10 Nov STARGAZING UNDER AN AFRICAN SKY
A South African holiday simply cannot be complete without experiencing our brilliant southern constellations. Fortunately, we have several excellent sites where you can get a closer look at our starry skies. Rhino Shuttles can drive you to the first three directly or take you to the airport for those further afield.
The closest one to Johannesburg is at The Cradle of Humankind – and where better to lose yourself in space than at the place of our origins? The beauty of this site is that you can kill three birds with one stone: you can visit the Sterkfontein Caves and meet your ancestors at the wonderful interactive visitor centre, have dinner at the Tumulus Restaurant and end the evening exploring space through powerful telescopes. You can even spend the night at the hotel. But remember, booking is essential and stargazing is subject to the weather.
+27 (0)14 577 9000
R563 Hekpoort Road
The Waterberg, Limpopo
Another one-stop getaway that promises unforgettable African skies is the Waterberg area. A true natural wonder with its ancient mountains and endless views, it’s archaeological significance and even the Big 5, it is a very special place to visit. The towns of Bela Bela and Mookgophong even offer natural hot springs for your enjoyment. Book yourself into any of the lodges in the area and enjoy.
Limpopo Tourism and Parks
+27 (0)15 290 7300
Madikwe Game Reserve Lodges, North West Province
Large telescopes whisk you away to fascinating constellations, planets, Zodiac signs and more in this beautiful reserve. Another advantage is that it’s a malaria-free area that offers you a choice of 20 luxury lodges. Madikwe attributes its success to a 3-way partnership: the state conserves the land, private enterprise runs the lodges, and the community benefits from levies and jobs. Do book to avoid disappointment.
012 346 0124
South African Largest Telescope (SALT), Western Cape
To effortlessly explore the furthest galaxies, visit the small town of Sutherland. This cold, pollution-free and cloudless location was chosen above several competing ones world-wide to build SALT, one of the planet’s biggest telescopes. Here scientists are pushing the boundaries of space further and further. In fact, SALT is so powerful that it could detect a candle flame on the moon. A must visit.
Tour bookings at SALT
+27 (0)23 571 2436
Karoo National Park, Western Cape
The vast Karoo is perfect for stargazing. Go on a guided tour at night or simply just set your dinner table outside during the summer months for a star-studded show.
South African National Parks reservations
+27 (0)2 428 9111
Tswalu Kalahari Private Game Reserve, Northern Cape
Clear Kalahari skies provide perfect conditions for stargazing in the desert. Viewed through a large telescope set up among the dunes, you’ll want to escape to this special place on a regular basis. This reserve is privately owned and has two exceptional luxury camps – The Motse and Tarkuni.
+27 (0)53 781 9331
Mountain Passes of the Eastern Cape Highlands
Remote valleys and clear skies promise an all-night spectacle of bright star watching – don’t forget your star map because the Southern Cross is not all you’ll be seeing under this part of the African sky.
Wild Mountain Adventures
+27 (0)87 943 5428 / (0)70 536 3996