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Quad Biking Tours, Northern Drakensberg
19 Jun 2015
 
     

Nestled in the foothills of the mighty Amphitheatre in the northern Drakensberg, All Out Adventure Centre is the perfect base for rugged adventures. A ride on a quad bike allows even the timid and inexperienced the opportunity to explore the lower slopes of the impressive mountains. All Out Adventures offers 70km of mapped mountain bike trails that are open to the public year round...

(GPS coordinates: -28.643225, 29.018184)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/activities/quad-biking-tours-northern-drakensberg

Shangaan Cultural Village
19 Jun 2015
 
     

A taste of traditional Shangaan culture is on offer midway between the Motlatse Canyon and the Kruger National Park, at the Shangana Cultural Village, created by this local group. Trained guides conduct one-hour tours of the village during the day, which can be extended to include song and dance performances or a drumming session.  Midday tours with lunch are also available, as well as the nightly Evening Festival in the chief’s kraal...

(GPS coordinates: -25.009765, 31.090858)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/cultural/shangaan-cultural-village

Roodepoort Museum
18 Jun 2015
 
     

The Roodepoort Museum traces the evolution of Johannesburg from a mining camp to Africa’s economic powerhouse. Using period memorabilia assembled over decades, the museum’s exhibits show how the discovery of gold was the catalyst for this transformation. The theme of technological innovation driven by wealth continues throughout the museum...

(GPS coordinates: -26.154658, 27.901272)

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

Pakhuis Pass to Heuningvlei Trail
17 Jun 2015
 
     

This easy hike from the top of the Pakhuis Pass to the Moravian mission village of Heuningvlei takes you into the heart of the Cederberg Wilderness Area. Unless you have a Wild Card, pick up a permit at the information office in Clanwilliam and then drive to the parking area at the top of the pass. The trail follows the jeep track down through the reserve entrance gate to the bottom of the hill and then climbs gradually through pristine fynbos...

(GPS coordinates: -32.14961, 19.029306)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/hiking/pakhuis-pass-heuningvlei-trail

Doornrivier 4x4 Trail
17 Jun 2015
 
     

Next time you are on your way to Botswana or the Madikwe Game Reserve, plan an extra day or two and stop over at Doornrivier 4x4 Adventures, just outside Zeerust. Zeerust lies in the Marico Valley only 240km from Gauteng. This is also a perfect weekend destination that doubles as an adventure playground. There are four 4x4 trails and a network of farm roads that are suitable for all drivers, from novices to seasoned old hands...

(GPS coordinates: -25.481949, 26.125349)

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

Lady's Slipper Trail
16 Jun 2015
 
     

This strikingly beautiful mountain reserve near PE is the property of the Mountain Club of South Africa and, although clear and fairly well maintained, the path to the peak is a rough, mountain track rather than a manicured trail. It is steep and loose in places, so should be undertaken only by fit and sure-footed hikers. The mountain is said to resemble an up-turned high-heeled shoe, but it takes some imagination to see the likeness. Even if you don’t, the rocky peaks, pristine fynbos and magnificent quartzite outcrops are sure to impress...

(GPS coordinates: -33.898547, 25.255187)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/hiking/lady’s-slipper-trail

Tierkloof 4x4 Trail
16 Jun 2015
 
     

Rawsonville is located only 90km east of Cape Town on the eastern flanks of the Du Toitskloof Mountains. The other really cool thing about this 4x4 route is that it is slap bang in the middle of the Breedekloof Wine Route (www.breedekloof.com). So besides the great 4x4’ing among majestic mountains, you can make a weekend out of it and enjoy quality wines, fine dining, hot springs, fynbos hikes and mountain bike trails. On the Tierkloof 4x4 trail, the action begins just about immediately with a steep rocky climb to high above the lapa...

(GPS coordinates: -33.705813, 19.394774)

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

Gecko
16 Jun 2015
 
     

Southern Africa is home to numerous types of geckos. Each region seems to have a gecko specie that particularly thrives in it and becomes a part of the scenery. For example, Kwazulu-Natal’s ubiquitous translucent geckos have squeaky fights at night over the prime insect-catching territory beneath electric lights. This gecko is a Bibron’s gecko, which is endemic to southern Africa, and common in South Africa where it is one the largest gecko species to be found.

Motshetshe Trail
15 Jun 2015
 
     

There are several walks through the beautiful Free State Botanical Garden on the outskirts of Bloemfontein, including the interpretive Motshetshe Trail and the shorter, 40-minute, Garden View Trail. Motshetshe is the Sotho word for mountain cabbage-tree (Cussonia paniculata) and this stocky, large-leafed succulent dominates the south-facing slopes. You’ll pass some magnificent specimens along the path, so take a moment to study it and feel its unusual, gnarled bark.  The garden spans a valley between picturesque dolerite koppies and offers a diverse range of vegetation types...

(GPS coordinates: -29.053332, 26.213841)

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

Montagu Pass Rock Climbing
15 Jun 2015
 
     

Not to be confused with the town of Montagu, the mecca of climbing in the Western Cape, this small crag is on the scenic Montagu Pass between George and Oudtshoorn. While you certainly wouldn’t drive across the country to go climbing here, it’s a great day out if you’re on the Garden Route and feel the urge to get onto some rock...

(GPS coordinates: -33.896482, 22.419132)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/climbing/montagu-pass-rock-climbing

The Owl House
14 Jun 2015
 
     

The Owl House is somewhat of a curiosity. Over the years it has captured the imagination of thousands of visitors who make the journey to the tiny town of Nieu-Bethesda specifically to observe the artwork. From the outside, the Owl House is unassuming as it looks out onto the mostly dry Gats River, but it is inside that the magic happens...

(GPS coordinates: -31.868164, 24.554138)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/art-craft/owl-house

Sardine Run
14 Jun 2015
 
     

The Sardine Run along the east coast of South Africa is an annual marine extravaganza – both for humans and ocean predators. The phenomenon is caused by millions of sardines – originating in the cold waters of the Agulhas current – following plankton as the cold water moves up the coast to Mozambique. This rush of sardines causes a feeding frenzy that extends to the very top of the food chain, attracting birds, game fish, migrating whales, sharks and humans. Reaching its peak during June and July, this is a source of great excitement for the locals with various excursions on offer at Durban beachfront…

(GPS coordinates: -29.830295, 31.03406)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/animals-nature/sardine-run

Mount Moreland Barn Swallows
13 Jun 2015
 
     

For a few special months each year, the skies over KwaZulu Natal are alive with migratory barn swallows. The largest roost site for the almost 3 to 5 million barn swallows that come to South Africa annually, Mount Moreland is a place that offers the ultimate viewing opportunity. These birds fly a distance of approximately 12 000 kilometres to reach the roost site. The best months to visit are November and March each year, although the birds start filtering in during September...

(GPS coordinates: -29.644801, 31.086636)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/animals-nature/mount-moreland-barn-swallows

Induna Tubing
13 Jun 2015
 
     

The Sabie River runs through some gorgeous scenery and it has some lovely little rapids that are not too hectic. This makes it the perfect river to gecko. Geckos are specially designed oval tubes – rather like mini white water rafts. They’re really just a sophisticated version of the tractor tubes we all used to play on when we were kids. They’re a tad easier to steer because they’re not round, and they are just so much fun. You meet up at Induna Adventures, where you get kitted out...

(GPS coordinates: -25.031678, 31.025648)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/activities/induna-tubing

Red-winged Starling
13 Jun 2015
 
     

A female Red-winged Starling shakes herself dry after a bath. Her grey head distinguishes her from the males of this species, as they have glossy blue-black heads. The predominant call of the Red-winged Starling is a sweet, wistful whistle which is easily recognisable. They are very adaptable and they can occupy a wide range of habitats and draw on various food sources. This starling is one of the earliest African birds to have been described by the Swedish ‘father of modern taxonomy’, Carl Linneaus, back in 1766.

Hlathikulu Trail
12 Jun 2015
 
     

The extensive Vernon Crookes Nature Reserve iis set among KZN hills ranging in altitude from 150 metres to 610 metres above sea level. The reserve is known for its coastal forests and is home to 56 mammal species and 350 bird species, including a number of spectacular raptors such as the crowned and Marshall eagles that nest in the reserve. The Hlathikulu Trail is a circular route that takes about an hour and a half to walk. Apart from the forest sections, most of the route has clear views of the ocean in the distance...

(GPS coordinates: -30.271104, 30.606424)

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

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