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Blue Crane Dancing
25 Aug 2015
 
     

A Blue Crane raises its wings, showing its elegant plumage to best effect. Blue Cranes are well-known to perform mating dances, spreading their wings like this and capering around each other while throwing objects they’ve picked up from the ground. They are thought to mate for life and are extremely protective parents, aggressively defending their young from animals and humans who venture too close to them.

16 On Main Arniston
25 Aug 2015
 
     

Situated in the village of Arniston in the Overberg, 16 On Main is a large self-catering house sleeping up to 12 people. With a white beach and aquamarine ocean on its doorstep, this is an idyllic seaside abode to entertain family and friends. Large groups and families are brought together to enjoy a private seaside holiday in this well-appointed house. Set along a beautiful, unspoilt stretch of coastline, the quaint village is rich in character...

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/accommodation/16-main-arniston

(GPS coordinates: 34.665690, 20.227296)

Cove Rock Trail
24 Aug 2015
 
     

The Cove Rock Walk starts at the coastal village of Winterstrand, west of East London. Park your vehicle at the bottom of the tar road just before you reach the village, walk 70 metres onto the beach and then head towards the great promontory of Cove Rock. Famed in Xhosa tradition as harbouring a sea dragon, the rock is a large coastal sandstone outcrop with associated wave-cut platforms, coves and middens...

(GPS coordinates: -33.093636, 27.79394)

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

Port St Johns to Mbashe Trail
24 Aug 2015
 
     

The Wild Coast Hiking Trail, from Port St Johns to Coffee Bay, captures the breathtaking beauty of the Wild Coast. The rugged shores take walkers through nature at its most dramatic. There are high coastal cliffs, rural villages, river crossings, scenic promontories, and the sculpted beaches of Mdumbi and Coffee Bay. Visit cragged landmarks such as Brazen Head and Hole in the Wall before you finally trek inland through forested hills and valleys stretching south towards the Mbashe river mouth...

(GPS coordinates: -31.624111, 29.552031)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/hiking/port-st-johns-mbashe-trail

Penelope's Guesthouse
24 Aug 2015
 
     

Located on a quiet street in the heart of historic Stellenbosch, Penelope’s Guest House offers four tastefully-decorated rooms with balconies, complemented by a filling breakfast, swimming pool and convenient services. An intimate home-from-home atmosphere awaits visitors to this charming owner-run guest house, which provides comfy accommodation a short walk from Stellenbosch’s shops, cafes and historical attractions. Food and wine evenings, as well as braais, can be organised on request...

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

(GPS coordinates: -33.963798, 18.853746)

Harkerville Trail
23 Aug 2015
 
     

The Garden Route (these days known as the Western Cape’s Eden Region) certainly rates as one of Africa’s most spectacular shores. It combines the azure seascapes of the Indian Ocean with its rugged, dramatic sea cliffs and verdant forest to create an unmatched destination for hikers and nature lovers. The two-day Harkerville Trail is just one of the hiking options in the Plettenberg Bay and Knysna area. This is a spectacular trail, but technical and challenging, especially if you suffer from vertigo. Hikers will cover approximately 30 kilometres over two days, hiking for up to seven hours a day...

(GPS coordinates: -34.047628, 23.230709)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/hiking/harkerville-trail

iDube Trail
23 Aug 2015
 
     

The iDube trail is a circular, self-guided trail in Queen Elizabeth Park, a small nature reserve on the northern slopes of Pietermaritzburg. The name iDube means zebra and if you’re lucky you may stumble on the small resident herd of Burchell’s zebra grazing on route. The trail starts across the road from the education centre and immediately drops down into an indigenous forest. All the rough sections are paved, so it’s easy walking the whole way...

(GPS coordinates: -29.57104, 30.321901)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/hiking/idube-trail

Blue Gum Country Estate
23 Aug 2015
 
     

The sprawling Blue Gum Country Estate in the quaint Western Cape town of Stanford is a family-run establishment offering accommodation in twelve individually-decorated suites, complemented by a wide range of activities to keep guests busy. With a varied range of luxurious rooms and two restaurants catering for families and formal dining respectively, the estate takes into account travellers of all types. Guests will revel in the opportunity to explore the incredibly pretty 52 hectare working wine estate, while looking out for a variety of indigenous fauna and flora...

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/accommodation/blue-gum-country-estate

(GPS coordinates: 34.407484, 19.550339)

Nature Discovery Quad Bike Tours
22 Aug 2015
 
     

Grabouw is a small town in the Elgin Valley, internationally known as the main apple producing area of South Africa. It borders the Kogelberg Reserve, renowned for its fynbos and boasting some 1 690 plant species, of which 150 are endemic. Nature Discovery Tours has designed a number of trails in the area, in conjunction with CapeNature. The trails aim to minimise the impact of quads on the environment. The emphasis of the trails is on enjoying the unique flora, the diversity and the spectacular mountainous scenery of the area…

(GPS coordinates: -34.129071, 19.021599)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/activities/nature-discovery-quad-bike-tours

Bonniedale 4x4 Trail
22 Aug 2015
 
     

Bonniedale’s 1 650ha of natural fynbos is beautifully set within the 50 000ha of the greater Attaquas Kloof Conservancy. This is in the spectacular Outeniqua Mountains. Bonniedale is renowned for its challenging 4x4 trails and the variety of fynbos plants, mammals and birds that one can observe here in their natural habitats. There are 35 kilometres of well-maintained 4x4 trails...

(GPS coordinates: -33.873444, 21.860046)

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

Striped Kingfisher
22 Aug 2015
 
     

The Striped Kingfisher is slightly smaller than the more common Brown-hooded Kingfisher, but it can be easy to confuse the two birds as both have similar habitats and ranges. This photograph shows the strong black eye-stripe that the Striped Kingfisher is named for. This kingfisher also has a clear white collar on the back of its neck, while the brown hood of its larger cousin extends all the way down to its wings. Finally, the Striped Kingfisher has a grey upper bill and a red lower bill, whereas the Brown-hooded Kingfisher’s entire bill is a bright pillar-box red.

Lairds Lodge Country Estate
22 Aug 2015
 
     

Lairds Lodge Country Estate is situated halfway between Knysna and Plettenberg Bay, and offers luxurious accommodation in 17 elegant guest rooms, complemented by fine food and everything needed for relaxation and enjoyment. The lodge is set on a tranquil estate which is perfectly positioned to explore the Garden Route, and treats guests to modern country luxury and pampered relaxation. Specialising in seafood and game dishes, the restaurant is renowned for its gourmet cuisine, and every meal is carefully paired with a fine Cape wine...

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

(GPS coordinates: -34.04585, 23.258851)

Richtersveld 4x4 Trails
21 Aug 2015
 
     

The Richtersveld Park is situated in the north-west corner of the Northern Cape where South Africa rubs shoulders with the arid mountain ranges of southern Namibia. Hunkering down within the muddy embrace of the mighty Gariep River, the Richtersveld offers wilderness enthusiasts an unparalleled off-road experience. The network of jeep tracks through the Richtersveld are sure to test your driving skills, offering a good mix of sand, rocky climbs, rutted tracks and ditches.  Just keep in mind how fragile the desert ecosystem is and stick to existing tracks at all times...

(GPS coordinates: -28.128458, 16.894054)

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

Kameelkop Trail
21 Aug 2015
 
     

The Eastern Free State Highlands is one of South Africa’s premier hiking destinations, particularly for weekend trails. The area is known for its beautifully sculptured sandstone mountains, multi-hued cliffs, kloofs and trickling streams. Marquard is a small town that prospers from cattle farming and the farm, Rietfontein, on which the Kameelkop Hiking Trail is situated, is owned by one of country’s largest cattle groups. The two-day trail must be booked in advance and a porter can be arranged on request...

(GPS coordinates: -28.623989, 27.532597)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/hiking/kameelkop-trail

8A Grahamstown
21 Aug 2015
 
     

Situated in a tranquil suburban setting, professionally-designed 8A Grahamstown pays meticulous attention to luxury and comfort. The guest house has a lovely raised swimming pool in the middle of a lush garden, and overlooks the treetops and town. Conveniently close to the historic city centre, yet removed from the sound of the streets, the accommodation consists of five well-appointed rooms catering to discerning travellers...

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/accommodation/8a-grahamstown

(GPS coordinates: -33.30361, 26.516245)

Wild Coast Sun Country Club
20 Aug 2015
 
     

The dramatic championship course at Wild Coast Sun Country Club, designed in 1983 by the somewhat controversial American architect Robert Trent Jones, has established itself as an extraordinary and challenging layout, regarded as one of the best in the country. Expansive fairways, large greens and a shortish length make the course very manageable on calm days, but when the wind gets on the wild side, play becomes an altogether different challenge.

A host of unusual, beautiful holes lined by lakes and gorges, make the golfing experience here a unique one, while possibly the most challenging aspect of play is provided by the abundance of par threes, six in total. With a deep ravine between tee box and green, accompanied by a waterfall, the par three 13th has staked a claim as the best short hole in the country.

For all its drama, beauty and distinctiveness, Wild Coast Country Club is worth the 90 minute drive south from Durban. A carts-only course, green fees for prime time are R430 and include the cart fee, while various specials start at R280.

(GPS coordinates: -31.085943, 30.180032)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/activities/wild-coast-sun-country-club

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