Sutherland unusual destinationOf Colder Climes

images-1This small Karoo village in the Northern Cape is known for it’s very cold temperatures and snowfalls in winter. It is said to be one of the coldest places in South Africa and we wouldn’t disagree, but be warned it also gets very hot in summer.

The air is so clear that you can see for miles and is the reason why the South African Astronomical Observatory was originally located here. The village is pretty with sandstone brick houses, restaurants and quaint shops.

Until the advent of S.A.L.T (South Africa’s largest telescope) there was very little to occupy folk here apart from sheep farming for which the region is known. Subsequently, however,  there has been an influx of foreigners, either as tourists or observers based in Sutherland for work purposes, as well as locals wishing to visit this extraordinary telescope.

writer’s cottage

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To stay:

Sterland Skrijwershuisie (Writer’s cottage) – cosy, self-catering cottage that’s been creatively renovated and most importantly has a fireplace! Breakfast at their restaurant in the village.

To eat:

Cluster D’Hote – housed in one of the oldest Victorian buildings in town and extravagently decorated with lots of collectables and antiques. The food is karoo cooking with a twist and the lamb shank is excellent.

To do:
the observatory

The Observatory – this is a MUST do! Take a tour of S.A.L.T – booking advisable – and you’ll be overawed by what you see and the foreign sub stations that have been set up around it.

Star gazing – warmer nights advised for this unless you like freezing to death! Jurg and Rita Wagener run nightly tours on their smallholding Sterland (Starland). Booking essential. There are also star gazing areas at the observatory.

Don’t make haste

If you’re warm and comfortable stay for a couple of nights and enjoy the still, clear air. Look at the stars, hike the nearby trails and in Spring marvel at the flowers in bloom. The Tankwa Karoo National Park is situated close by for day trips.

For further info look at the Sutherland website

Where to find it