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Bontebok National Park
2 Dec 2014
 
     

Bontebok National Park

Perhaps illegally, we’re still unsure, the trip into South Africa’s smallest national park allowed us to exit our vehicle and stalk bontebok for some interesting photographs. We parked on a muddy shoulder that had been cleared by herds of grazing antelope instead of cars, and began moving toward the bontebok. They made little “whoop whoop” noises in warning to one another, but only retreated when we got within thirty metres or so. We stood and watched for what seemed like hours, and what eventually chased us back to our car was an advancing secretary bird. That bird looked prehistoric in size, even at the distance it was, and still stalking bontebok is highly recommended.

- Brad Harris

Agulhas Country Lodge
2 Dec 2014
 
     

Agulhas Country Lodge, located in the beautiful seaside town of L’Agulhas, is an aesthetically pleasing luxury establishment built from natural stone, and set against a hill covered in beautiful fynbos. Experience the southernmost tip of Africa, where the two oceans really meet. Natural charm collides with sublime architecture and luxury at this premium guest house, which has spectacular ocean views from nearly every vantage point, and guests can enjoy hospitable service and exceptional cuisine…

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

(GPS coordinates: -33.923338, 18.380502)

Groeneweide Trail, Red Route
1 Dec 2014
 
     

Groeneweide Trail, Red Route

The Groeneweide forest hikes lead through pristine stands of old afromontane forest trees on the outskirts of George. There are three routes, the green (nine kilometres), blue (11 kilometres) and red (13 kilometres) routes, all looping in a clockwise direction. From the Saasveld campus, all the routes initially follow the same path, which descends for about a kilometre to the Kaaimans River. From the river, it’s a gradual climb to reach a contour path that offers spectacular views of towering Outeniqua yellowwoods and ironwoods growing up from deeply incised drainage lines...

(GPS coordinates: -33.958049, 22.535293)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/hiking/groeneweide-trail-red-route

Loeriesfontein Windmill Museum
1 Dec 2014
 
     

Loeriesfontein Windmill Museum

The unique collection of 27 windmills on display in the small Hantam Karoo town of Loeriesfontein is one of a kind. Located on the premises of the Fred Turner Folk and Culture Museum, the interesting display, just 65 kilometres from Nieuwoudtville along the R27, it is one of only a few museums around the world that has windmills used for pumping water from wells on display. Other known windmill museums are in Canada (Alberta) and the United States (Texas and Oklahoma)...

(GPS coordinates: -30.951799, 19.446487)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/cultural/loeriesfontein-windmill-museum

Woodbury Tented Camp
1 Dec 2014
 
     

Woodbury Tented Camp, set in the heart of the Amakhala Game Reserve, is one of the hidden jewels of the Eastern Cape. Tucked into an embracing hillside thicket  and overlooking the ancient floodplain of the Bushman’s River, the camp offers rustic and secluded luxury and an authentic Big 5 African wildlife safari experience, just one hour away from Port Elizabeth. Surrounded by tranquil bushveld, Woodbury allows for an inclusive stay complete with guided walks, game drives, and river cruises…

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/accommodation/woodbury-tented-camp

(GPS coordinates: -30.99495, 28.17447)

Bass Lake 4x4 Trail
30 Nov 2014
 
     

Bass Lake 4x4 Trail

Situated on a 75ha estate of natural vegetation and river frontage, only 45 minutes south of Sandton, Bass Lake Adventures is an adventure resort with a 10ha body of spring-fed water. The entire area is security fenced. The peace and tranquillity offered by this old mine quarry only minutes away from the concrete jungle of Johannesburg makes it worth a weekend stopover. The 14km obstacle course will keep any 4x4 enthusiast happy. The trail is a natural track and starts with a steep climb to the top of the ridge. You’ll go straight into your first testing ascents and descents at various angles...

(GPS coordinates: -26.511565, 28.064715)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/4x4/bass-lake-4x4-trail

Moorcroft Manor
30 Nov 2014
 
     

Moorcroft Manor is a small family owned and operated country hotel just outside Himeville, spectacularly located in the foothills of the Drakensberg mountains and perfectly situated to provide rest for the weary while at the same time surrounded with activities suiting both young and old. Moorcroft Manor offers relaxation, superb comforts and personal service just outside the quaint village of Himeville and a short step away from the Drakensberg’s most magnificent attractions…

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/accommodation/moorcroft-manor

(GPS coordinates: -32.709018, 28.341916)

Regina Mundi Church
29 Nov 2014
 
     

Regina Mundi Church

Built in 1964, the Regina Mundi Catholic Church is located in Soweto, one of the most populous black urban residential areas in the country. Its name means ‘Queen of the World’ in Latin. Under apartheid Regina Mundi was a spiritual haven for thousands of Sowetans, irrespective of their faith, quietly offering its protection to those in need. Today, Regina Mundi’s peaceful atmosphere belies the tumultuous and often violent sieges endured by the church during the liberation struggle. There is a tranquil park with a fountain, benches and green lawns in front of the church...

(GPS coordinates: -26.264066, 27.877057)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/cultural/regina-mundi-church

Durban Beachfront Promenade
29 Nov 2014
 
     

Durban Beachfront Promenade

'Durbs by the sea' is all about its beaches and walking the recently revamped beachfront promenade is the way to appreciate the city's splendour to the full. The six-kilometre paved walkway links Blue Lagoon in the north to uShaka Marine World in the south, taking you past Suncoast Beach, Battery Beach, Snake Park, Bay of Plenty, North Beach, Dairy Beach, New Beach, South Beach, Addington Beach and uShaka Beach.  There is parking all the way, so you can shorten your walk or toss your shoes and hop down onto the beach at any point...

(GPS coordinates: -29.812612, 31.039553)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/hiking/durban-beachfront-promenade

Fynbos Retreat
29 Nov 2014
 
     

Fynbos Retreat is tucked away in the fynbos-clad hills between the villages of Stanford and Gansbaai, two hours from Cape Town. The property forms part of the magnificent 2 500ha Grootbos Nature Reserve and offers two rustic houses overlooking large dams and surrounded by spectacular natural beauty. Fynbos Retreat is the perfect getaway for hiking, mountain biking, bird watching, swimming, or simply enjoying the peace and tranquillity of this magnificent valley in the Overberg... 

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/accommodation/fynbos-retreat

(GPS coordinates: -34.529, 19.4896)

Vaal Dam
28 Nov 2014
 
     

Vaal Dam

Built in 1893 at the confluence of the Wilge and the Vaal rivers near Vereeniging, the Vaal Dam is a favourite inland leisure destination. The dam’s shoreline is 880-kilometres long, spans three provinces and covers an area of over 300 squared kilometres, making it the country’s largest dam by area and the third largest by volume. At weekends the population swells as water babies from the Free State, Gauteng, and the North West provinces bring their sailing boats, jet-ski’s, wind surfers and canoes out to play. The Vaal Dam is also a hub for anglers with competitions held throughout the year. Downstream from the dam there’s excellent year-round fly fishing.  Golfers, birders and nature lovers will also find plenty to keep them busy, and no visit would be complete without a sundowner cruise or a long, lazy lunch overlooking the water…

(GPS coordinates: -26.882421, 28.11573)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/animals-nature/vaal-dam

Segway Tours Sun City
28 Nov 2014
 
     

Segway Tours Sun City

Take a tour of Sun City on a Segway personal transporter. If you’ve never played with one of these things before, you’re in for a pleasant experience. It’s called a Segway because you segue from one direction to another using your body weight, moving smoothly along. It takes a bit of getting used to but, once you’ve got the hang of it, you’ll be hooked. After a quick lesson in how to manoeuvre this rather weird and wonderful vehicle, you can head off on a gentle glide around the golf course and the Lost City...

(GPS coordinates: -25.344627, 27.098658)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/activities/segway-tours-sun-city

Buffelsdrift Game Lodge
28 Nov 2014
 
     

Buffelsdrift Game Lodge is situated outside Oudtshoorn en route to the Cango Caves. With a large waterhole as its centrepiece, Buffelsdrift strives to bring you the best accommodation in the Klein Karoo and offers African-styled, comfortable luxury tents. At the lodge you will find pristine bushveld, Karoo ambiance, a 5ha dam, and 24 hour service…

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/accommodation/buffelsdrift-game-lodge

(GPS coordinates: -27.905153, 32.355149)

Skydive Robertson
27 Nov 2014
 
     

Skydive Robertson

The Western Province Sport Parachute Club (trading as Skydive Robertson) is based at the Robertson airfield and operates on weekends and public holidays. It also operates by special request and subject to a minimum number of bookings. There’s a choice of either doing a simple tandem jump or static line training to get you started before progressing to free falling. You’re in the arms of professional and experienced trainers. If the sport grips you, you can move on to sports skydiving and team training for various disciplines like formation skydiving and free-flying. As they’re keen to remind you: ‘the sky's the limit’. Just 147km from Cape Town it’s near enough to escape to for an adrenalin-filled day...

(GPS coordinates: -33.812751, 19.90212)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/activities/skydive-robertson

Skeurkrans Trail
27 Nov 2014
 
     

Skeurkrans Trail

The Skeurkrans hiking trail is in the Hanglipberg, part of the Waterberg mountain range. As you approach along the sand road from Mookgopong (Naboomspruit), the names “Hanglip” and “Skeurkrans” seem apt descriptions of the mountain features before you: a peak that juts out almost vertically and a crag that seems to be torn away from the rest of the mountainside. From the parking area there is a 50-metre climb through rocks to the hiker’s camp, which consists of a group of huts and a large communal lapa with refrigeration and cooking facilities. After leaving the camp, you follow the leopard paw-print markers through beautiful thick bushveld to a stream...

(GPS coordinates: -24.262718, 28.663282)

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

Mossel Bay Point
27 Nov 2014
 
     

Mossel Bay Point

We were on our way to George when we stopped off at Mossel Bay’s popular ‘Point’. It was midday and surfers were still committed to the windswept waves, oyster catchers scrambled on the rocks, an elderly couple shuffled through the coarse sand trying to find good shells, and the little café set up for visitors was thriving. Watching this scene, we never guessed that the town was really an industrial place, and couldn’t believe it when we found out. It was the white foam blowing off the backs of the waves that did it for us, made the place natural and untouched, despite the town’s industry. We found nature hidden, and far more special because of it.

- Brad Harris

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