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Montecasino
14 Mar 2015
 
     

As its name suggests, Montecasino is a casino, but it’s also an entertainment complex and shopping mall packed with adult and family amusements. Located smack bang in the middle of the northern Johannesburg suburb of Fourways, Montecasino offers a little bit of Vegas in the suburbs. Modelled to resemble a Tuscan village, the Montecasino complex is huge, busy and flashy...

(GPS coordinates: -26.025948, 28.011524)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/entertainment/montecasino

Malvern Manor
14 Mar 2015
 
     

Located in George, at the centre of South Africa’s Garden Route, the gracious Cape Dutch-style Malvern Manor is situated on a working dairy farm only seven kilometres from George Airport, and accommodates guests in three luxury rooms. The manor offers exclusivity, accommodating a maximum of only eight guests in country-style luxury. Guests can take a gentle walk around the country estate, watching the milking of the cows and the calves being fed, while enjoying beautiful views of the Outeniqua Mountains...

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/accommodation/malvern-manor

(GPS coordinates: -33.94139, 22.39606)

Giba Gorge MTB Park
13 Mar 2015
 
     

The trail is set on 250 hectares of powdery red soil. Trained guides can accompany you to show you the best trails for your ability. The trails are all hand made, which makes them smooth. In addition to the mountain-bike trails, an incredible BMX track will put a smile on many faces.  And if you are looking for more adrenalin, try your hand at the best permanent dirt jumps in the country...

(GPS coordinates: -29.827205, 30.781524)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/mountain-biking/giba-gorge-mtb-park

Magaliesberg Canopy Tours
13 Mar 2015
 
     

Magaliesberg Canopy Tours boasts a one-of-a-kind eco-adventure within the spectacular Ysterhout Kloof region. Here, within the 2 400-million year old Magaliesberg mountains, you can explore the tree tops without disturbing (or damaging) what surely rates as one of the most unique and sensitive eco-systems in the world. Harness up and soar above the rugged ravine, gliding along the 11 platforms constructed high against the rocky cliffs lining the kloof...

(GPS coordinates: -25.829361, 27.41228)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/activities/magaliesberg-canopy-tours

Itaga Private Game Lodge
13 Mar 2015
 
     

Itaga Private Game Lodge is situated in the malaria-free Mabalingwe Nature Reserve close to Bela-Bela, and offers Big Five game viewing, fine cuisine and luxury lodgings. Itaga offers ultimate privacy and luxury in chalets secluded in the game-rich bush. While enjoying your sumptuous evening meal, you can keep an eye out for the big mammals that often visit the floodlit waterhole...

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/accommodation/itaga-private-game-lodge

(GPS coordinates: -24.84639, 28.04753)

Kleinmond Rock Climbing
12 Mar 2015
 
     

Perched on a hill overlooking the ocean and the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve (the heart of the Cape Floral Region world heritage site), these crags enjoy one of the most picturesque settings of any sports routes in the country. There are just more than 40 routes on six main bolted areas at different levels, starting with Lower Tier and continuing to Zucchini Wall right on the top of the ridge...

(GPS coordinates: -34.331027, 18.992716)

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

Angler and Antelope Guesthouse
12 Mar 2015
 
     

The Angler & Antelope Guesthouse is a place where old-world charm meets modern comfort, and offers luxury bed and breakfast accommodation on an historic property in the secluded Klein Karoo town of Somerset East. The Angler & Antelope has secured exclusive access to several dams and stretches of river in the unspoilt Karoo, which provide superb fly-fishing for trout and yellowfish. The ancient church on the property has been converted into a restaurant and pub housing more than 50 varieties of fine whiskey...

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/accommodation/angler-and-antelope-guesthouse

(GPS coordinates: -32.72158, 25.5869)

Van Gaalens MTB Trails
11 Mar 2015
 
     

Van Gaalens Cheese Farm, on the edge of the rural community of Skeerpoort, has become one of the top single-track destinations in the vicinity of Johannesburg and offers a range of additional adventure options. Purpose-built single track does not get much better than this, so enjoy your ride through reeds, bush, open veld and across rivers. Options are plentiful on more than 150 kilometres of trails...

(GPS coordinates: -25.787836, 27.772107)

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

Stony Point Penguin Colony
11 Mar 2015
 
     

Stony Point African Penguin Colony is a big attraction in Betty’s Bay. Up until 1982, Africa’s only penguin, Spheniseus demersus, nested on islands along the Cape and Namibian coasts, making them inaccessible to bird- and nature-lovers. Since then, these birds have established themselves and formed a colony at Stony Point. This has become an important breeding site and vital towards the protection of the species. The best time to visit is late afternoon, when the penguins return from their 20-kilometre expeditions in search of their daily meal...

(GPS coordinates: -34.372222, 18.893333)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/animals-nature/stony-point-penguin-colony

The Tankwa Camino
11 Mar 2015
 
     

The first Tankwa Camino was held in August 2013, and the second in September last year. For 2015, three events are planned, and one is already fully booked. 3 - 12 April, and 24 September - 3 October still have availability. So, how has this 250 km / 10 day hike through this desolate part of the country come about, and why is it becoming so popular?...

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/magazine/tankwa-camino

Constantiaberg Conflagration
11 Mar 2015
 
     

Fires have ravaged Cape Town this last week, starting from Boyes Drive (where a cigarette tossed from a car apparently started the problem) and spreading with the help of the strong South Easterly winds to Clovelly, Noordhoek and Hout Bay through Muizenberg and Constantiaberg. This is a photograph taken on 3rd March after sunset, of the Constantiaberg conflagration. The Groot/Klein Constantia wine farms are on the right-hand side, the Tokai plantations in the middle and Zwaanswyk on the left.  f/9, ISO-500, 10 sec exposure with a 24mm wide-angle lens and a tripod. The Cape Town residents are eternally grateful to both the firefighters on the ground as well as aerial support.

Guest Blog by Daniel Polakow

Polakow Photography www.polakow.co.za

Highgrove House Country Hotel
11 Mar 2015
 
     

The luxurious Highgrove House is situated on a picturesque farm close to Hazyview in Mpumalanga, just 20 minutes from the Kruger National Park. This boutique hotel offers the ultimate in relaxation and pampering, and guests are accommodated in private garden suites with the full gamut of modern comforts. Every whim is catered for, and a knowledgeable in-house tour guide is able to take you on tours of the area’s best attractions. Holding its cuisine up to the highest standards, the Royal Restaurant is a member of the prestigious Chaîne des Rôtisseurs international gastronomic society…

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/accommodation/highgrove-house-country-hotel

(GPS coordinates: -25.12959, 31.02674)

Ntini Trail, Shongweni Dam
10 Mar 2015
 
     

The Shongweni Dam and surrounding nature reserve is good hiking country and is known to be one of the better birding spots in the Durban area. The 1 700-hectare game reserve has a bird list of more than 250 species. The Ntini Trail is now guided and the minimal entrance fee covers this, but it is best to call in advance to book as the guides double as game guards and are usually out on patrol...

(GPS coordinates: -29.855137, 30.72626)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/hiking/ntini-trail-shongweni-dam

East London Golf Club
10 Mar 2015
 
     

East London Golf Club is generally not considered an essential stop on the golfer’s Cape itinerary, undeservedly so, because its stately 130 year old course has never been ranked outside South Africa’s top twenty.

Host of one of the country’s top championship tournaments - The Africa Open - the parkland links layout is set amongst a roller-coaster of coastal sand dunes between the Buffalo and Nahoon rivers, and qualifies as a timeless classic with spades of character and variety.

Elevated tee boxes feature views of the Indian Ocean, with a highlight being the vista of the beach front and harbour from the 12th green. 

The course’s front nine is characterised by dogleg fairways that slide through tunnels of magnificent coastal scrubland, while wider, more open holes with expansive fairways can be found on the parkland style back nine.

For the wonderful experience on offer, green fees are more than affordable at R300 for affiliated visitors and R455 for unaffiliated golfers...

(GPS coordinates: -32.996202, 27.936053)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/activities/east-london-golf-club

Knysna Belle
10 Mar 2015
 
     

Situated on the idyllic Leisure Isle, Knysna Belle accommodates guests in six comfortable, individually decorated rooms. The guesthouse is set right on the white sands of Bollard Beach and, apart from providing luxury seaside accommodation, offers guests the free use of mountain bikes, hiking gear and canoes. Guests can soak up wonderful lagoon views from their rooms and the Captain’s Quarters suite features a ‘Crow’s Nest’ rooftop balcony showcasing the most spectacular of these...

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/accommodation/knysna-belle

(GPS coordinates: -34.06737, 23.05618)

Clearwater Trails
9 Mar 2015
 
     

Clearwater Trails offer a marvellous mix of terrain and memorable sightseeing with four custom-built and carefully marked mountain-bike trails, which have something to suit all levels and tastes with riding on single track, jeep tracks and tarred roads. All the trail options are set against the alluring backdrop of the Indian Ocean and they all pass through Beaver Creek Coffee Estate and “Coffee-Bean Uphill” before ending at Clearwater Cabins...

(GPS coordinates: -31.045902, 30.169176)

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

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