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Grootvadersbosch Run Trail & Event
11 Dec 2014
 
     

Grootvadersbosch Run Trail & Event

Travel inland from the N2 highway just after Swellendam and you will soon find yourself in the Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve and Conservancy. Here more than 250ha of indigenous forest constitutes the largest block of intact primary forest outside of Knysna. There are a number of well-marked trails in the reserve offering day walks from 2-15km in length.  The Boosmansbos Trail is a 2-day, 30km trail that takes you through the wilderness area. It only has a very rudimentary shelter. There is also a 3-day walking trail on the neighbouring farm. The Grootvadersbosch Trail is a two-day event for experienced trail runners only... 

(GPS coordinates: -33.989725, 20.813637)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/trail-running/grootvadersbosch-run-trail-event

FNB Stadium Tours
11 Dec 2014
 
     

FNB Stadium Tours

South-west of Johannesburg is a magical structure that resembles a calabash or an African cooking pot sitting on a pit of fire: the FNB Stadium, the proud host of the first and final matches and the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The multi-purpose FNB Stadium plays host to Tri Nations rugby matches. It is also a major concert venue, with the likes of U2 and Neil Diamond having rocked the crowds here. To discover just how amazing this award-winning stadium is, take a behind-the-scenes tour lasting between 60 and 90 minutes, conducted by professional, well-informed local tour guides…

(GPS coordinates: -26.234725, 27.982424)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/entertainment/fnb-stadium-tours

The Scotch Whisky Experience
11 Dec 2014
 
     

The Scotch Whisky Experience: Edinburgh

I arrived cold, wet and confused at the information desk. Yet, not quite warmed by the sing-song accent, I was soon aboard a tram and being taken through the production process of whisky. It’s a superb event to witness. While it isn’t an actual whisky distillery, they’ve gone so far as to provide the clean smells of fresh barley, and then the rich malted kind. They think of everything, and before receiving your own Glencairn whisky glass, you taste the five kinds of Scottish whisky in a guided tour of the drink’s history. The Single Malt was a favourite for me, but its moment was lost when a man led me through the doors of the largest collection of whisky in the world. No matter your taste, you’ll love the golden liquid by the end of the tour.

- Brad Harris

Alphen Boutique Hotel
11 Dec 2014
 
     

Contemporary glamour awaits at the Alphen Boutique Hotel, a 17th century historical treasure spread across expansive wonderland gardens and offering stunning accommodation in avant-garde luxury suites. The hotel is a magnificent spread of elegant riches and extraordinary service, swathed in history and splashed with flair and colour. Hidden within the charm and character of three classical heritage manor houses in the Constantia Valley lie Alphen’s luxury suites, complete with modern amenities and plush comforts. These gems are designed to take you into your own private sensual haven, and the hotel is a unique and abundant culinary playground…

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/accommodation/alphen-boutique-hotel

(GPS coordinates: -26.892255, 32.857448)

Matroosberg Private Nature Reserve 4x4 Trail
10 Dec 2014
 
     

Matroosberg Private Nature Reserve 4x4 Trail

The Matroosberg Private Nature Reserve situated on the farm Erfdeel is a mere two-hour’s drive from Cape Town. The reserve covers more than 1 000ha of mountain area, which includes the majestic Matroosberg Peak - the highest in the Boland at 2 249m. During the winter months the chances of driving through snow on Matroosberg are good. After a good snowfall, the Southern slopes remain snow-clad for quite some time. The Matroosberg 4x4 Mountain trail sets off from reception and follows a section of the circular 4x2 trail before heading up the mountain…

(GPS coordinates: -33.330259, 19.610821)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/4x4/matroosberg-private-nature-reserve-4x4-trail

The Climbing Barn
10 Dec 2014
 
     

The Climbing Barn

Just to the east of Pretoria, this popular gym has something for everyone, with about 50 lead and top-rope routes ranging from very easy to extreme on about 450m2 of vertical and overhanging walls. The routes are changed regularly to keep you on your toes and there’s a large bouldering wall upstairs that is suitable for novice climbers. Beginners’ classes, climbing courses and coaching for beginners through to experts are all on offer, and there are regular outings to local crags. The instructors will also devise structured training programmes for those wanting to push their grades and there are ladies nights twice a month, when the gals get free coaching...

(GPS coordinates: -25.799746, 28.410904)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/climbing/climbing-barn

The Turbine Boutique Hotel & Spa
10 Dec 2014
 
     

The Turbine Boutique Hotel & Spa, imaginatively refurbished from an old power station, has been transformed into a luxury establishment on Thesen Island in Knysna. The hotel is a truly unique place with bucketloads of character, interesting features, a superb location, and activities for all types. Thesen Islands, a marina development located in the scenic Knysna estuary, is spread over 90 hectares and consists of 19 man-made islands linked by 21 arched bridges and surrounded by pretty tidal waterways. The marina has around 500 homes, which are built in a colonial maritime style, affording the place a very serene, prominent feel…

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/accommodation/turbine-boutique-hotel-spa

(GPS coordinates: -32.427576, 18.956039)

Melrose Arch
9 Dec 2014
 
     

Melrose Arch

Billed as a city within the city, exclusive Melrose Arch seeks to imitate urban European living in Johannesburg. It’s a carefully crafted mix of open-air spaces, office blocks, designer apartments, high-end stores and a 5-star hotel within an enclosed, access-controlled precinct. Voted Johannesburg’s ‘Best place to see and be seen’, year after year, Melrose Arch’s motto is “Bling It On”. In keeping with this, patrons dress to kill before appearing on its tree-lined streets, to partake in the café culture that is de rigueur in this trendy part of Johannesburg...

(GPS coordinates: -26.135227, 28.067225)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/shopping/melrose-arch

Kasteelspoort Trail
9 Dec 2014
 
     

Kasteelspoort Trail

This easy, popular trail is unshaded but, as a result, affords incredible views and is thoroughly recommended as a late afternoon hike when the sun sinks into the Atlantic and the Lion’s Head and Twelve Apostles Park glow burnt orange in the evening light. The fynbos is magnificent at any time of year and you can’t help but be impressed by the precipitous rock faces, but this hike is spectacular in spring, when the lower slopes are a mass of pink watsonia. Park at the top of Theresa Avenue in Camps Bay and follow the concrete jeep track up until it divides….

(GPS coordinates: -33.96285, 18.384258)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/hiking/kasteelspoort-trail

The Bronze Age
9 Dec 2014
 
     

The Bronze Age, Woodstock Foundry

I was sitting at Tribe Coffee, trying to ignore work by glancing through the window. Outside, some men were gathering from out of The Bronze Age’s foundry opposite me. The air was expectant. I looked past them, inside the foundry, and saw a young man firing a flat rod and then beating it across an anvil – the industry of it made the men’s wait more exciting. Something big was happening. Ten minutes later, I was sated. A life-size bronze horse was offloaded from the back of a pickup, and two of the men went to work on it. Refining, sculpting… creating. It’s moments like these that generate inspiration, that raw creativity at the hands of a blowtorch. 

www.bronzeage.co.za

- Brad Harris

Prana Lodge
9 Dec 2014
 
     

Prana Lodge is located on a 17-acre private beach estate within an indigenous dune forest alongside the spectacular Chintsa Bay, just minutes from the rolling savannah. Experience a small, luxury hotel and spa offering individually designed, opulently decorated, and completely private suites with direct access to a 21km unspoilt stretch of beach on the remote Wild Coast. The lodge offers attractions including exclusive gourmet dining, an authentic spa, and easy access to various beach activities…

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

(GPS coordinates: -29.339861, 29.711515)

Bokkraal Hiking Trail
8 Dec 2014
 
     

Bokkraal Hiking Trail

This scenic bushveld trail is a great outing for the whole family. The area consists of hilly grassland interspersed with many beautiful streams, including the Groot Marico River, which is one of the main sources of the Limpopo River. The area is best known for its links with author Herman Charles Bosman, one of South Africa's best-known short-story writers. The trail starts near a beautiful waterfall and climbs gently for a kilometre or so through scrub grassland to a small slate quarry... 

(GPS coordinates: -25.804006, 26.448555)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/hiking/bokkraal-hiking-trail

Moholoholo Animal Rehabilitation Centre
8 Dec 2014
 
     

Moholoholo Animal Rehabilitation Centre

Nestled beneath Mariepskop in Mopani, this animal rehabilitation centre is a refuge for abandoned, injured and poisoned wildlife. Some of the animals in the care of the Moholoholo Animal Rehabilitation Centre are rescued circus animals, while other have been injured in road accidents, poisoned or hurt in poaching attempts. Wherever possible, rehabilitated birds and animals are returned to the wild. Due to the nature and extent of their problems, though, some animals cannot be released into the wild. These animals find a home at the centre and are used to educate visitors about conservation in South Africa. Visitors can interact with these animals under controlled conditions during daily tours of the facilities and will see lion, leopard, serval, honey badger, eagles, vultures, wild dogs and any baby animals that the centre is caring for at that time...

(GPS coordinates: -24.503165, 30.838451)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/animals-nature/moholoholo-animal-rehabilitation-c...

Tsitsikamma Village Inn
8 Dec 2014
 
     

Tsitsikamma Village Inn is situated close to the Tsitsikamma National Park, just 5 km from the Storms River Bridge. This privately owned and managed hotel, which has  been hosting guests for more than a century, is a quaint village-style establishment brimming with character and old world charm. The magical Tsitsikamma Village Inn offers upmarket free-standing rooms, where each cottage has its own garden and is individually decorated, matching specific colonial building styles found in the Garden Route.  This is complemented by great food and fun-filled adventure options for more active guests…

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/accommodation/tsitsikamma-village-inn

(GPS coordinates: -34.04853, 23.049118)

Kenneth Stainbank Nature Reserve Trail
7 Dec 2014
 
     

Kenneth Stainbank Nature Reserve Trail

It really is quite surreal seeing zebra grazing in an unspoilt African wilderness setting with Durban's skyscrapers and harbour infrastructure as a backdrop to the north-east. The sprawling 253ha Kenneth Stainbank Nature Reserve boasts four main running trails, including a 500m trail for the physically disabled and sight-impaired. The 6km Mkumbi Trail takes the average trail runner 45-50 minutes to complete. You can extend your run by combining it with the 3km Yellow Trail (another 25min) and the 500m Brown Trail. This KZN Ezemvelo Wildlife-managed reserve is home to zebra, impala, bushbuck and duiker (blue, red and grey species). There are also over 200 species of birds…

(GPS coordinates: -29.912978, 30.941835)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/trail-running/kenneth-stainbank-nature-reserve-trail

Horseplay
7 Dec 2014
 
     

Horseplay

The owner of Horseplay, Carl Bronner, has a passion for horses that permeates everything she does. Well-versed in natural horsemanship methodology, she has personally discovered means by which to better understand her horses, and has translated these into detailed group courses. Horseplay is convened on Kilgobbin Friesian Stud in Dargle – a place that almost feels remote from the rest of the Midlands. Everyone who participates is guaranteed to gain insight into themselves through their interaction with the Friesians. The courses cater for groups, and are aimed at developing leadership abilities and teamwork skills...

(GPS coordinates: -29.476367, 30.06634)

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

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