TOP 10 STARGAZING SPOTS IN SA
January 11, 2019
Stargazing is a popular outdoor activity, offering a chance to see the night skies of South Africa as you’ve never experienced them before. There are many excellent spots to enjoy endless hours gazing into the starry universe above, as you learn more about stars, planets and astronomy. For inquiring minds searching for knowledge and a bit of magic, this is one of the most rewarding and fascinating adventure activities on offer, giving you a chance to learn more about the universe we live in and the huge cosmos that we are a part of. www.dirtyboots.co.za
TOP 10 STARGAZING SPOTS IN SA
1) THE SOUTH AFRICAN LARGE TELESCOPE NEAR SUTHERLAND
is situated at the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) field station near the small town of Sutherland, in the Northern Cape province, about 400 km from Cape Town.
2) THE JOHANNESBURG PLANETARIUM, BRAAMFONTEIN, GAUTENG
A great city spot to learn about our night skies. There are regular astronomy lectures open to the public.
3) KAROO NATIONAL PARK, WESTERN CAPE
The vast open plains of the Karoo were made for stargazing. Go on a guided night tour, or simply pick a spot, spread out your blanket and be star-struck.
4) MAROPENG VISITOR CENTRE, CRADLE OF HUMANKIND
Learn more about stars, planets and constellations from a qualified astronomer. They hold regular events here.
5) SUTHERLAND TO CALVINIA
If you want to travel with the stars and drive on dusty back roads, then the upper Karoo in the Northern Cape is calling your name.
6) ENTABENI PRIVATE GAME RESERVE, WATERBERG, LIMPOPO
The Waterberg offers some of the brightest star watching opportunities thanks to its clear skies and low levels of light pollution.
7) EASTERN CAPE BORDER WITH LESOTHO - THE EASTERN CAPE HIGHLANDS
Remote valleys free of pollution promise an all-night parade of celestial bodies. Bring your star map and seek out the Southern Cross.
8) TSWALU KALAHARI RESERVE, NORTHERN CAPE
Crystal clear Kalahari skies provide perfect conditions for desert stargazing, viewed through a large telescope set up among the sand dunes.
9) MADIKWE RIVER LODGE, NORTH WEST PROVINCE
Large telescopes take you on a galactic odyssey across the African night sky to see constellations, planets, Zodiac signs and more.
10) GOLDEN GATE HIGHLANDS NATIONAL PARK, FREE STATE
Book into the Mountain Retreat cabins, find a comfortable spot on the veranda and watch the universe unfold.
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Stargazing in South Africa at !Xaus Lodge
At night, you see the universe
You may feel like you have never seen the night sky before when you go stargazing at !Xaus Lodge. The Milky Way arcs over you like a giant swathe of smoke – reminiscent of the Bushman tale of its origins. A girl from an ancient race, the story goes, threw the cinders from a fire into the sky to light hunters’ paths home. Prominent all through the year are the Southern Cross, Carina, and Centaurus. Hundreds of other stars and constellations nearly leap out of the blackness.
The !Ae!Hai Kalahari Heritage Park that surrounds !Xaus Lodge is one of the world’s darkest places and offers some of the best star gazing in South Africa.
Night really falls there, nearly totally free from pollution, including light pollution, natural atmospheric pollution and man-made pollution. On the SQM (or Sky Quality Meter, pronounced ‘squim’) scale of darkness, with 22 being as unadulteratedly dark as you can get, !Xaus Lodge and environs measure 21.9. Read more here...
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