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Activities in South Africa

Calvinia - Tankwa Karoo National Park

The Tankwa Karoo National Park has around 215km of passable gravel roads in the right light passenger vehicles as well as around 30km suitable for 4X4 vehicles only. It is best to check with the Park if your vehicle can manage the routes.  There is also no mobile phone reception in Tankwa Karoo National Park and the nearest store is around 50km away.

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Kimberley - Mokala National Park

Kimberley - Mokala National Park
Credits: Johannes van Niekerk

Mokala National Park is SA National Park’s newest reserve and has been open for around 5 years. Mokala National Park is situated approximately 80km south west of Kimberley, and west of the N12 national route to Cape Town.

Mokala National Park’s landscape boasts a variety of koppieveld (hills) and large open plains. The isolated dolerite hills add an interesting dimension to the sense of peace and quiet unique to the  wide open spaces of the Northern Cape.

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Addo - Addo Elephant National Park

Addo - Addo Elephant National Park
Credits: www.sanparks.org

Addo Elephant National Park

The sound of the rifle is heard no longer. When, in 1931 the elephant population at Addo had been reduced to just 11 animals, the first steps were taken to proclaim a National Park and a plan to save these incredible grey giants was set in place. Today Addo Elephant National Park in the dense valley bushveld of the Sundays River region of the Eastern Cape is home to over 450 Addo Elephants.

The howl of the black-backed jackal, and the francolin's raucous call heralds the end and start of each day in the finely tuned and much loved ecosystem that is today the Addo Elephant National Park, which, when the last pieces of land are added to it will cover over 300,000 hectares.

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Stellenbosch - Avontuur Wine and Thoroughbred Estate

Avontuur Wine and Thoroughbred Estate is situated In Stellenbosch, in an area considered to be the finest wine district. 

Avontuur Wine and Thoroughbred Estate boasts a cosy tasting room where  tastings of all Avontuur wines are conducted daily. There is a fine Mediterranean type restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating, looking over False Bay in the distance and thoroughbred horses in nearby paddocks. 

The Restaurant is open from

09h00 - 17h00 Monday to Friday
09h00 - 16h00 Saturday & Sunday
Dinner Wednesday and Friday evenings
Closed Christmas day , New Years Day and Good Friday
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Port Elizabeth - The Campanile

Campanile
Campanile Credits: www.pe.org.za

The Port Elizabeth Campanile (which in Italian means Bell Tower) was erected in 1923 to commemorate the landing of the 1820 British Settlers in Algoa Bay. The Campanile is situated at the entrance to the Port Elizabeth Railway Station and Harbour. The 53m Campanile contains a chiming clock and the largest carillon in the country (A Carillon is a set of at least 23 bronze bells that are connected by a series of cables and levers and are played by depressing “batons” with one’s fists and pedals with one’s feet, not an easy task).

The observation room at the top of the Campanile can be reached by climbing a 204-step staircase, and once there you will have a magnificent view of the harbour and surroundings.

Travel Advisory from the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality is that it is recommended to visit this attraction a group.

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Port Elizabeth – Donkin Hill Lighthouse

Donkin Lighthouse
Donkin Lighthouse Credits: www.lighthousenews.com

The Donkin Hill Lighthouse was erected in 1861, alongside the Elizabeth Donkin Memorial on Donkin Reserve.

The Donkin Hill Lighthouse operated for over 100 years. It was decommissioned in 1973 after it became apparent that the growing city of Port Elizabeth and it’s lights was making the Lighthouse installation less and less effective, as a beacon for shipping.

Donkin Hill Lighthouse was replaced with the Deal Lighthouse at Deal Party further up the Eastern Cape Coast near Papenkuils River.

In July 1921 The Donkin Hill Lighthouse became the first lighthouse to effectively communicate by radio with another lighthouse (Bird Island).

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Port Elizabeth – Donkin Reserve and Elizabeth Donkin Memorial

Donkin Reserve
Donkin Reserve Credits: www.en.wikipedia.org

The Donkin Reserve and the Elizabeth Donkin Memorial was established by Sir Rufane Donkin. Donkin was a famous soldier and politician and for a short time Governor of the Cape Colony around the time of the 1820 Settlers arrival in the Eastern Cape. His wife, Elizabeth (after whom Sir Rufane named the windy city), had died in 1818 in India.

Sir Rufane declared a piece of land on a hilltop overlooking what is today the harbour of Port Elizabeth, a gift to the citizens of the city, to be used as an open and freely accessible area, in perpetuity.

He also had built, on the site, The Elizabeth Donkin Memorial, a pyramid,

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Port Elizabeth -The Donkin Street Houses

Donkin Street
Donkin Street Credits: www.eyefetch.com

The Donkin Street Houses are a collection of 19 Terraced Dwellings in Donkin Street Port Elizabeth. The Donkin Street Houses have a remarkable and chequered history.

In the mid 1800’s much effort was made to fill in some of the steep valleys near what is today the Port Elizabeth Donkin Reserve area. One portion that had been filled was named Donkin Street in 1851 after Sir Rufane Donkin who was for a short time Governor of The Cape Colony.

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Uitenhage - The Drostdy Museum

The Drostdy Museum in Uitenhage is situated in the original Drostdy building which was built in 1809.

American Born General Jacob Glen Cuyler was the son of a British Citizen who was at one time Mayor of Albany in the USA. Cuyler was sent to South Africa by his father who had bought him a commission in the British Military. Cuyler was posted to the Eastern Cape where he was

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Paarl - The NG Toring Kerk

NG Toring Kerk
NG Toring Kerk Credits: "Freda"

The Toring Kerk is home to the NG Congregation of North Paarl. Construction of The Toring Kerk was started in 1905 to replace the existing church, which is now the church hall. Incredible as it may seem the construction was completed within 23 months and the building was “inaugurated” (the Afrikaans word is “ingewy”) on 6th March 1907. The Toring Kerk in Main Street Paarl has the highest steeple of any church in South Africa. It stands an impressive 57m above the ground and can be seen for miles around. The Anglican Cathedral in Grahamstown stands at 53.6 m and the NG Kerk in Aberdeen in the Eastern Cape at 50m.

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