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South African Naval Museum
22 Apr 2015
 
     

If you are interested in South Africa's naval history, its ships and submarines and the people who serve, and served, in them, then you should visit the South African Naval Museum. It is staffed by navy personnel and supported by the Naval Heritage Trust and Society, which publishes a periodical and books on South African naval topics. This museum is housed in the historic Royal Naval Masthouse in the West Dockyard in Simon's Town...

(GPS coordinates: -34.191799, 18.427677)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/cultural/south-african-naval-museum

Old Nick Village
22 Apr 2015
 
     

When all the water and beach-based activities pale, head to Old Nick Village, a famous Plettenberg Bay landmark just past the bottom (east) entrance to the town. The building in which the Old Nick Shop is situated today was a farm trading store built in 1880, which closed only in the 1960s when the local population moved away to a newly built area...

(GPS coordinates: -34.034759, 23.373408)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/art-craft/old-nick-village

Goukamma River Canoeing
21 Apr 2015
 
     

A pristine 2 500-hectare nature reserve coupled with a marine protected area stretching 1,8 kilometres seawards, situated along the exquisite Garden Route on the Cape south coast ... It sounds like heaven for any nature-lover who wants to get away from the hustle and bustle, and there is no better way to explore this area than from a boat on the water. The long beach, extensive dune fields, Goukamma estuary and the unique Groenvlei Lake, with no river in-flow or link to the sea, provide an idyllic playground for all ages. Canoe trips start from the Cape Nature office in the Goukamma Reserve...

(GPS coordinates: -34.066028, 22.944914)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/rafting-kayaking/goukamma-river-canoeing

Num-Num Challenge Trail & Event
21 Apr 2015
 
     

The Emakhazeni district, encompassing Dullstroom, Belfast, Machadodorp and Waterval Boven, is situated an easy 3hr drive from Johannesburg. This is the start of the Drakensburg escarpment with a rich Boer War history. The Num-Num Trail is a 36.5km self-guided, 5-day hiking trail. Though open throughout the year, you have to pre-book to get onto the trail. The organisers will plan a trail running route for you...

(GPS coordinates: -25.797029, 30.373942)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/trail-running/num-num-challenge-trail-event

Cape Gannet
21 Apr 2015
 
     

With their blonde heads, blue eyes and perfect black eyeliner, Cape Gannets are one of the most striking birds on the planet. They are well known for the exuberant and tender way they greet their partners - opening their wings, tapping their beaks together, and vocalising. The breeding range of these birds is restricted to only a few sites in Southern Africa, so their vibrant, cacophonous and foul-smelling breeding colonies are well protected by conservationists. They might look like avian versions of Nordic supermodels, but their guano was once far more prized than their good looks. 

Berakah MTB Trails
20 Apr 2015
 
     

The extremely rugged Berakah mountain-bike trail is one of several in the Dome Bergland, all of which are worth trying if you are the adventurous type. Distances and duration vary depending on your choice of route. Berakah Adventures is situated near the main Potchefstroom tarred road but is deep in mountain kloofs. The Berakah trail has been used for mountain-bike races but is generally fine for intermediate riders. Berakah Adventures is also famous for its 4x4 and quad-bike routes... 

(GPS coordinates: -26.823257, 27.367297)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/mountain-biking/berakah-mtb-trails

Montagu Guano Cave
20 Apr 2015
 
     

The R62 is a fantastic alternate route to the busy N1 or N2 and has endless things to see or do. One of the more unusual adventures is a tour of the Montagu Guano Cave. It’s a place steeped in history, with a Bushman painting at the entrance. A scenic tractor trip takes you into the mountains to the cave, where you’ll scale a long chain ladder to the main chamber. It’s hundreds of metres deep and most of it is yet to be explored...

(GPS coordinates: -33.823849, 20.176091)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/activities/montagu-guano-cave

Tepelkop Hiking Trail
19 Apr 2015
 
     

Like countless other koppies in the eastern Free State, Tepelkop has a layer of resistant igneous rock on the top that protects the softer sandstone that makes up the bulk of the mountain underneath and gives the koppie its distinctive shape. Tepelkop is a landmark in the area and is said to be named because of its resemblance to a woman’s breast. The trail begins at a converted sandstone barn that hikers use as a base camp...

(GPS coordinates: -28.449668, 28.06787)

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

Ludwig's Roses
19 Apr 2015
 
     

At Ludwig Taschner’s nursery, north of Pretoria, everything is rosy – literally. From the sea of rose blooms that greets visitors to the rose-inspired menu served in the Spiced Coffee restaurant. Ludwig Taschner is a household name among the South African rose growing fraternity. He popularised rose growing in South Africa after he successfully containerised rose plants. He has now turned his decades of rose growing and propagating expertise into an exhibition rose farm par excellence...

(GPS coordinates: -25.576731, 28.288017)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/shopping/ludwig’s-roses

Rap Jumping at Shongweni Dam
18 Apr 2015
 
     

The Shongweni Dam and Game Reserve is a National Heritage Site and home to several animals including rhino, buffalo, giraffe, waterbuck, zebra and wildebeest. There is also a variety of birds. It offers water sports, fishing, game drives, birding and hiking. For those seeking a real rush of adrenalin, Spirit Of Adventure offers rap jumping trips to the dam...

(GPS coordinates: -29.859376, 30.729994)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/activities/rap-jumping-shongweni-dam

Xeni Cave Overnight Trail
18 Apr 2015
 
     

Obtain your overnight hiker's permit at Didima Camp, fill in the mountain register and then drive to the parking area at the Cathedral Peak Hotel boom gate. Unless you can organise, or hitch, a lift, you'll need to walk up the tar road for a kilometre to where the road turns sharply left up the hill. The trail follows the jeep track for 600 metres to the trout hatcheries and then left onto a path up the hill…

(GPS coordinates: -28.946859, 29.211584)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/hiking/xeni-cave-overnight-trail

Buffalo
18 Apr 2015
 
     

Buffalo graze, keeping a calf protected between them. These magnificent beasts are extremely protective of their young and have been known to fight off lions with their powerful curved horns. This young calf’s horns are starting to fuse at the base into a bony formation called a boss, which is incredibly strong and may deflect rifle bullets. Brawny male buffalo often seem to be the belligerent bosses of the bushveld. They are unpredictable and can turn nasty if injured, cornered, or taken by surprise.

Sacramento Trail
17 Apr 2015
 
     

The Sacramento Trail is a popular circular coastal walk from Schoenmakerskop through the Schoenmakerskop-Sardinia Bay Nature Reserve, just west of Port Elizabeth. The bronze cannon at the trailhead points towards the Sacramento, a Portuguese galleon that was wrecked on 30 June 1647, and is one of 40 cannons salvaged by local divers from the wreck in 1977...

(GPS coordinates: -34.040234, 25.53382)

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

Roodebergskloof Trail
17 Apr 2015
 
     

One of three large peaks in the Namaqualand area of the Northern Cape, Rooiberg peak, at 1 705 metres high, resembles the back of a large chameleon with a distinct granite ridge that glistens in the sun after rain. From the Roodebergskloof farmyard, where you leave your vehicle, the circular trail heads through the gate next to the dams and follows the stream, passing the goat-herder’s camp on the right. There is an annual trail run along the hiking route, so the path is well worn...

(GPS coordinates: -30.499411, 18.086119)

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

Barberton Museum
16 Apr 2015
 
     

The Barberton Museum is one of the oldest museums in South Africa. As far back as 1898, one Otto Elkan started the collection by donating quartz, mineral specimens and other natural wonders from the area. These days, the main museum has displays on Barberton history, mining, geology and the history of the Swazi people...

(GPS coordinates: -25.789263, 31.057596)

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

Cedric's Pool Trail
16 Apr 2015
 
     

The hike from the Bushman’s Nek all the way to the top of the Drakensberg is a wonderful outing that takes you past magnificent sandstone formations onto the lush, pastures of the southern Berg. But it's no mean undertaking and will take at least two days to get there and back. There are, however, some lovely day walks in the area, one of the most enjoyable being to Cedric's Pool. The pool is apparently named after Cedric Biggs, a leader of the Mountain Backpackers Club some years ago...

(GPS coordinates: -29.844515, 29.212829)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/hiking/cedrics-pool-trail

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