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Activities in South Africa

Tandem Paragliding - Western Cape

Paragliders
Paragliders Credits: Downhill Adventures

The air up there in the clouds is very pure and fine, bracing and delicious. And why shouldn't it be? - it is the same the angels breathe - so said Mark Twain in "Roughing It".  You can also be up there if you try some tandem paragliding. But be warned, one you start this you'll keep coming back for more!

Downhill Adventures will launch you into the air with a qualified tandem paraglide pilot from several sites in the Western Cape, including Lions Head, Signal Hill, Sir Lowry's Pass, Hermanus, Franschhoek Pass, Dassklip Pass (Porterville), Noordhoek and the Garden Route from Wilderness to Port Elizabeth.

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Stellenbosch Sunday Picnic Concerts at Backsberg Estate

Backsberg Gardens
Backsberg Gardens Credits: www.backsberg.co.za

Backsberg Wine Estate has a long family tradition of winemaking now in it’s fourth generation. What better way to enjoy the Estate’s heritage than spending a beautiful Sunday Afternoon at a Backsberg Wine Estate’s Picnic Concert.

The concerts are on every Sunday from 3pm (performances start at 5pm) until the end of January 2010

You can buy your picnic baskets on site, or you can bring your own.

Entrance fee is R85 per person through Computicket or R100 if you pay at the farm. Children under 12 free

Performances scheduled until the end of January are

20th December 2010 Lize Beekman

27th December 2010 Gert Vlok Nel

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Hop On A Wine Bus - Franschhoek

Wine Bus
Wine Bus Credits: www.adventurewinetours.co.za

Open game viewing 4X4 vehicles are used by Adventure Wine Tours to take you on guided tours with a difference. Adventure Wine Tours have eight various tours starting from Franschhoek, Stellenbosch or Elgin.

Some are early morning (from 7.00 am) others morning, midday, afternoon and early evening. They also tailor make tours for larger parties.

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Step Out in a Sidecar - Three Anchor Bay, Cape Town

Sidecar Tour of Cape Town
Sidecar Tour of Cape Town Credits: www.sidecars.co.za

Here's a novel way to spend some time out. Touring around in or on a vintage motorcycle sidecar. Well, twenty five sidecars if you want! Probably the most flexible and fun way to get around the Cape and further afield.

A sidecar can be hired on a self drive basis (if you have the necessary big bike driver's license) and you can go where you like at your own pace.

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Count Birds

Seagull at Yzerfontein
Seagull at Yzerfontein Credits: ho

The last week of November ending on Sunday 29th is National Bird Week. It's everyone's chance to get involved in a little bit of nature conservation. The National Birding week which involves Birdlife South Africa, The Animal Demographic Unit of the University of Cape Town, Sappi and others is the highlight of the annual birding calender.

Essentially everyone involved in the project counts species of birds seen in a certain area at a certain time. All of that information is then fed into the computers of ADU (I think) and they work out how many species are in the country, whether their numbers are up or down. It helps conservationists decide where their focus should be and identifies problems down the road.

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See the Marine Big Five

Cape Seal
Cape Seal Credits: www.bollar.org

Everyone knows about the big five on land, and there’s talk about including whales and sharks so it becomes the big seven.

How about the marine big five? It’s just as much a challenge to find all five wet ones as it is to find their counterparts on dry land

So, you need to find A Penguin, A Cape Seal, A Dolphin, A Great White Shark and a Southern Right Whale or a Humpback Whale.

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Go play on a Blue Flag Beach

Blue Flag
Blue Flag Credits: HHSA

There’s nothing nicer than a great day at the beach, swimming, fooling around with a Frisbee or beach ball, building sand castles with your kids, picnicking or simply soaking up the African sunshine.

A Beach carrying Blue Flag status is your guarantee that, not only are you swimming in healthy uncontaminated sea water but the beach you are on complies with a set of internationally accepted criteria and regulations.

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Walk the cliff path in Hermanus

Kwaaiwater, Hermanus
Kwaaiwater, Hermanus Credits: Holiday-Homes-SA.com

The cliff path in Hermanus is really a one of a kind feature that one will not easily find on ones travels around the world.

The coastline at Hermanus is unique in that while the town is fairly flat there are kilometres of steep cliff faces down to the sea. You are, on long stretches of this walk, twenty to forty metres above the breakers as they crash into the rock face below.

Most of the walk is in coastal fynbos and the area from Kraal Rock in Eastcliff all the way to the New Harbour forms part of the Fernkloof Nature Reserve.

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Take a trip over Chapmans Peak

View from Chapmans Peak Drive
View from Chapmans Peak Drive

If you leave Cape Town without paying Chapman’s Peak Drive a visit you will have missed out on one of the most beautiful scenic drives in the world. The nine kilometre long Chapman’s Peak Drive, which is now a Toll Road, was the brainchild of the first Administrator of the Cape, Sir Frederick De Waal.

Work started on Chapman’s Peak Drive in 1915 and the drive, which runs from Noordhoek to Hout Bay was officially opened in 1922.

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Whale watching in Hermanus

Whales Off Hermanus
Whales Off Hermanus Credits: www.overbergflying.co.za

Hermanus is rated as one of the finest land based whale watching sites in the world.

Southern Right Whales make their appearance in late May and Early June and the height of the season is between August and October. Whale sightings still occur in November but by December the whales have moved on.

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