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Ground Squirrel
27 Jun 2015
 
     

Cuddles and curiosity. Ground squirrels spend at least 10% of their waking hours socializing. The rest is spent feeding and keeping an eye out for predators such as snakes, jackals and monitor lizards. These ground squirrels are native to Africa, unlike the tree squirrels found in the Cape Town Company Gardens, which were imported by Cecil John Rhodes.

Bird's Nest Cave Trail
26 Jun 2015
 
     

These days, Vergelegen is one of the areas of the Berg least visited by hikers. It was once among the most popular and was the proposed route of a road up the mountains before the mule track up the Mkhomazana (little Mkhomazi) Valley morphed into Sani Pass. The camp lies at the foot of the Mkhomazi Pass on the river of that name, which is one of the area's premiere trout rivers, so fisherfolk will know it much better than walkers. It gives access not only to eight mountain passes but is the most direct - and easiest - route up to Thaba Ntlenyana, which, at 3 482 metres, is the highest point in southern Africa...

(GPS coordinates: -29.536331, 29.452726)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/hiking/birds-nest-cave-trail

Southern Rock Climbing Gym
26 Jun 2015
 
     

The Southern Rock Climbing Gym, the only dedicated climbing gym in Durban, is a great place to train, buy gear and learn the ropes. Opened in mid 2012, the facility is the first stage of developers Roger Nattrass and Tristan Firman’s vision – the creation of a small but world-class climbing facility as a pilot project for a planned future expansion. The roped  ‘Tower of Power’, for example, has been engineered to ultimately stand at twice its height...

(GPS coordinates: -29.80234, 30.87667)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/climbing/southern-rock-climbing-gym

Iziko Bo-Kaap Museum
25 Jun 2015
 
     

Bo-Kaap was previously known as the Malay Quarter. With its pastel coloured houses, cobbled streets and friendly neighbourhood eateries, it is one of the most photographed areas of the Mother City. At the heart of this Islamic community you will find the Bo-Kaap Museum. This is a tribute to the Mother City’s rich history and heritage. The museum is an unassuming little building, but its walls speak volumes about the Muslim population of the Cape...

(GPS coordinates: -33.921498, 18.415051)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/cultural/iziko-bo-kaap-museum

Silvermine Rock Climbing
25 Jun 2015
 
     

The extensive, easily accessible sandstone crags of Silvermine are a mecca for Cape Town climbers. They escape the wind even when the southeaster is howling, so can get quite crowded at weekends and holidays. Do check with SANparks for relevant closures following the recent fire damage. There are four bolted areas, all of which enjoy afternoon shade. The top three are accessed from the main car park at the dam, while the car park for Lower Silvermine is at the mountain-bike parking area next to the tented camp on the way up…

(GPS coordinates: -34.07533, 18.40111)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/climbing/silvermine-rock-climbing

Ceres Zip Slide Tour
24 Jun 2015
 
     

The Ceres Zip Slide Tour is fast, fun and furious. Also known locally as a ‘foefie slide’ or zipline, it’s the longest tour of its kind in Africa. It’s in a stunning location in Ceres with the surrounding Skurweberg Mountains forming an impressive backdrop. The eight ziplines zigzagging from platform to platform across Koekedouw River vary from 100m to 290m in length. The highest is 40m above the ground and offers absolutely beautiful views...

(GPS coordinates: -33.375454, 19.297995)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/activities/ceres-zip-slide-tour

Siege Museum
24 Jun 2015
 
     

An event that shocked the European world during the South African (Anglo-Boer) War was the Siege of Ladysmith by the Boer forces. They laid siege to the town for 3 months, from the end of 1899 into 1900. The siege has continued to captivate historians and battlefield enthusiasts ever since. The Siege Museum in Ladysmith is ranked as one of the top Anglo-Boer War museums in the country, displaying a number of historical pieces that give visitors a sense of the event and what it meant for the town...

(GPS coordinates: -28.559402, 29.78091)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/cultural/siege-museum

Pelagic Bird Trips
23 Jun 2015
 
     

The offshore waters of Cape Point offer some of the best pelagic birding in the world. Leaving Simon’s Town the boat heads south into deeper water in search of the large trawlers, as the boats attract literally thousands of pelagic birds. Throughout the year there’s an excellent chance of seeing pelagic species like white-chinned petrel, sooty shearwater, Cape gannet, sub-Antarctic skua, the diminutive Wilson's storm petrel and four species of albatross (shy, black-browed, Atlantic and Indian yellow-nosed). But winter is best for sheer numbers and the possibility of sighting many sought-after species...

(GPS coordinates: -34.192897, 18.432414)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/activities/pelagic-bird-trips

Kitesurfing Garden Route - Sedgefield
23 Jun 2015
 
     

Myoli Bay at Sedgefield is the top spot for kitesurfing on the Garden Route and the base for Pilipili Extreme. This well-established school uses the latest technology, in the form of the HEADZONE coaching system, to achieve rapid results. Gear, kite and board rentals are available. There’s a beach bar and restaurant right there, where you can quench your thirst and grab a bite...

(GPS coordinates: -34.033415, 22.801931)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/activities/kitesurfing-garden-route-sedgefield

Cape Longclaw
23 Jun 2015
 
     

This beady-eyed, alert stance is typical of the Cape Longclaw. These birds often crane their necks to identify possible dangers, showing off their exquisite butternut-coloured throats in the process. Longclaws are fun to watch because they often hunt on the ground by bounding through low grass or fynbos on their supersized feet. It is especially rewarding for overseas birders to spot these birds as they are endemic to southern Africa.

Dargle Valley Pottery
22 Jun 2015
 
     

Dargle Valley Pottery is the gallery of Ian Glenny – a potter held in high acclaim internationally for his unique and high-quality artworks. This pottery offers the largest collection of pottery on the Midland Meander. All of the pieces are locally produced - the clay is found and the stock produced on local farms. Items range from the purely aesthetic to the functional...

(GPS coordinates: -29.49868, 30.012618)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/art-craft/dargle-valley-pottery

Kramats (Muslim Shrines) of the Bo-Kaap
21 Jun 2015
 
     

Much of Cape Town's Muslim community is descended from slaves brought to the city from Indonesia and other eastern countries. When slavery was abolished in the 1830s, many of these slaves settled in Bo-Kaap in Cape Town. Today, Bo-Kaap remains a traditional, devout Muslim society that is integral to the city's identity. Tana Baru burial site is at the top end of Longmarket Street...

(GPS coordinates: -33.916191, 18.412936)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/cultural/kramats-muslim-shrines-bo-kaap

Bottelary Hills MTB Trail
21 Jun 2015
 
     

The Bottelary Hills mountain-bike routes run over 20 farms in the Bottelary Hills Renosterveld Conservancy area just outside Stellenbosch. Income from the routes is used to fund the conservancy. The trails are well signed and maintained...

(GPS coordinates: -33.87886, 18.792318)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/mountain-biking/bottelary-hills-mtb-trail

Thokozisa
20 Jun 2015
 
     

Thokozisa means ‘The Happy Meeting of Ways’. It is the ideal gateway to the beautiful central Drakensberg. Stone walkways guide visitors to the shops, tucked away in a maze of bushes, trees and wooden totems. The unimposing infrastructure makes the centre feel like a bush retreat with terracotta-style walls and thatched roofing. Designed by artists, this centre certainly is a masterpiece...

(GPS coordinates: -28.919922, 29.52198)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/shopping/thokozisa

Adventures with Elephants
20 Jun 2015
 
     

It may be 2.5 hours from Jo’burg, or just under 2 from Pretoria, but this is one activity that is worth the drive. Of course, if you are staying in the area, this is a no-brainer. Adventures With Elephants offers more than just the usual ‘touch and feed’ elephant experience. This is a full immersion, intimate, hands-on educational interaction with these regal pachyderms. You can ‘play’ with them (or rather let them play with you), go for a ride, or even go for a swim...

(GPS coordinates: -24.78146, 27.951463)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/animals-nature/adventures-elephants

Western Barn Owl
20 Jun 2015
 
     

Barn Owls are the most common owl in the world, appearing on every continent. Western Barn Owls occur throughout southern Africa and often nest in abandoned human-made structures such as old buildings and mines. They are particularly endearing because of their pretty dark eyes and their heart-shaped, gold-framed faces. Many African stories associate owls with death and in some parts of Africa they are still killed because of this. However, South African municipalities are now encouraging owls to live in and around cities as a natural means of controlling rodent populations.

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