, 31.06684)

Crocodile Cage Diving - Cango Wildlife Ranch
10 Sep 2015
 
     

Get up close and personal with giant four-metre-long crocodiles. So close you can count their teeth. Crocodiles are one of the world's super predators, adapted to strike quickly, making a dramatic kill by dragging their prey down and drowning it. Those brave enough to attempt this adrenaline-pumping dive are slowly lowered into the heated pool to join five large Nile crocodiles. The cage is specially designed to withstand a croc’s bite pressure, which is four times that of a great white shark - at over two tons per square inch. The encounter is a world first: to date Cango Wildlife Ranch just outside Oudtshoorn is the only place that offers it...

(GPS coordinates: -33.566014, 22.213269)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/activities/crocodile-cage-diving-cango-wildlife-r...

Diving with Tiger Sharks
10 Sep 2015
 
     

Aliwal Shoal and the nearby Protea Banks are unquestionably world-famous dive sites, and feature in just about every top 10 dive list ever drawn up. The fantastical underwater rock formations - shaped over many thousands of years by tides and currents eroding these fossilised sand dunes - create a bizarre but beautiful backdrop to this incredible underwater adventure. Aliwal Shoal in uMkhomazi is where scuba enthusiasts from around the world come to dive when they feel the need to face off with tiger sharks, in their own environment and without a cage. Dive boats launch from the Umkomaas River mouth...

(GPS coordinates: -30.207343, 30.800053)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/activities/diving-tiger-sharks

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