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  • The Kalahari | The Northern Cape Guide | Rough Guides
    Guide Rough Guides Snapshot South Africa Kruger National Park and Mpumalanga View Guide The Rough Guide to South Africa Lesotho Swaziland View Guide The Rough Guide to Ethiopia View Guide The Rough Guide to Tanzania View Guide The Rough Guide to First Time Around The World View Guide The Rough Guide to Egypt View Guide South Africa The Northern Cape The Kalahari While the Northern Cape has no shortage of dry endless expanses the most emotive by far is the Kalahari The very name holds a resonance of sun bleached faraway spaces and the unknown vastness of the African interior both harsh and magical The name derives from the word kgalagadi saltpans or thirsty land and describes the semi desert stretching north from the Orange River to the Okavango delta in northern Botswana west into Namibia and east until the bushveld begins to dominate in the catchment areas of the Vaal and Limpopo rivers The Kalahari in the Northern Cape is characterized by surprisingly high thinly vegetated red or orange sand dunes scored with dry river beds and large shimmering saltpans Although this is strictly speaking semi desert daytime temperatures are searingly hot in summer and nights are numbingly cold in winter North of the Orange South Africa s largest river the land is populated by tough hard working farmers and communities largely descended from the indigenous San hunter gatherers and nomadic Khoi herders For many land users there is an increasing realization that eco tourism may be the only viable option on huge areas where stock farming and hunting provide at best a marginal living Upington the main town in the area stands on the northern bank of the Orange at the heart of an irrigated corridor of intensive wheat cotton and most prominently grape farms At the far

    Original URL path: http://www.roughguides.com/destinations/africa/south-africa/the-northern-cape/the-kalahari/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Augrabies Falls National Park | The Northern Cape Guide | Rough Guides
    The Rough Guide to First Time Africa View Guide Rough Guides Snapshot Victoria Falls View Guide South Africa The Northern Cape Augrabies Falls National Park One of the undoubted highlights of any trip to the Northern Cape is AUGRABIES FALLS NATIONAL PARK 120km west of Upington Roaring out of the barren semi desert sending great plumes of spray up above the brown horizon the falls still known by their Khoikhoi name Aukoerabis the place of great noise are the most spectacular moment in the two thousand kilometre progress of the Orange River At peak flow the huge volume of water plunging through the narrow channel actually compares with the more docile periods at Victoria Falls and Niagara although Augrabies lacks both the height and the soul wrenching grandeur of its larger rivals But in its eerie desert setting under an azure evening sky the falls provide a moving and absorbing experience The sides of the canyon are shaped like a smooth parabola and there are many tales of curious visitors venturing too far to peer at the falls and sliding helplessly into the seething maelstrom below Despite the odd miraculous survival several dozen people have died here since the national park was created in 1966 The falls are viewed from behind a large fence while a boardwalk allows wheelchair access to the viewpoint To see more of the gorge walk the short distance to Arrow Point or drive on the link roads round to Ararat or Echo Corner The atmosphere is at its best near sunset when the sun shines straight into the west facing part of the gorge The fairly inhospitable northern section of the park covers 184 square kilometres on both sides of the river The land is dry and harsh with sparse plants typical of arid areas such as kokerboom quiver tree camelthorn and Namaqua fig The landscape is punctuated by various striking rock formations notably Moon Rock a huge dome of smooth flaking granite rising out of the flat plains If you drive on the unsurfaced roads in the park you ll probably spot some of the resident fauna including eland klipspringer and springbok while you re likely to see dassie mongoose and lizards around the falls and the camp The best time to visit Augrabies is from March to May when the temperatures are slightly cooler and the river is at its maximum flow after summer rainfall up in the Lesotho catchment areas With your own transport the falls are easily visited as a day trip from Upington although there s plenty of reasonable accommodation both in the park itself and nearby Read More More about South Africa Things not to Miss Explore South Africa Itineraries Features Gallery Where Next Check out Limpopo Book a hostel in South Africa Travel Offers Travel insurance Hotels Hostels Car hire Tours Find out more Activities at Augrabies Falls Activities at Augrabies Falls Various adventure activities are promoted within the park though none really matches the adrenaline surge of

    Original URL path: http://www.roughguides.com/destinations/africa/south-africa/the-northern-cape/the-kalahari/augrabies-falls-national-park/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Upington | The Northern Cape Guide | Rough Guides
    Hide Related Guides The Rough Guide to Cape Town The Winelands The Garden Route View Guide Rough Guides Snapshot South Africa The Eastern Cape View Guide Rough Guides Snapshot South Africa Kruger National Park and Mpumalanga View Guide The Rough Guide to South Africa Lesotho Swaziland View Guide Rough Guides Snapshot South Africa KwaZulu Natal View Guide Rough Guides Snapshot South Africa Johannesburg and Pretoria View Guide The Rough Guide to Morocco View Guide Pocket Rough Guide Marrakesh View Guide Rough Guides Snapshot Tanzania Zanzibar View Guide Rough Guides Snapshot Tanzania The Northern Safari Circuit View Guide South Africa The Northern Cape Upington As an inevitable focus of trips to Kgalagadi and Augrabies as well as those to and from Namaqualand and Namibia UPINGTON just over 400km west of Kimberley is a good place to stop for supplies organize a park tour or onward accommodation or simply draw breath Situated on the banks of the Orange River central Upington is compact and easy to get around with most of the activity on the three main streets running parallel to the riverbank It can be a mellow spot with plenty of greenery softening the arid landscape that surrounds it a result of the irrigation that allows Upington to be surrounded by vineyards However the savage summer temperatures mean you probably won t want to linger Upington s obvious highlight is the Orange River but unless you re staying at one of the riverside guesthouses it tends to be hidden from view The terrace behind the Irish Pub is a good place to admire the river and its swans Better still take a cruise with Sakkie se Arkie on its strange two tier barge it s based on the riverbank at the east end of Park Street Read More More about South

    Original URL path: http://www.roughguides.com/destinations/africa/south-africa/the-northern-cape/the-kalahari/upington/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Climbing Table Mountain, South Africa | Travel Feature | Rough Guides
    Transport Walking trekking Wildlife Winter sports Climbing Table Mountain South Africa By Emma Gregg December 24th 2013 View Comments If the skies are clear on your first day in Cape Town drop everything and head straight for Table Mountain It s an ecological marvel and a powerful icon for the entire African continent What s more the views from the top are unmissable as long as the celebrated tablecloth of cloud stays away For Capetonians Table Mountain is a backdrop and an anchor both physically and spiritually Close to the South African coast it was one of the beacons that Nelson Mandela and his fellow inmates fixed upon during their incarceration on Robben Island just offshore The mountain s famous plateau is part of a short upland chain that stretches from Signal Hill just west of the city centre to Cape Point where a lighthouse marks the meeting of the Indian Ocean and the Atlantic The obvious and most popular route to the top is to take the aerial cableway a sizeable cable car that thrillingly gently rotates on the ascent But if you d rather work a little harder you can tackle one of the hiking trails that snake their way up the cliffs Visit in the South African spring or summer and the fynbos vegetation unique to the Cape will be in full bloom You ll see plenty of pretty daisies and heathers in the tussocky wilderness while proteas sundews and watsonias add splashes of red white and pink Botanists have identified over 1470 plant species on the mountain there s more floral diversity here than in the entire United Kingdom The wildlife scores top marks for entertainment value too Stars of the show are the dassies placid creatures that look a bit like monster guinea pigs and

    Original URL path: http://www.roughguides.com/article/climbing-table-mountain-south-africa/ (2016-02-16)
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  • 7 Great Bars In Cape Town | Cape Town Nightlife | Rough Guides
    city s nightlife Bar hopping in the city centre For a night out in the city centre head to buzzing Long Street This is one of Cape Town s most diverse thoroughfares lined with colonial Victorian buildings that house pubs bistros and nightclubs from whose wrought iron balconies you can catch glimpses of Table Mountain and the sea For beer lovers modern beer hall The Beerhouse is an essential stop with a menu comprising 20 taps and 99 bottles 75 percent of which are local craft brews Pick of the cocktail bars is rooftop TjingTjing thanks to its upbeat soundtrack and mouth watering drinks menu expect unusual ingredients like fynbos candyfloss vodka and balsamic vinegar End your night at Fiction host to stand out electronic music nights by the likes of Skrillex Diplo Pendulum and Noisia wesleynitsckie via photopin cc Sundowners on the Atlantic seaboard Clinging to the slopes of Table Mountain in a dramatic ribbon the Atlantic seaboard suburbs offer ocean views in spades along with some of the city s trendiest outdoor cafés and bars The best place to embrace the scene is at Café Caprice a beach facing hangout in Camps Bay popular with celebs and wannabes Pavement tables are like gold dust after sunset so get there early order a cocktail and watch the sun sink slowly into the ocean Ocean side drinks at the Waterfront Head to the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront Cape Town s redeveloped Victorian harbour for laidback ocean side drinks Best of the outdoor decks is Alba Cocktail Lounge where the drinks list includes the JellyTot and Apple Sourz spiked Albatizer an acquired taste perhaps With its private beach outdoor deck and an infinity plunge pool to boot nearby Shimmy Beach Club provides a more luxurious option with the prices and clientele to match DanieVDM via photopin cc Craft beer in Wembley Square South Africa s beer landscape has recently undergone a small transformation propelled by a global microbrew renaissance in the USA Australia New Zealand and the UK And if you want one of the best beer selections in the city there s only one place to head the Wembley Tap A menu of stomach lining pizzas provides the perfect accompaniment to local brews by the likes of Jack Black Mitchell s and Cape Brewing Company A night at P G s If you want to see the hipster side to Cape Town this is the place to go On any night of the week PnG s The Power and The Glory is a magnet for Capetonians sporting neatly trimmed beards checked shirts red lipstick and vintage dresses But don t worry too much about fitting in Cape Town is one of the world s friendliest cities after all During the day you can grab a coffee in the well styled bistro kitted out with old school metal chairs and botanical drawing prints then it blends seamlessly with a smoking room and cosy bar serving craft beers at night jon k

    Original URL path: http://www.roughguides.com/article/cape-town-nightlife/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Cape Town’s irrepressible township revolution | Travel Feature | Rough Guides
    ll find it s hard to argue with them Here are five of the best ways to see the irrepressible township revolution in all its glory Enjoy the sounds of Jazz in the Native Yards Just around the corner from the raucousness and revelry of Mzoli s Place in Gugulethu you ll find a live jazz venue with a difference Jazz in the Native Yards the brainchild of former arts journalist and local boy Luvuyo Kakaza takes some of the best jazz musicians from across South Africa away from overpriced and exclusionary city centre venues and squeezes them into a cozy township living room When the music isn t playing drinks can be ordered through the kitchen hatch and there s a braai barbecue lots of banter and a distinct lack of racial boundaries to enjoy outside in the yard as the sun goes down A photo posted by Andreas Karlsson anytimefromnow on Jan 25 2015 at 10 22am PST Get your caffeine fix at the Department of Coffee In 2012 The Department of Coffee was the first artisan coffee shop and espresso bar to open in a Cape Town township Found behind the busy Khayelitsha train station and the labyrinth of market stalls that surround it this shop run by three local twenty somethings is showing the surrounding community that a good brew is not just for the affluent none of the delectable creations on offer cost more than R10 about 50p and all are made with local beans roasted specially for Department of Coffee You can sit and enjoy your coffee and the incessant hustle and bustle of this part of town on one of the shaded stone tables out front Image by Chris Clark Catch dinner and a show at Theatre in the Backyard Acclaimed theatre producer and director Mhlanguli George has teamed up with Cape Town experiential tour operator Coffeebeans Routes to offer an innovative and interactive twist on traditional dinner theatre George s visceral hard hitting theatre pieces are staged in a township backyard in Nyanga where his actors make use of the various props that are available to them while the audience with no allocated seating have to negotiate their way around the performers and the space After the show you join the unfailingly affable director and his performers for a home cooked dinner and a couple of beers and George will tell you more about his Theatre in the Backyard concept Image by Chris Clark Experience the urban creativity of The Langa Quarter According to the Langa Quarter s creator Tony Elvin a black Brit who has settled in Langa this so called Social Enterprise Precinct will one day be to Cape Town what the French Quarter is to New Orleans Langa is both Cape Town s oldest township and interestingly the geographic centre of the metropole The Quarter thus serves both as a museum of the city s past and a creative hub of contemporary music art culture and design Various artists

    Original URL path: http://www.roughguides.com/article/cape-town-township-revolution/?wpfpaction=add&postid=409845 (2016-02-16)
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  • Table Mountain | Cape Town and the Cape Peninsula Guide | Rough Guides
    flat topped massif with dramatic cliffs and eroded gorges dominates the northern end of the Cape Peninsula Its north face overlooks the city centre with the distinct formations of Lion s Head and Signal Hill to the west and Devil s Peak to the east The west face is made up of a series of gable like formations known as the Twelve Apostles the southwest face towers over Hout Bay and the east face over the southern suburbs The mountain is a compelling feature in the middle of the city a wilderness where you ll find wildlife and 1400 species of flora Indigenous mammals include baboons dassies and porcupines Reckoned to be the most climbed massif in the world Table Mountain has suffered under the constant pounding of hikers although the damage isn t always obvious Every year the mountain strikes back taking its toll of lives One of the commonest causes of difficulties is people losing the track often due to sudden mist falling and becoming trapped If you plan to tackle one of the hundreds of its walks or climbs go properly prepared There are also full day guided hikes tailored to your level of fitness You may choose to come back the easy way by cable car or partially abseil Read More More about South Africa Things not to Miss Explore South Africa Itineraries Features Gallery Where Next Check out Gauteng Book a hostel in South Africa Travel Offers Travel insurance Hotels Hostels Car hire Tours Explore The City Centre The southern suburbs Table Mountain The Atlantic seaboard The False Bay seaboard Table Mountain National Park Cape of Good Hope The Cape Flats and the townships Find out more The cable car The cable car The least challenging but certainly not least interesting way up and down the mountain is via the highly popular cable car at the western table which offers dizzying views across Table Bay and the Atlantic The state of the art Swiss system is designed to complete a 360 degree rotation on the way giving passengers a full panorama Cars leave from the lower cableway station on Tafelberg Road You can make a real outing of it by going up for breakfast or a sunset drink and meal at the vamped up eco restaurant the upper station is an incomparable spot to watch the sun go down Sacred circle Sacred circle A number of Muslim holy men and princes were exiled from the East Indies by the Dutch during the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries and brought to the Cape where some became revered as auliyah or Muslim saints The kramats of which there are nearly two dozen in the province are their burial sites shrines and places of pilgrimage The Signal Hill kramat is a shrine to Mohamed Gasan Galbie Shah a follower of Sheik Yusuf a Sufi scholar who was deported to the Cape in 1694 with a 49 strong retinue According to tradition he conducted Muslim prayer meetings in

    Original URL path: http://www.roughguides.com/destinations/africa/south-africa/cape-town-and-the-cape-peninsula/table-mountain/ (2016-02-16)
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  • 7 must-visit places in Scotland you’ve probably never heard of | Travel Feature | Rough Guides
    ND 2 0 2 The Quiraing Isle of Skye It may look like the gnarled New Zealand countryside which doubled so superbly as the setting for the Lord of the Rings films but this Tolkienesque landscape is actually on Scotland s Isle of Skye Sheer rock faces twisted stacks piercing pinnacles and unlikely erratic boulders combine to conjure up an otherworldly scene that looks truly spectacular on a sunny day It s even more dramatic when Skye s notorious mists creep in 3 St Kilda the Western Isles St Kilda is an archipelago so impressive that it became the first place in the world to be recognised by the UNESCO World Heritage list for both its natural heritage it s home to the unique Soay sheep and the St Kilda field mouse and its human history its inhabitants lived a unique communal life until it was abandoned in 1930 It s an often very bumpy boat ride out across forty miles of ocean from the Western Isles to get there but the sheer cliffs and otherworldly rock formations are worth the effort Cleit on Hirta with Soay lamb by Irenicrhonda on Flickr CC BY NC ND 2 0 4 Foula the Shetland Islands Few Scots have even heard of the UK s most remote inhabited isle which is mind bendingly different Take a boat twenty miles away from the Shetland mainland and you can watch as the hardy Foula locals there are less than forty of them help haul your ferry out so that it isn t dashed into the rocks by the storms that frequently thrash through Venture out across this rugged island s hilly wilderness and in summer you can see bonxies huge skuas and Arctic Terns swooping above your heads Or enjoy a picnic by the sea as you watch orcas hunt for seals on the rocky shores that even the Romans never made it out to They dubbed Foula their Ultima Thule or the end of the known world when they spied it in the distance Foula post office by neil roger on Flickr CC BY NC ND 2 0 5 Cairngorms National Park the Highlands Despite being the UK s largest national park home to what is also the largest mountain plateau in the UK Cairngorms National Park is one of the least visited This vast inhospitable wilderness often looks more like the Arctic than Scotland with snow drifts swirling in hurricane force winds during winter and ice and snow lingering in places right through summer It feels a world apart too as you ramble across a lunar landscape where the UK s only wild reindeer herd roam and the wrecks of crashed WWII aircraft and debris from two more modern F 16s lie frozen in time The plateau is a paradise for well prepared walkers in summer and skiers and snowboarders take over in winter 6 Loch Torridon the Highlands Fancy a visit to the Norwegian fjords Well save yourself some cash and head

    Original URL path: http://www.roughguides.com/article/7-must-visit-places-in-scotland-youve-probably-never-heard-of/ (2016-02-16)
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