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LOCAL TIME: 04:35 am | Thursday, 30 May
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Sutherland, Northern Cape Karoo

The tiny town of Sutherland is well known as the coldest place in South Africa in mid-winter. It is also called the ‘Gateway to the Universe’ as it is the location of the most powerful telescope in the Southern Hemisphere – SALT.

The Sutherland Observatory takes advantage of the local climate and remoteness of the Upper Karoo – an area that is flat and arid, and therefore cloudless, for most of the year and also very undeveloped with clear unpolluted and very dark skies – except for an inverted ‘blanket’ made of billions stars that is.

While Sutherland is most famous for its stargazing and SALT, there are many other things to see, do or simply enjoy around this small town during the day. At 1500m above sea level, snow is guaranteed in the cold winter months, as is a myriad of flowers after the summer rains re-awaken the Karoo. There are walking and mountain bike trails around the town, horse-riding and just enjoying the wide open space around you.

Getting there: Sutherland is situated at the juncture between the north-south bound R354 and the east-west R354. Take the R354 east from Cape Town. Total travelling distance is 374km.




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