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Hottentots Holland Reserve
22 Feb 2016
 
     

This 42,000 ha reserve lies in the Hottentots Holland mountains, some 90 km south east of Cape Town. The reserve stretches from Elgin in the south to beyond Villiersdorp in the north, and from the Stellenbosch mountains in the west, eastwards to the Groenland mountains. The reserve is important for the conservation of mountain fynbos, with approximately 1300 species occurring here, including several rare and endemic plants. Approximately 110 bird species have been recorded on the reserve, amongst them several species of raptor...

(GPS coordinates: -34.045406, 19.033298)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/parks/hottentots-holland-reserve

Gamkaberg Nature Reserve
21 Feb 2016
 
     

Gamka Mountain is an isolated mountain range in the Little Karoo, lying between the Swartberg and Outeniqua mountains. The name Gamka is derived from the Khoekhoen (‘Hottentot’) word gami, meaning lion. The reserve was established in 1974 in order to conserve a local population of rare and endangered Cape mountain zebra and their natural habitat. The terrain is rugged, with mountainous plateaus incised by deep ravines and rock formations consisting mainly of Table Mountain quartzite and shale, and Bokkeveld sandstone and shale. There are four main vegetation types...

(GPS coordinates: -33.745753, 21.974888)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/parks/gamkaberg-nature-reserve

Ndumo Game Reserve
20 Feb 2016
 
     

Ndumo Game Reserve is perhaps best known for its magnificent bird life with the highest bird count in South Africa - an exceptional 430 species. Situated near the Tembe Elephant Park on the Mozambique border, the Usuthu River forms its northern boundary and the Pongola River flows through to its confluence with Usutu. Ndumo boasts many beautiful pans set about with yellow fever trees and extensive wetlands and reed beds as well as acacia savannah and sand forest. This varied habitat hosts an astonishing range of aquatic birdlife, with a very interesting array of insects...

(GPS coordinates: -26.909265, 32.313902)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/parks/ndumo-game-reserve

Southern Red Bishop
20 Feb 2016
 
     

Southern Red Bishops are one of the heralds of summer. During spring or summer, depending on the region, the male Red Bishop’s plumage changes from mottled red, brown and black to the blazing red and black seen here. Red Bishops usually roost and breed colonially in reed beds, which are a hive of activity during the summer months. A male Red bishop is polygamous and responsible for the welfare of up to seven females, which he attends to with much buzzing and chirping.

Coastal Forest
19 Feb 2016
 
     

The Coastal Forest Reserve in the iSimangaliso Wetland Park harks back to an era before the Elephant Coast was so extensively developed. New visitors to this area may scoff at this comment, because by comparison to the KZN North and South Coast regions, the Elephant Coast is still very rural. But old timers will remember the sand tracks that led to Sodwana Bay and how you either got stuck in deep sand ruts or wrote off your car’s shock absorbers when finally relaxing on what looked like a pretty smooth stretch of dirt road. The road over Jozini, which is now beautifully paved, was a “short cut” for visitors from the north, but was only taken by the brave or the foolhardy - depending on your point of view...

(GPS coordinates: -27.225172, 32.784537)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/parks/coastal-forest

Groendal Wilderness Area
18 Feb 2016
 
     

The remote and unspoilt 30 000-hectare Groendal Wilderness Area lies at the eastern extremity of the Winterhoek Mountains, about 40 kilometres northwest of Port Elizabeth. It protects the water-catchment area of the KwaZungha River, with the Groendal Dam at its centre. The reserve is the third-largest proclaimed wilderness in South Africa. Historically, it was a refuge for the Khoi-San people. Evidence of their presence in the area is well documented in the paintings on the walls of caves and shelters in the area. Note that all paintings, archaeological artefacts and archaeological sites are protected by law...

(GPS coordinates: -33.69046, 25.269456)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/parks/groendal-wilderness-area

Vryheid Hill Nature Reserve
17 Feb 2016
 
     

Steeped in history, from ‘Bushmen’ to ‘Boer’ to British (including an Anglo-Boer battlefield), this reserve has much to offer to visitors. There are five major ecosystems present: grassland, forest, wetland, mixed woodland and cliffs. This ensures a high biodiversity, with many special plants, animals and birds. The 900ha reserve borders on the historical town of Vryheid in northern Zululand. Its many trails take visitors through or past all of these ecosystems - populated by eland, zebra, impala, blesbok, mountain and common reedbuck, bushbuck and oribi - and afford beautiful views of Vryheid and the surrounding area...

(GPS coordinates: -27.754185, 30.796126)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/parks/vryheid-hill-nature-reserve

Erfenis Dam Nature Reserve
16 Feb 2016
 
     

The Erfenis Dam Nature Reserve is an ideal spot for a weekend outing, just off the N1 in the Free State. Whether you are interested in fishing, birding or just relaxing, the dam and its typical highveld setting will not disappoint. The 3800-hectare Erfenis Dam was originally constructed to provide irrigation water for surrounding farms, but local anglers soon discovered that the fish were biting too. Today, the dam is a popular boating venue and the 400-hectare game reserve is stocked with game such as springbok, blesbok and ostriches...

(GPS coordinates: -28.551203, 26.851101)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/parks/erfenis-dam-nature-reserve

Yellow-billed Stork
16 Feb 2016
 
     

This Yellow-billed Stork looks graceful and happy in flight. These birds are generally quite placid, spending much of the day standing quietly on the shoreline. They are only vocal at their nests when they squeak, whine and clatter their bills solicitously. Yellow-billed Storks have a fascinating method of catching the fish, frogs, worms and crustaceans that they survive on: they do a slow, stalking dance with their open beaks submerged in the shallow water, stirring up food with their feet and catching the creatures this movement disturbs.

Bloemhof Dam Nature Reserve
15 Feb 2016
 
     

The Bloemhof Dam Nature Reserve, in the North West province, is home to the Bloemhof Dam and protects tracts of wetland, Kalahari scrub and thornveld vegetation. These diverse habitats offer visitors a rare combination of game-viewing, birding and angling on one of the largest dams in South Africa. Several thousand of the dam's 25 000 hectares are protected within the reserve and anglers can enjoy exceptional fishing by boat or from the shore…

(GPS coordinates: -27.645899, 25.667238)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/parks/bloemhof-dam-nature-reserve

Bay Atlantic Guest House
15 Feb 2016
 
     

Situated in the classy beach suburb of Camps Bay, Bay Atlantic Guest House is an elegant establishment that offers bed and breakfast accommodation in seven luxurious rooms. Offering personalised, family-run service, the guest house occupies a magnificent seafront location a stone’s throw from Camps Bay beach. Laidback outdoor relaxation can be enjoyed at the swimming pool and Jacuzzi, which are surrounded by a pretty garden and boast panoramic sea and mountain views...

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/accommodation/bay-atlantic-guest-house

(GPS coordinates: -33.948296, 18.380574)

Maria Moroka Nature Reserve
14 Feb 2016
 
     

Located about 70 kilometres east of Bloemfontein, the Maria Moroka Nature Reserve lies at the foot of the Thaba Nchu Mountain. The reserve is named after Dr Maria Moroka, an anti-apartheid activist from the nearby town of Thaba Nchu. Black Mountain, or Thaba Nchu, is the spiritual homeland of the Basotho people who have lived here for hundreds of years. Wildlife includes zebra, black wildebeest, eland, springbok, blesbok, red hartebeest and white rhino. At the centre of the reserve is the Moutloatsi Setlogelo Dam, which is popular with anglers and the best place to see a variety of aquatic birds...

(GPS coordinates: -29.306609, 26.858869)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/parks/maria-moroka-nature-reserve

Cape Cottages McGregor
14 Feb 2016
 
     

Situated in the peaceful country town of McGregor, Cape Cottages McGregor offers characterful, comfortable self-catering accommodation in two Georgian cottages. The cottages are stylish but endearingly homely, and both have pretty private gardens and huge oval bathtubs that are big enough for two people. The honeymoon cottage has the addition of a rustic outdoor double shower...

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/accommodation/cape-cottages-mcgregor

(GPS coordinates: -33.944229, 19.830936)

Hans Merensky Nature Reserve
13 Feb 2016
 
     

The Hans Merensky Nature Reserve is a long-established Lowveld reserve, near the Kruger National Park and the subtropical town of Tzaneen. The habitat here is a mix of grassland, wetland and woodland. The Letaba River runs through the northern reaches of the reserve on its way to the Kruger. This area was proclaimed a reserve in the early 1950s. The Hans Merensky Nature Reserve has long played a role in breeding sable antelope and giraffe for stocking many of the surrounding Lowveld game reserves. The reserve is excellent for game viewing and birding...

(GPS coordinates: -23.655649, 30.670996)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/parks/hans-merensky-nature-reserve

Tsessebe
13 Feb 2016
 
     

A tsessebe enjoys the morning sun in winter. Tsessebe are grassland dwellers and particularly enjoy grazing in sweetveld. They are the fastest of southern Africa’s antelopes, able to reach a speed of up to 90km per hour. Tsessebe are most closely related to bontebok and topi. These three types of antelope resemble each other in shape and colour, but topi have toffee-coloured legs similar to nyala, and bontebok have striking white patches on their faces, tails and legs.

Augusta de Mist Country House
13 Feb 2016
 
     

This highly acclaimed guest house in the historic Drostdy Quarter of Swellendam features accommodation in remarkably private cottages that put a modern and quirky twist on the traditional style of the beautiful Overberg town. Augusta de Mist, dating from 1802, is a deeply romantic Cape Dutch retreat with a solid reputation for its breathtaking gardens, attention to detail, and absorbing interior design, with some of the finest food in the Overberg offered every second night in season. On arrival, you are personally greeted at your vehicle by the owner, who will escort you to your suite while pointing out the highlights of the estate and the town. No children...

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/accommodation/augusta-de-mist-country-house

(GPS coordinates: -34.016478, 20.448217)

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