BEST KEPT BOATING SECRETS

Hartbeespoort Dam still remains the principal water recreation area of northern Gauteng offering a huge array of activities to get involved with
BEST KEPT BOATING SECRETS-Hartebeespoort Dam 2

Hartbeespoort Dam also known as Harties (officially the Hartbeespoort Dam Reservoir) is a dam situated in the North West Province of South Africa. It lies in a valley to the south of the Magaliesberg mountain range and north of the Witwatersberg mountain range, about 35 kilometres west of Pretoria. It is situated in the Hartbeespoort Dam Nature Reserve.

The name of the dam means “pass of the hartbees” (a species of antelope) in Afrikaans. The dam was originally designed for irrigation which is currently its primary use.
BEST KEPT BOATING SECRETS-Hartebeespoort Dam 1

The dam is 149.5 metres long and 59.4 metres and is built across a gorge cutting through the Magaliesberg. The reservoir is fed by the waters of the Crocodile River and Magalies River and covers approximately 18.83 square kilometres, with a mean depth of 9.6 metres and maximum depth of 45.1 metres.

Hartbeespoort has become a very popular holiday and weekend resort for the inhabitants of Johannesburg and Pretoria, it is the principal water recreation area of northern Gauteng and many types of water sports are practiced on the dam.
BEST KEPT BOATING SECRETS-Hartebeespoort Dam 3

Accommodation:
http://www.sa-venues.com/accommodation/hartbeespoortdam.php

Things To Do:
http://www.sa-venues.com/things-to-do/northwest/region/hartbeespoort-dam/

 

BEST KEPT BOATING SECRETS

Jozini, a small town in North Eastern KwaZulu Natal on the main route to Mozambique, is synonymous with the dam of the same name – the Jozini or Pongolapoort Dam – and offers a huge array of attractions and activities
BEST KEPT BOATING SECRETS-Lake Jozini 1

This huge dam, on the Pongola River, provides a rather dramatic doorway into Maputaland and the river supports a massive population of fish, hippos and crocodiles as well as the people who live in the area. The Jozini Dam lies in between the majestic Ubombo and Lebombo mountains on the Elephant Coast and covers over 16 000 ha.
BEST KEPT BOATING SECRETS-Lake Jozini 2

The dam was originally designed to irrigate over 80 000 ha of farmland supporting products such as sugarcane, rice, coffee and various sub-tropical fruits. Many have compared it to Lake Kariba in Zimbabwe and it is fast becoming the mecca of many wild game seekers as farmers convert vast tracts of land around the dam back to their virgin bush in the bid to realise a dream to return this area to its former wildlife kingdom.
BEST KEPT BOATING SECRETS-Lake Jozini 3

Lake Jozini, as the dam is now called, has become very popular as a Tiger fishing destination and because the dam borders with the Pongola Nature Reserve and Game Reserve, you can view wildlife from your boat and glow-flies light up the early evening shoreline, transforming the water into an incandescent array of fairy lights.

The main attraction in this area is the return of the elephant. But there are vast numbers of other game to be viewed, including: buffalo, wildebeest, giraffe, zebra, kudu, bushbuck, duiker, steenbok, hyena, cheetah, wild dog, cerval cat, warthog and even the occasional sighting of leopard, which roam the Lebombo mountains.
BEST KEPT BOATING SECRETS-Lake Jozini 4

The dam’s muddy plains and reed banks are home to a vast array of birdlife, over 350 different species, including the whistling duck, yellow billed storks, Egyptian geese, herons, kingfishers and several fish eagles.

For Accommodation options go to: http://bit.ly/1BoGl1w

 

BEST KEPT BOATING SECRETS

Hermanus is rich in breathtaking scenery; with its unparalleled scenic beauty, modern infrastructure, upmarket shops and endless adventure options, it is no wonder that Hermanus is transformed into a bustling hubbub of activity in-season as well as out-of-season
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For any intrepid tourist or appreciator of nature’s wonders, Hermanus is the ideal location for an unforgettable experience.

It is built along the beautiful shores of Walker Bay and is the official Whale Watching Capital of the World as well as a popular holiday destination. Hermanus is surrounded by majestic mountains, indigenous Fynbos and spectacular natural beauty while its residents are the heart and soul of the town providing an unforgettable holiday experience. This coastal resort offers the best land based whale watching in the world. The Southern Right Whales visit Walker Bay from July until December every year. About 60 to 100 of these magnificent animals come here from Antarctica to breed and rear their young. Tourists are often treated with close up displays as these creatures often come to within 10 meters of the coast. The cliff tops in Hermanus offer tourists great views and the ability to watch the whales close up.
BEST KEPT BOATING SECRETS-Hermanus1

Besides whale watching, Hermanus offers a variety of activities; from boating, horse riding, paragliding, kayaking, shark cage diving, fishing, hiking, plane trips to simply swimming and sunbathing at one of many gorgeous beaches, Hermanus caters for every taste. Another popular activity in Hermanus is shopping. An incredible selection of galleries, fashion boutiques, jewellery shops and more are located near the centre of town or within walking distance.
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As well as the shops, activities and sightseeing opportunities, there are many markets in and around Hermanus. The Hermanus Country market trades from the Hermanus Cricket Grounds every Saturday from 08h00 to 12h00 and specializes in wholesome organic produce and home-made products. Another interesting addition to the variety of markets in the town is the Hermanuspietersfontein Boeremark, also held every Saturday. Here people can sample excellent food together with Hermanuspietersfontein’s unmistakable wines. Once a month the Onrus Market opens its doors with various knick-knacks, snacks, home baked goods, books and much more. The Lemm’s Corner Craft Market every Saturday is an old favourite, with unique crafts, artwork, clothes and of course, food!
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After a busy day, settle down in one of many restaurants for a delicious taste experience. From humble fish ‘n chips to five star cuisine, the variety is endless and guaranteed to satisfy any craving. 

ACCOMMODATION

Click here for a variety of accommodation options:
http://www.hermanus.co.za/where-to-stay

BEST KEPT BOATING SECRETS

The Sunday’s River by Colchester in the Eastern Cape offers a very special boating experience and escape from modern day pressures

Sundays River

Sundays River

Lying on the banks of the Sundays River, just 20 minutes’ drive from the coast of Port Elizabeth, lies Colchester in a part of the country that remains largely unspoilt, surrounded by sand dunes that date back about 100 000 years.

Boating visitors can entertain themselves on the Sunday’s River where you can either travel up to the river mouth or go far up river inland (6kms+). It is particularly well known for its excellent estuarine fishing and abundant bird life while water-sports are superb and includes almost all water disciplines. A host of guest houses, bed & breakfasts and campsites near the river provide visitors with activities like swimming, canoeing, fishing and ferry rides.

Colchester residents are proud of their history. The little town named after the oldest town in the United Kingdom, apparently rose to challenge Port Elizabeth as a port about a century ago. The driving force behind the challenge was the engineer who had come all the way from Westminster and who envisaged Colchester as the railway centre for the Eastern Cape Province.

Whilst the unique flow of the river made this area an obvious location, today both residents and visitors are only too happy to remain surrounded by natural habitat, largely undeveloped, save for the recent property boom. The dunes are estimated to be between 6 000 and 10 000 years old and rest upon even older, compacted dunes that could date back as many as 100 000 years.

The dunes are teeming with wildlife – bushbuck, grysbok, bush pig and smaller animals like mice, meercats and mongooses, which make these beautiful hills made of sand, their home. Birders include Colchester in their itinerary and river cruises along the Sundays River reveal a wide variety of waders, heron, duck, colonies of Cape and masked weavers, and up to four different types of kingfisher. The Colchester salt pans are home to the greater and lesser flamingo, African pied avocet, the blue crane and a number of other waders. Swimming in the tidal pool is very popular, and the Addo Elephant Park is close by, just 5kms down the road.

ACCOMMODATION

http://www.safarinow.com/destinations/colchester/hub.aspx

http://www.roomsforafrica.com/dest/south-africa/eastern-cape/colchester.jsp

BEST KEPT BOATING SECRETS

Ever popular Stillbaai on the Garden Route offering visitors a multitude of activities whether it’s on land, at sea or on the river

Stillbaai

Stillbaai

The little seaside village of Stilbaai or Still Bay lies just off the N2 between Mossel Bay and Riversdale on an estuary where the Goukou River meets the Indian Ocean. Essentially a retirement village and holiday resort, the town has grown in popularity, due mainly to her tranquil and inviting setting away from the madding crowd.

Stilbaai enjoys a pollution-free, safe and peaceful setting with long stretches of white sandy beach, a temperate climate and a river navigable for some 15 km. The town lies along and around the banks of the Goukou River, with a magnificent estuary and safe and beautiful beaches on either side of the river mouth. One of these, Lappiesbaai beach, has been awarded Blue Flag status and is the only beach to claim this mark of distinction between Hermanus and Jeffreys Bay.

The village is thus very attractive to visitors seeking safe bathing, angling, wind surfing, kite surfing, sailing, canoeing and other pleasures on the water. Stilbaai has a rich marine life in the river estuary and a remarkably large variety of bird life attracted to the abundance of indigenous fauna and flora – Still Bay has no fewer than three Nature Reserves – Pauline Bohnen, Rein’s and Geelkrans and is on the flower route.

A highlight of a visit to Stilbaai is the Noordkapper Hiking trail which follows the coastline to Jongensfontein, one of the two villages (the other is Melkhoutfontein) just outside Stilbaai, home to the descendants of the original fishermen of the area still involved in fishing and the building industry today.

Other hikes include:

  • West Bank Route – an excellent trail for bird watching and fairly easy
  • Pauline Bohnen Route – an average hike with views of the ocean and dune fynbos
  • Lappiesbaai Beach Route, easy to tackle at low tide and great for whale watching in season.

Another ‘must do’, whilst in Stilbaai, is the Soete Inval botanical garden in Melkhoutfontein. This is a first-of-its-kind in a re-developed township cultivated by the descendants of the Khoi-Khoi – traditionally outstanding gardeners. The garden has fynbos species from around the province and viewing in August/September is richly rewarding.

Stilbaai has a unique area on the shore made from limestone with a large number of natural springs, which first attracted the Strandlopers (beach walkers) who set up their rock and stone fish traps here. Strandlopers are thought to be outcasts of the Khoi community who survived by living off the sea and eating certain root vegetables and their fish traps are in evidence in Stilbaai today.

To crown it all, Stilbaai is on the migratory whale route, which boasts the highest gathering of whales in the world between July and October every year. A particularly good vantage point lies on a hill above the harbour. The village also has a unique species of eels, which are fed by hand.

Accommodation Details:

http://www.sa-venues.com/accommodation/stillbay.php 

Tourism Information:

http://www.stilbaaitourism.co.za