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Drakensberg Rock Climbing
21 Dec 2014
 
     

Drakensberg Rock Climbing

The ‘Berg, as it’s usually known, is a mountain wilderness area. The long, bushy walk-ins and unpredictable weather mean that it’s the preserve of serious mountaineers. This huge escarpment is nearly 200km long and consists largely of basalt formed by the outpouring of molten lava. Unlike the clean layers and horizontal cracks found in sandstone, the basalt has weathered into rounded overhangs, lichenous blocks and vegetated gullies that take some getting used to. The high altitude and heavy rainfall also mean that weathering has taken its toll - the rock is often crumbly so caution is required when climbing here. In fact local climbers will often quip that the best holds are the tufts of grass that adorn most routes. But don’t let that put you off. The nearly 3000m-high peaks beg to be climbed. Topping out on one of the ‘Berg summits is a very special experience, well worth the toil…

(GPS coordinates: -28.946115, 29.203602)

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

Long Street
21 Dec 2014
 
     

Long Street

By day or by night, Cape Town’s Long Street is where it’s all happening. During the sunshine hours, Long Street has loads of charm with its Victorian buildings, antique stores, chic boutique hotels, friendly eateries, arts and crafts outlets and laid-back attitudes. As the sun goes down - if you’re in the mood for music, food and good times - Long Street is the only place to be. Come Friday night, the place begins to rock (and it’s not too shabby on any other nights of the week either). First it’s cocktails at any one of a number of funky cocktail bars or lounges. Then it’s dinner time – and there is something for every palate. After you’ve had your fill, it could well be time to get moving and there are a number of jazz lounges and nightclubs where you can party the night away. There are certainly no dull moments on this buzzing Cape Town street...

(GPS coordinates: -33.926091, 18.415162)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/entertainment/long-street

Farm 215
21 Dec 2014
 
     

Farm 215 lies at the foot of fynbos-covered mountains in the middle of the pristine 800ha Walker Bay Fynbos Conservancy, and enjoys undisturbed views over the Agulhas Plains towards the ocean. Far removed from the daily grind, Farm 215 is a private, intimate and secluded retreat where you can enjoy roomy accommodation, tranquillity, an overpowering sense of space, and the unique nature of the Cape Floral Kingdom – the richest floral biome in the world…

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/accommodation/farm-215

(GPS coordinates: -32.820591, 17.893997)

Richtersveld Community Conservancy
20 Dec 2014
 
     

Richtersveld Community Conservancy

For lovers of the unspoilt wilderness, the Richtersveld Community Conservancy offers a new and exciting experience. It lies in the remote northwestern region of South Africa and covers 160 000 hectares, adjoining the southern boundary of the Ai/Ais/Richtersveld Transfrontier Park. It is one of only 34 biodiversity hotspots worldwide as recognised by Conservation International, and one of only two in a desert. The dominating landscapes consist of mountains, valleys and quartz fields, which contain the highest botanical diversity and rates of endemism of any arid region on earth. It also supports more succulent flora than anywhere else. The World Heritage Site is the last refuge of the Nama, who still embrace the 2000-year-old transhumance (semi-nomadic pastoralism) livelihood, whereby they move with their livestock (mainly sheep and goats) between summer and winter pastures according to a set pattern...

(GPS coordinates: -28.8291, 17.257526)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/animals-nature/richtersveld-community-conservancy

McGregor Museum, Kimberley
20 Dec 2014
 
     

McGregor Museum, Kimberley

The well-known McGregor Museum is the most important museum in the Northern Cape and the principal research institution of the region. The main collection is housed in a beautiful red brick building dating from 1897, with fretwork and wrap-around balcony. It was originally built as a sanatorium, and other uses have included a hotel and a convent. Today, visitors take a trip back in time among displays spanning from archaeology to zoology. These include a sandbagged shelter from the Kimberley Siege of 1899, Hall of Religions and the acclaimed Ancestors Gallery, which depicts three-million years of human history in the region. The museum also has nine satellite museums scattered around Kimberley and the province...

(GPS coordinates: -28.750097, 24.780548)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/cultural/mcgregor-museum-kimberley

Die Eike Guesthouse
20 Dec 2014
 
     

Die Eike Guesthouse is situated on a working wine and fruit farm in the heart of the Breedekloof Wine Route with 19 award-winning wineries in a radius of less than 10km around the farm. Surrounded by vineyards and orchards, with views of majestic mountains, this Cape Dutch homestead offers luxury farm accommodation and warm hospitality in a tranquil setting. Die Eike aims to ensure that you receive the best personal service possible. Go for a relaxing farm walk, pick fruit straight off a tree, participate in seasonal grape harvesting, take a guided cellar tour, or go on a wine tasting horseback trail. Die Eike also offers a great new wedding venue that will definitely leave special lasting memories…

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/accommodation/die-eike-guesthouse

(GPS coordinates: -33.67114, 19.266323)

Rottcher Wineries
19 Dec 2014
 
     

Rottcher Wineries

In tribute to the orange farming which the Mpumalanga Lowveld is famous for, the well-established Rottcher Wineries at the Casterbridge Lifestyle Centre in White River produces a taste-tingling range of unique orange wines to satisfy adventurous palettes. The history of Rottcher Wineries is almost as old as White River itself. The story starts in Greytown in the Eastern Cape, where the Rottcher family established the first ever orange winery in South Africa in 1916. In the 1950’s, Kurt Rottcher moved to White River, where he continued in the family wine-making tradition, constantly refining his concoctions before establishing Rottcher Wineries in 1967. Today, the end result of this custom is a sweet wine known as Avalencia, named after the juicy oranges which flourish in the sub-tropical climate of the Lowveld...

(GPS coordinates: -25.307155, 31.031221)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/food-wine/rottcher-wineries

Bonniedale Farm MTB Trail
19 Dec 2014
 
     

Bonniedale Farm MTB Trail

Situated between Fouriesburg and the southern end of the Outeniqua Range, these tracks run through proper mountains. The historical interest factor is high as a result of ox wagon and elephant tracks dating back as far as 1689. You have a choice of three routes starting at Bonniedale Farm. The 35-kilometre route takes you along farm roads; the 120-kilometre circular route has steep slopes, brutish climbs and some extreme downhill challenges along a combination of jeep tracks and purpose-made single-track trails; and the breathtaking ride along a route now rated by many mountain-bikers as SA’s toughest one-day mountain bike rides, boasts a 2 350-metre altitude gain over 126 kilometres, all the way to Oudtshoorn…

(GPS coordinates: -33.873493, 21.860068)

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

Fransvliet Guesthouse
19 Dec 2014
 
     

Fransvliet Guesthouse, situated in the Franschhoek valley, with river frontage and with easy access to the main road, is the perfect location for a Cape Winelands getaway. The guest house is located on a working grape, olive and fig farm, where guests can wake up to the banter of birds in the morning, before enjoying the breath-taking mountain views and individually-created luxury suites decorated in warm winelands colours. The close proximity to Franschhoek, celebrated as South Africa's food and wine capital, makes for wonderful weekends of restaurants, wine tastings and exploration…

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/accommodation/fransvliet-guesthouse

(GPS coordinates: -28.39123, 30.603229)

eNanda Adventures Trail
18 Dec 2014
 
     

eNanda Adventures Trail

This network of trails around the Inanda Dam and the Matabethule plateau is open to hikers and mountain-bikers and offers great birding in a various habitats. There are walks of various distance and difficulty, including a six-kilometre circular route on the Matabethule plateau, which offers spectacular views over the dam and the pristine bush land of the Mzinyathi Gorge over the Umgeni River. The Shembe pilgrimage viIlage, a Rastafarian spiritual site located in a cave and rural village life are some of the cultural features of this area…

(GPS coordinates: -29.691534, 30.888952)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/hiking/enanda-adventures-trail

Bushbuck Trail in Grootvaderbosch
18 Dec 2014
 
     

Bushbuck Trail in Grootvaderbosch

The Bushbuck Trail is a great introduction to Grootvaderbosch, one of the most precious indigenous forests left in the Western Cape. The Afromontane forest is home to enormous red alder, stinkwood, iron wood, yellowwood and white alder and the numerous bird and animal species that find shelter in this relatively high-rainfall ecosystem. The 4km trail (which has various loops and options so can be extended to about 10km if you wish) starts on the edge of the campsite next to the office…

(GPS coordinates: -33.985236, 20.822793)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/hiking/bushbuck-trail-grootvaderbosch

Table Mountain Road Picnic
18 Dec 2014
 
     

Table Mountain Road Picnic

There is no better spot (free of charge) to pack a picnic for, gather a few friends and appreciate Cape Town’s beauty. The ideal spot is about a ten minute drive past the Cable Car building, and you know you’re there when you park before a rusted gate, and begin moving toward the bench that is directly beneath a big tree. We came with blankets and tapas, and even though the wind blew our tapas all around while we tried desperately to save them, Cape Town shone below us in an awesome way. The sea pulls into the land so extremely that you start to wonder if you ever knew it was there. Then the harbour begins to break it up with piers, oil rigs and big ships, until the city begins. The city that is petite and limited – you respect it so much more when you notice.

- Brad Harris

Eikendal Lodge
18 Dec 2014
 
     

Eikendal Lodge is surrounded by magnificent Cape Winelands scenery and gives guests an insight into the operations of a working winery, combined with luxury accommodation, various outdoor activities and a relaxing, hospitable experience specially tailored to meet guests’ needs. The barrel-vaulted cellar buildings of Eikendal Vineyards, at the foot of the Helderberg mountains, form a distinctive landmark on the R44 route between the historic university town of Stellenbosch and Somerset West, and provide an idyllic Winelands retreat that is steeped in history and luxury in equal parts...

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/accommodation/eikendal-lodge

(GPS coordinates: -32.118811, 18.68366)

Voortrekker Museum
17 Dec 2014
 
     

Voortrekker Museum

Housed in a building dating back to 1905, the Voortrekker Museum in Pietermaritzburg was created in 1912 to profile the Voortrekkers of the KwaZulu-Natal region. The museum has since become fully representative of the different cultures of the area, while retaining a focus on Voortrekker history and culture. One of the most notable on-site attractions at the museum is the Church of the Vow – built by the Boers in 1838 following a covenant they made with their God that they would construct a church in return for victory at the Battle of Blood River. Pretorius House is an award-winning appendage to the museum, furnished with items from the 1800s and showcasing what the lives of the Voortrekkers must have been like during the Great Trek. A little way down the road, and an extension of the museum, is one of the oldest original Voortrekker houses in the city, dating back to the early 1800s…

(GPS coordinates: -29.599644, 30.383825)

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

Katberg Hotel MTB Trail
17 Dec 2014
 
     

Katberg Hotel MTB Trail

Katberg is about breathing in fresh mountain air and enjoying the solitude. It’s a part of the world that remains unspoilt and beautiful but it is demanding mountain-biking country, especially when wet. Only a handful of out-of-towners have discovered Katberg. If you’re up for a serious bout of big-mountain riding, there are dozens of day rides in the Winterberg ranges here. Katberg Hotel, situated close to Fort Beaufort on the Amathole Scenic Route, is an excellent base from which to explore the imposing ranges looming all round. A mix of primary montane forest, tree plantations and mountain grassland serves up route options to suit just about every taste, with anything from gravel to white-knuckle forest blasts...

(GPS coordinates: -32.489239, 26.681671)

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

Moontide Guest Lodge
17 Dec 2014
 
     

Moontide Guest Lodge, set on the banks of the Wilderness lagoon and a two minute walk to the beach, has been heralded as both the most romantic and affordable retreat on South Africa’s Garden Route. The drive to Moonside takes you past gorgeous lake and ocean vistas before you find the lodge at the end of a quiet cul-de-sac with the Touw River lapping at its edges. Individually-styled cottages and rooms are comfortable and surrounded by stunning forest scenery, and guests can enjoy the lodge’s cosy facilities and the attractions of Wilderness...

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/accommodation/moontide-guesthouse

(GPS coordinates: -29.729474, 29.51602)

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