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Hogsback MTB Trail
10 Jan 2015
 
     

Hogsback MTB Trail

Before you head out into the forests, pop into the Hogsback Adventures/Cycle Roots offices on the main road to obtain your permit. They are located across the road from the Information Centre. Riders are welcome to explore on their own and the single-tracks are clearly marked with yellow Cycle Roots Logo branded arrows. The map is easy to read and has detailed descriptions of all the trail routes. Most of the single-tracks are at the foot of Hog 1, passing many streams and lovely forest sections. The highest one on the mountain passes two rather large waterfalls. All the trails interlink which makes for a great XC course...

GPS coordinates: -32.598349, -26.939034)

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

SALT and the SAAO
10 Jan 2015
 
     

SALT and the SAAO

Constructed on a flat hilltop 18 kilometres from Sutherland, SALT (Southern African Large Telescope) is one of the world’s largest telescopes. one of a number of telescopes that make up the South African Astronomical Observatory. There’s a well-developed programme for tourists allowing pre-booked day or night tours. Just be aware that under no circumstances do tourists get to look through SALT, which is fair enough considering it’s an immensely technical and very expensive piece of equipment. During the day, visitors join a guided tour of the observatory, including SALT, which is immensely interesting even though you can’t look through any of the telescopes. At night you don’t visit the observatory itself because it is in use - but you do get to view interesting objects in the sky through two dedicated visitor telescopes next to the visitor centre below the observatory….

(GPS coordinates: -32.379527, 20.805681)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/cultural/salt-and-saao

Tradouw Quads
9 Jan 2015
 
     

Tradouw Quads

Quad biking is one of the best ways to explore the Tradouw Valley near Barrydale and get a taste of what the stunning semi-arid Klein Karoo has to offer. It’s open to anyone who can don a helmet - even 2-year-olds. Most of the bikes are sturdy Suzuki 160 LTF quads, but if you want a gutsier beast it’s available. Being eco-friendly, Tradouw Quads has designed the trails to have as little impact on the environment as possible. Guides will take you through the basics and show you around the area…

(GPS coordinates: -33.936395, 20.556064)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/activities/tradouw-quads

Hillcrest Farm MTB Trail
9 Jan 2015
 
     

Hillcrest Farm MTB Trail

A return ride near Durbanville with various side road options up to 25km, this ride is only open to members of the Tygerberg MTB Club. It is not a difficult ride and is suitable for most levels, including children. Featuring well maintained and hard-packed single-track and jeep tracks with good but rocky surfaces in places, any time of the year is good.  The trickiest parts are the switchbacks and it is easy enough for riders to get off and walk until they have gained sufficient confidence to ride them…

(GPS coordinates: -33.825542, 18.589629)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/mountain-biking/hillcrest-farm-mtb-trail

Cornerway House
9 Jan 2015
 
     

Cornerway House offers homely luxury bed-and-breakfast rooms along with adaptable self-catering accommodation and exudes English charm with a sunny South African twist. Located in a quiet residential suburb in Plettenberg Bay, the house is a colourful and characterful establishment located in immaculately groomed gardens and is the perfect place to relax after a day’s exploration of Plettenberg Bay. The guest house is pet-friendly and only a seven-minute walk from the golden sands of Robberg Beach…

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/accommodation/cornerway-house

(GPS coordinates: -34.07144, 23.36778)

Three Provinces 4x4 Trails
8 Jan 2015
 
     

Three Provinces 4x4 Trails

The farm Waterval is situated in the Versamelberge just outside Volksrust, only two and a half hours’ drive from Johannesburg. This is a beautiful part of our country where Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal and the Free State actually meet at the famous Three Provinces beacon right at the top of Langkrans, 2 253m above sea level. The 34km-long Three Provinces Trail is very scenic, but it can be extremely challenging in parts and also very slippery and tricky when wet. It is suitable for anyone, however, as there are escape routes at the technical sections. Some tricky steps lead up to the amphitheatre and the waterfall. They might seem a bit daunting to novices, but the sight of the 20m-high waterfall tumbling to earth is worth the effort...

(GPS coordinates: -27.408576, 29.752693)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/4x4/three-provinces-4x4-trails

Signal Hill Sunset
8 Jan 2015
 
     

Signal Hill Sunset

Being the famous and most popular viewpoint of Cape Town, next to Table Mountain, Signal Hill attracts a group of us at least once a week to watch the sun setting. We pack a bottle of red wine, cheese and crackers, a blanket, and four excitable friends. On arrival we were at first disappointed to realise that we couldn't drink our red wine in a public place, but then we made do with cheese and crackers while watching the sun sink behind Cape Town’s blue horizon. The sea encompasses your view, spreading from Camps Bay to the CBD and onto the suburbs (if your eyes are good enough). Your appreciation of the coastal city becomes realised on this famous hilltop.

- Brad Harris

Rickety Bridge Country Estate
8 Jan 2015
 
     

Rickety Bridge Country Estate is an enchanting wine estate situated on the outskirts of Franschhoek, nestled against the hillside, overlooking the vineyards and magnificent mountains. While staying true to its long and colourful winemaking history, the beautiful estate boasts a superb restaurant and luxury accommodation, and makes the most of its location amongst the mountains of Franschhoek, providing the best in Colonial country living. The historic Cape Dutch manor house gives visitors a welcome rest stop in 3 luxuriously appointed private rooms…

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/accommodation/rickety-bridge-country-estate

(GPS coordinates: -25.347092, 30.65542)

Induna Adventures Horse Trails
7 Jan 2015
 
     

Induna Adventures Horse Trails

The area around Hazyview boasts some wonderful pockets of indigenous forests, as well as extensive pine and eucalyptus plantations. Pretty streams, lovely waterfalls and an array of flowering plants complete the picture. Induna Adventures offers one-hour, two-hour and half-day horse trails for riders of varying skills. It specialises in giving non-riders, beginners and novices the opportunity to get out into the wilds on horseback. If you’ve never even looked at a horse up close before, you can opt for a real beginner’s ride. On this type of ride you view the amazing scenery from a good vantage point; you don’t even have to break into a trot – or a sweat. If you are relatively happy in the saddle, you can opt for a longer, faster ride, traversing somewhat more challenging terrain...

(GPS coordinates: -25.031773, 31.023446)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/activities/induna-adventures-horse-trails

Orlando Towers Bungee
7 Jan 2015
 
     

Orlando Towers Bungee

Get a real life taste of how participants in the Fear Factor TV series feel as you stand on a platform more than 100 metres high while taking in the vibrant Soweto panorama. And then jump - if you’ve got the guts. The old Orlando Cooling Towers site has been revamped into a “vertical adventurer's paradise” where you can do anything from a base jump or bungee, to abseiling, rap jumping or a power swing. Brave the open-air lift ascending the outside of the concrete tower and then proceed on foot along the floating stairway. From the rim, a dizzying hundred meters up in the air, you step out onto the suspension bridge linking the two towers and get ready to launch yourself into space...

(GPS coordinates: -26.270154, 27.92819)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/activities/orlando-towers-bungee

The Hyde All-Suite Hotel
7 Jan 2015
 
     

The Hyde All-Suite Hotel is situated in the cosmopolitan area of Sea Point, a few kilometres away from some of Cape Town’s top tourist attractions. The Hyde is an independently owned and operated boutique hotel of the highest standard with a commitment to excellent service and sophisticated comfort in luxury suites. Encompassing contemporary charm and modern comfort, the Hyde offers the pleasures of a relaxed environment with all the amenities and facilities to enhance your stay in the Mother City...

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/accommodation/hyde-all-suite-hotel

(GPS coordinates: -32.181041, 18.894529)

Waterkloof Rock Climbing
6 Jan 2015
 
     

Waterkloof Rock Climbing

Only recently ‘discovered’, Waterkloof, on the edge of the Baviaanskloof Nature Reserve, is a great spot to climb if you’re holidaying in the Eastern Cape. Climbing is on smooth but featured, vertical sandstone in a narrow slot canyon that is 45m high on both sides and about 200m long. There are also some sunny slabs at the entrance to the kloof that are ideal for beginners. A dozen or so easy trad routes have been opened and there are 12 bolted lines, graded 21-32. They include classics like the testing ‘New Year Saga’ (26), ‘Mr Smooth’ (29) and the ultra-hard ‘Emperor’ (32)...

(GPS coordinates: -33.564333, 23.916367)

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

De Wildt 4x4 Trail
6 Jan 2015
 
     

De Wildt 4x4 Trail

The De Wildt 4×4 Game Park is situated on the northern slopes of the Magaliesberg between Pretoria North, Hartebeespoort and Brits. The Game Park with its abundant wild life is specifically designed for 4×4 enthusiasts - regular vehicles are not allowed beyond the camping area. This is definitely a game drive with a difference. The route might not overexcite thehardcore 4x4 family, but the roads and some of the obstacles can be challenging. You are assured of seeing lots of game as well. The soft-roaders and 4x2s can drive along the 14km loop and avoid the extra challenging loops and technical sections by opting for the escape routes. If you are feeling a bit rusty you can always test and practise your skills at the 4×4 training track that has an array of obstacles...

(GPS coordinates: -25.66957, 27.945914)

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

Garden Route Driving
6 Jan 2015
 
     

Garden Route Driving

Taking road trips through the Garden Route is a favourite pastime of mine. That's because of the diversity of experiences that the region has to offer as a whole. You could happen upon a deep, blue ocean and rolling dunes, and next minute you’ll be encompassed by fynbos-covered mountains. It’s the sea that attracts visitors to the Garden Route, but in places like this, where fynbos grows in rich colours and spreads across the Outeniqua mountains like a Persian rug, the area is at its most intimate. Away from the sea, the Garden Route is quiet, populated only by a few quaint locals, and begs to be explored.

- Brad Harris

Basse Provence Guest House
6 Jan 2015
 
     

Basse Provence Guest House blends traditional Huguenot heritage with stylish modern luxury, greatly augmented by its setting with views of a green valley and ageless mountains. Set beneath 300 year old oak trees, this luxurious retreat on a historic Cape Dutch wine farm offers some of the finest accommodation in the stunning village of Franschhoek and radiates genuine country hospitality...

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/accommodation/basse-provence-guest-house

(GPS coordinates: -28.960333, 31.750804)

Breede Rafting, Flat Water Section
5 Jan 2015
 
     

Breede Rafting, Flat Water Section

The Breede is one of the largest navigable rivers in South Africa and the jewel in the crown of the Western Cape commercial paddling scene. It runs for 337 kilometres in a southeasterly direction from its source in the mountains near Wolsely to its mouth in San Sebastian Bay near Witsands. The upper section is one of the most popular stretches for kicking back and soaking in the quiet tranquillity of the river. Aimed very much at beginners between the ages of five and 80, there is nothing more than grade one rapids on offer, making it the ideal place to get away and wind down without having to worry about your heart…

(GPS coordinates: -33.685764, 19.423163)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/rafting-kayaking/breede-rafting-flat-water-section

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