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Elephant Sanctuary Hartebeespoort
31 Dec 2014
 
     

Elephant Sanctuary Hartebeespoort

Education through interaction is the credo of the Elephant Sanctuary, situated in the Magaliesberg, close to Hartbeespoort Dam.  A ‘halfway house’ of sorts for young African elephants, the sanctuary offers up-close-and-personal experiences with these gigantic pachyderms, a hands-on experience in every sense of the word – guests can touch, groom, feed and walk hand-in-trunk. They can also ride one of the small herd, each of which has its own personality. As visitors do this, they learn a myriad facts about elephants and elephant husbandry. The Elephant Sanctuary believes in keeping the animals in as stress-free an environment as possible, and strongly condemns outdated ‘chain training’ methods. Instead, a reward system of positive reinforcement is used with great success. Elephant riding is done bareback for 10 – 15 minutes at a time...

(GPS coordinates: -25.719604, 27.808934)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/animals-nature/elephant-sanctuary-hartebeespoort

Oliver's Restaurant and Lodge
31 Dec 2014
 
     

Oliver's Restaurant and Lodge is an intimately comfortable establishment with beautifully-appointed rooms showcasing a marriage between Austrian flair and subtle African influences. Complemented by an award-winning restaurant, the luxury lodge is a peaceful retreat within close proximity to myriad attractions, including the Kruger National Park. Surrounded by the lush forests of the Mpumalanga province, Oliver's is situated on the secure White River Country Estate overlooking the first green of the 18-hole championship White River Golf Course...

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/accommodation/olivers-restaurant-lodge

(GPS coordinates: -25.283635, 31.015308)

Duiker Island
30 Dec 2014
 
     

Duiker Island

Duiker Island, a 20 minute boat trip from Hout Bay, is home to thousands of Cape fur seals and bird species, such as Cape cormorants, bank cormorants, kelp gulls and Hartlaub’s gulls. Visitors to the island can get a look at up to 7 000 mainly male Cape fur seals sunbathing on its 77 by 95 metre surface or playing in the sea. They are waiting out their time on the island until they reach breeding age and can join breeding colonies. While you are not allowed on the island itself, you get close to the seals and have some great photographic opportunities...

(GPS coordinates: -34.058855, 18.326247)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/animals-nature/duiker-island

Whale Watching from Kayaks
30 Dec 2014
 
     

Whale Watching from Kayaks

The thriving holiday resort of Hermanus is world-renowned for whale watching - from the cliff paths or from boats. The seasonal visitors, the southern right whales, are usually seen off the coast between July to November. They take refuge in the bay to calve and mate. There’s no better way to experience their visit than on a whale watching kayak tour in the company of an experienced guide. The tour is open to anyone of any age, including the unfit and inexperienced, and both single and double kayaks are available. You'll be thoroughly briefed and go at a slow pace. And you certainly won't fall out because the kayaks are very stable...

(GPS coordinates: -34.420377, 19.243986)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/activities/whale-watching-kayaks

Richmond Park, England
30 Dec 2014
 
     

Richmond Park, England

As you drive through the yellow and white boom, green fields with yellow and orange shrubs extend toward scattered trees. It’s typical English countryside that has been preserved since King Richard’s reign, one that is overflowing with deer, birds and other wildlife. St Paul’s Cathedral is visible from the lofty viewpoint of a preserved man-made mound dating back to prehistoric times. Deer roam around you while you walk through the park or take the eleven-kilometre jog around its perimeter. We arrived late in the evening, just before closing time, and found the Bambi-like animals grazing lazily, allowing us to walk right up to them. It’s the magic that England has sustained from centuries ago that makes it so appealing.

- Brad Harris

Auberge Hollandaise Guest House
30 Dec 2014
 
     

Auberge Hollandaise Guest House is situated in the prestigious suburb of Durban North and is an ideal destination for corporate and leisure travellers. The guest house provides luxurious accommodation that perfectly suits the city’s warm climate, almost constant sunshine and famous golden beaches. Opulent comfort is standard, with warm wooden floors, sumptuous décor and thoughtful attention to the smallest detail. Space is abundant in both the luxury suites and the public areas. Auberge Hollandaise is a peaceful retreat from the maddening crowds, yet is only 10 minutes from the business districts and entertainment meccas of Durban and Umhlanga Ridge...

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/accommodation/auberge-hollandaise-guest-house

(GPS coordinates: -29.789856,  31.034073)

Savannah Horse Trails
29 Dec 2014
 
     

Savannah Horse Trails

Savannah Horse Trails, situated deep within the Waterberg Mountains, offers horse-back trails and safaris in this gorgeous corner of Africa. Expect a varied and dramatic landscape, ranging from expansive grassland plains and riverine valleys to craggy escarpments. Chances are excellent that you will encounter animals such as reedbuck, kudu and other plains game while you and your horse follow the many game footpaths. A variety of ecosystems unfold as you canter through the bush, following the river beds before galloping onto lush, grassland plains or ascending the escarpment for spectacular views across the southern Waterberg. The equestrian safaris are aimed at experienced riders, offering a combination of exhilarating riding at all kinds of paces. The horses are responsive, happy and healthy (as you would expect), as are the informative guides. Packages vary from day outings to excursions more than two weeks long…

Travel 60km from Modimolle on the R33 t

(GPS coordinates: -24.393303, 27.899694)

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

Misty Valley Lodge Trails
29 Dec 2014
 
     

Misty Valley Lodge Trails

Misty Valley Lodge lies an easy 2.5 hours from Johannesburg and an hour from Nelspruit along the N4. The Misty Valley Trails cover different distances and terrain in order to accommodate a variety of runners from young to wise and social to fit. As this is a resort, you are able to run stress-free in the tranquil surroundings of the resort, which is fully fenced and secured. Springbok, black wildebeest, eland, red hartebeest and zebra are just a few of the wild animals that you will see while cruising the escarpment single-tracks or negotiating the exhilarating bridge crossings. At over 2 000m above sea level, this is a good high altitude training site. Combined with the mountain biking trails, there are 10 different trails to choose from depending on your level of fitness. The great design of the trails is that they vary in distances from 5km to 20km in loops that all come back to the starting point...

(GPS coordinates: -25.754304, 30.435607)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/trail-running/misty-valley-lodge-trails

Madikwe River Lodge
29 Dec 2014
 
     

Madikwe River Lodge is situated in the heart of the malaria free Madikwe Game Reserve in the North West province, just a four hour drive from Johannesburg, and is the perfect venue for both groups and private guests. Surrounded by 75 000 hectares of African sand veld, this luxury safari lodge is ideally positioned on the Groot Marico River, and is home to the Big 5, wild dog, and cheetah. The lodge is one of the only ones in the reserve to be situated along the banks of a perennial river, offering great game viewing, excellent service, and comfortable accommodation in secluded split-level thatched chalets set in the cool tranquillity of a riverine forest. Good facilities, knowledgeable staff, and the spectacular bush setting go hand-in-hand here to create a superb safari experience...

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/accommodation/madikwe-river-lodge

(GPS coordinates: -24.683887, 26.422859)

Scarborough
28 Dec 2014
 
     

Scarborough

About an hour's drive from Cape Town city centre, along the winding road from Kommetjie past Witsands and Misty Cliffs, you'll come upon a pretty seaside village called Scarborough. The village, with its houses and beach homes that nestle on the slopes of Slangkop and Red Hill, overlooks the Atlantic Ocean. Its indigenous flora combines with its pristine beaches and scenic mountains to create a sense of peace and the tranquillity popular with nature lovers. The village is right on the doorstep of Table Mountain National Park, with beautiful views of the Cape of Good Hope...

(GPS coordinates: -34.199003, 18.3723)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/activities/scarborough

Aliwal Shoal Diving
28 Dec 2014
 
     

Aliwal Shoal Diving

Aliwal Shoal offers some of the most varied and exciting diving in the world and is regularly showered with accolades by international dive magazines. A fossilised sand dune, the Shoal is about five kilometres long and about three to five kilometres offshore. It supports an incredible variety of marine life as well as dramatic topography. There are two wrecks – the Produce and the Nebo – vast Brindle Bass, magnificent rays, including manta rays, turtles, great shoals of pelagic fish and some rare sightings, such as Harlequin Goldies and Tiger Angelfish. These are often overlooked by divers, who come in the hope of seeing the stars of the show, Aliwal’s famous seasonal visitors, the Ragged-Tooth Sharks, which congregate on the Shoal to mate between June and November...

(GPS coordinates: -30.20063, 30.802717)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/scuba-diving/aliwal-shoal-diving

Selkirk House
28 Dec 2014
 
     

Selkirk House offers secluded luxury accommodation in Hermanus Heights. Nestling against the fynbos covered mountain backdrop with panoramic views over Walker Bay, this contemporary guesthouse has elegantly furnished, multi-levelled indoor spaces, complemented by indigenous landscaped gardens filled with water-features. Hermanus, with its pristine beaches and majestic mountains, offers some of the best land-based whale watching in south Africa and caters for a variety of outdoor activities, from fynbos hikes to sea kayaking, shark-cage diving and more…

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

(GPS coordinates: -34.404161, 19.248478)

Cape of Good Hope Trail
27 Dec 2014
 
     

Cape of Good Hope Trail

The circular, two-day trail winds its way around the dramatic cliffs and wild beaches of the False Bay coast to overnight huts high on the slopes of Vasco da Gama Peak near Cape Point. Day two completes the circle, with the trail crossing over to the long sweeping beaches and the flat fynbos-covered plains of the Atlantic coast and back to the gate. Park at the gate (and, if you wish, arrange for firewood and your overnight bags to be delivered to the overnight hut) and then walk down the tar road for 900 metres until the trail heads off to a viewpoint above Smitswinkel Bay from which you get an incredible view all the way down the Peninsula and over False Bay…

(GPS coordinates: -34.261748, 18.458099)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/hiking/cape-good-hope-trail

Cappuccino Canyon Kloofing (Kaaimans Kloof)
27 Dec 2014
 
     

Cappuccino Canyon Kloofing (Kaaimans Kloof)

Eden Adventures, located within the heart of the Wilderness section of the new Garden Route National Park, offers a range of outdoor options to those keen on adventure. Boulder hop and swim down narrow canyons, dense with lush indigenous vegetation, and try out optional cliff jumps into the black-water pools if you’re brave enough. The exciting full- or half-day Cappuccino Canyon kloofing adventure starts at the Eden Adventures offices in the historic Fairy Knowe Hotel in Wilderness. Half an hour later, after much puffing and panting, you’ve managed to wriggle your wetsuit up to your waist and you’re in the bus on your way into the forest...

(GPS coordinates: -33.994444, 22.601111)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/activities/cappuccino-canyon-kloofing-kaaimans-kloof

Koedoeskloof Country Lodge
27 Dec 2014
 
     

Koedoeskloof Country Lodge is situated in the Dwarsrivier valley overlooking the amazing Towerkop. This beautiful little valley near Ladismith in the Western Cape is an agricultural paradise, producing grapes, apricots, peaches and nuts. The myriad of gravel and tar roads leading here are great for all kinds of biking. Gracious hosts, a lovely bar and restaurant area to relax in, great tasting homemade burgers, close proximity to wine tasting, hiking in the area, and great birding, make this a very rewarding destination…

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/accommodation/koedoeskloof-country-lodge

(GPS coordinates: -33.505332, 21.170283)

Hogsback Rock Climbing
26 Dec 2014
 
     

Hogsback Rock Climbing

The ‘Hog’ offers some stunning routes on hard dolerite, which has excellent friction. Kursk (20), Fame and Fashion (18), Stew's Route (18), Diamonds on the Soles of Your Shoes (19), and Bad Influence (19) are some of the many classics that should not be missed. There are 229 routes, mostly 20-45m long and in the easy to intermediate range. This include 36 bolted routes on Hog 1 and 5 in the Waterfall sectors. The rest of the routes are traditional routes. Since many of these are easy – particularly in the Fat Slugs area – it’s an ideal venue for a beginner learning to lead on natural gear. Hogsback offers all year round climbing... 

(GPS coordinates: -32.61475, 26.991287)

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

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