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The Ultimatum Tree And Fort Pearson
3 Mar 2015
 
     

In 1877 Lord Carnarvon, Secretary of State for the South African Colonies, sent Sir Bartle Frere to southern Africa as British High Commissioner. Both men were intent on creating a federal dominion of the British colonies and Boer Republics. To implement Carnarvon's policy, Frere had to gain control over Zululand, a warrior kingdom bordering Natal and the Transvaal. The sites of Fort Pearson and the Ultimatum Tree are now both within the Harold Johnson Nature Reserve, off the R102...

(GPS coordinates: -29.2144, 31.425989)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/cultural/ultimatum-tree-and-fort-pearson

Heron Trail, Vrolijkheid
3 Mar 2015
 
     

Set in the rocky, arid Robertson Karoo, the Vrolijkheid Nature Reserve lies in the Breede River Valley, roughly 15 kilometres south of Robertson on the road to McGregor. The Heron Trail is an easy three-kilometre return walk through succulent Karoo vegetation up to two dams. Along the route you’ll find informative boards (with Braille on the one side) giving interesting snippets about the reserve, its plants, mammals and history...

(GPS coordinates: -33.916743, 19.878409)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/hiking/heron-trail-vrolijkheid

Hawaan Forest Walk
3 Mar 2015
 
     

On the edge of Umhlanga Rocks lies a mystical forest full of breathtaking archways, vines and hidden alcoves. I had high expectations when I heard of the Hawaan Forest Walk,­ all of which were completely exceeded when I experienced it in real life. As soon as I stepped into a world that surely was a home to magical forest creatures, I realised I had found a new favourite Durban activity. If you are planning a romantic day for your other half, then this is the way to win them over even more. The best part is that you can follow the forest trail all the way to the beach, and spend the rest of your day soaking up the sun!

 - Daniella Toscano

Wild Horses
3 Mar 2015
 
     

Wild Horses is on the edge of Sterkfontein Dam, in the heart of the Sterkfontein Nature Reserve close to the Drakensberg Mountains, and houses up to eight guests in four supremely luxurious rooms. The beautifully designed sandstone lodge blends perfectly into the breathtaking, unspoilt natural environment. Very secluded and exclusive, Wild Horses offers plenty of activities that make full use of the unique azure waters of Sterkfontein Dam and its pristine surroundings...

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/accommodation/wild-horses

(GPS coordinates: -28.49906, 28.9909)

Origins Centre
2 Mar 2015
 
     

This world-renowned San rock art museum in Braampark, Gauteng houses the largest collection of rock art in the world. It is the world’s only museum dedicated to exploring and celebrating the history of modern humankind, telling the story of the emergence of human beings and humanity in southern Africa. Described as 'a museum in Africa for the people of the world', the Origins Centre uses cutting edge technology to marry its collections of dinosaur bones with DNA, and San rock art with anthropological artefacts. Using the creative vision of some of South Africa’s foremost artists, it offers visitors a unique experience of Africa’s rich, complex heritage…

(GPS coordinates: -26.19295, 28.028741)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/cultural/origins-centre

Humpback Dolphin Trail
2 Mar 2015
 
     

The Port Elizabeth beachfront promenade from Kings Beach past Hobie Beach to Pollock Beach has recently been extended to Flat Rocks. Here a new raised walkway has been inaugurated, known as the Humpback Dolphin Trail. The 2.3km trail, which consists mainly of ‘planks’ made of recycled plastic, is named after one of the threatened dolphin species that occur in Algoa Bay. It comprises a cycle and walking trail next to each other, providing safe and secure access to the coastline en route...

(GPS coordinates: -33.997694, 25.683154)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/hiking/humpback-dolphin-trail

Ballinderry, The Robertson Guest House
2 Mar 2015
 
     

Ballinderry The Robertson Guest House offers luxury accommodation, catered to the discerning traveller, in a double-storey contemporary villa located in the peaceful Cape Dutch town of Robertson, in the heart of the Cape Winelands on South Africa’s Route 62. Inside and out, Ballinderry is a showcase of immaculate modern styling and characterful, colourful decoration. Add to this some exceptional food and lovely gardens, and the guest house is deserving of its standing as one of the most highly regarded establishments in Robertson...

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/accommodation/ballinderry-robertson-guest-house

(GPS coordinates: -33.80075, 19.8869)

Equi-Talk (Horse Whispering)
1 Mar 2015
 
     

Equi-Talk is run by passionate horse lover, Sarah Hewitt. It is a novel concept - participants are encouraged to "share their life experiences, not on the couch, but in the paddock". Hewitt developed the concept as a result of her growing realisation that horses illuminate problem areas in life and offer empowering life lessons. Without riding, whips or hard hats, but by using horses as a mirror, Equi-Talk encourages participants to explore communication and interpersonal skills. Equi-Talk has proved very effective in experiential coaching for corporate groups and schools, enhancing communication, self-esteem, leadership and emotional IQ. Two to four hour programmes are also tailored for individuals, couples and families...

(GPS coordinates: -33.839864, 18.794231)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/animals-nature/equi-talk-horse-whispering

All Out Adventures Extreme Cable Tour
1 Mar 2015
 
     

All Out Adventures in the northern Drakensberg offers eight absorbing activities, but its extreme cable tour is an absolute must. Experienced instructors kit you out in a harness and helmet, and give you a basic safety briefing before the short walk to platform one. There’s a series of six zip line slides suspended 25 metres above the ground. The longest cable is 230 metres long. Whizzing from one platform to another you can reach speeds of up to 60km/h. Thankfully the guides operate the braking system so there’s no need to panic about hitting the next platform at speed. In the end you travel a total distance of 900m. It’s an exhilarating experience...

(GPS coordinates: -28.643973, 29.01791)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/activities/all-out-adventures-extreme-cable-tour

Loerie's Call Guest House
1 Mar 2015
 
     

Situated in a tranquil residential suburb overlooking Nelspruit, Loerie’s Call is next door to the sophisticated Francolin Lodge guesthouse and offers accommodation in eight colourful, exquisitely decorated luxury rooms. Each of the rooms at Loerie’s Call has been individually decorated, with attention given to every comforting detail. Guests will enjoy the characterful modern styling and spectacular views over the Mpumalanga Lowveld, while relishing superb gourmet cuisine served up by the adjoining Orange Restaurant...

Read More at www.nightjartravel.com/accommodation/loeries-call-guest-house

(GPS coordinates: -25.47803, 30.98975)

Crystal Springs MTB Trails
28 Feb 2015
 
     

Dramatically situated on top of the escarpment, the 5 000-hectare Crystal Springs Mountain Lodge is a malaria-free resort and a popular venue among cyclists, with plenty of wildlife to be seen, including zebra, wildebeest, giraffe, antelope, jackal and leopard. Launching off the escarpment, you can take a number of routes through the forests on the property. All the routes are on jeep tracks that are used for game-viewing drives. The exhilarating 16-kilometre ride, with an altitude drop of 800 metres down to the old farm house, is recommended...

(GPS coordinates: -24.867685, 30.695286)

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

Emgwenya Waterval Boven Trails
28 Feb 2015
 
     

Waterval Boven is a rock climbing and trout fishing town. Stupendous crags cutting sheer lines along the escarpment have made more than 700 different climbing routes possible. Lately climbers have started mountain biking and trail running on ‘rest days’. Glenn Harrison is (almost) single-handedly responsible for constructing a trail network second to none in the region. There are superb vistas on the Rim Trail, swooping S-bends through shady forests and past historical sites, and big climbs up to Imemeza's summit (aka ‘The Place of Shouting’). By combining the various trails, you can have the best of all worlds with a smidgen of jeep track, some ankle-testing rock gardens and loads of groomed and bermed single-track, all with minimal urban interference... 

(GPS coordinates: -25.643681, 30.328342)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/trail-running/emgwenya-waterval-boven-trails

Virginia Bush Trail
27 Feb 2015
 
     

The Virginia Bush Nature Reserve, 3km from Umhlanga, is bisected by Newport Avenue, a fairly busy road, but you don't hear the traffic once you enter the bush. The 38-hectare reserve consists mainly of coastal bush and is open from 7am to 4pm. The reserve is rich in birdlife and is also home to a few small mammals, so keep your eyes peeled for red and grey duiker, spotted genet and dwarf mongoose. Purple crested loerie, green twinspot, Natal robin, boubou shrike and the flycatcher are frequently seen along the trail...

(GPS coordinates: -29.770175, 31.046757)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/hiking/virginia-bush-trail

De Hoop Coastal Trail
27 Feb 2015
 
     

De Hoop Nature Reserve is the jewel in the crown of CapeNature's properties and an absolute delight for hikers, mountain-bikers and nature-lovers. Three hours from Cape Town, it includes the De Hoop marine protected area, which extends three nautical miles (five kilometres) out to sea and is one of the largest marine protected areas in Africa. The reserve has 86 mammal species, including the rare bontebok and Cape mountain zebra, as well as eland, grey rhebuck, baboon, yellow mongoose, caracal and the occasional leopard. The most famous hike in the reserve is the five-day Whale Trail but there are several shorter hikes, both inland around the vlei and along the coast. The most spectacular is the short but incredibly diverse coastal walk from Koppie Alleen, which follows the edge of shifting dunes, beaches and coastal cliffs to extensive rocky platforms with wonderful tidal pools...

(GPS coordinates: -34.461277, 20.577393)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/hiking/de-hoop-coastal-trail

Hitgeheim Country Lodge & Eco Reserve
27 Feb 2015
 
     

Hitgeheim Country Lodge is situated in the heart of the Sundays River Valley on groomed grounds filled with indigenous bushveld vegetation. The African-style luxury lodge offers guided safaris into the Addo Elephant National Park, which is a short drive away. Hitgeheim’s hilltop location gives guests a panoramic view of the Sundays River Valley, and outdoor decks and showers in the immaculately luxurious rooms provide the ultimate connection with nature. The lodge has a well-stocked wine cellar and has a reputation for superb cuisine prepared by a Cordon Bleu chef...

Read More at www.nightjartravel.com/accommodation/hitgeheim-country-lodge-eco-reserve

(GPS coordinates: -33.51767, 25.62369)

German Settlers Memorial
26 Feb 2015
 
     

Sculpted by Lippy Lipshitz and unveiled on September 4 1961, this memorial stands on the slopes of Signal Hill on the Esplanade of East London. Often overlooked by residents, this site attracts many foreign tourists, who come to admire the father, mother and child granite figures that form the focal point of the memorial, facing out to the ocean and the future. Behind the sculpture is a wall with five large bronze panels depicting and illustrating the history of the region's German immigrants, who arrived in 1857 and 1858...

(GPS coordinates: -33.015937, 27.920385)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/cultural/german-settlers-memorial

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