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“Interesting place to go visit” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Southern Africa Large Telescope

Southern Africa Large Telescope
Sutherland Road, Sutherland, South Africa
(023) 571-2436
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Certificate of Excellence 2014
Attraction details
Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
9 attraction reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Interesting place to go visit”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 8, 2014

About 15 min out of Sutherland by car. We chose to ride the 18km there. It's quite steep as you get there.

Staff are friendly and the information centre has some. Interesting exhibits.

The telescopes are interesting. You will defiantly get to see SALT and possibly the oldest telescope.

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70 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Durban, South Africa
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Planets and Stars”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2014

Big Telescope excellent, on a good clear evening will see Planets and Stars amazing even better a few streets away from the Hotel there is a place we visited at night with a number of telescopes and we have never seen so many Stars so close unbelievable. We where able to see Planets clearly as well amazing stuff and Sutherland has 0% pollution. They also have very little Light Pollution that makes it possible for Stars and Planets to view. It is crime free and a small little Town which is adorable. Hotel has info on all these Places to visit

Visited December 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Blackpool, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
9 attraction reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
“Well worth a visit”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 15, 2013

Our guide David gave us a very interesting tour of this huge telescope and the rest of the SAAO facility. We even got to see the massive telescope move around on it's base as cleaning was being carried out. As a bonus we also saw a herd of Springbok grazing on the hillside, very close to the telescopes.

Visited November 2013
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Cape Town
Top Contributor
232 reviews 232 reviews
155 attraction reviews
Reviews in 55 cities Reviews in 55 cities
130 helpful votes 130 helpful votes
“Astronomical Journey from Africa”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 7, 2013

South Africa can be very proud of this establishment as it is world class and contributes to astrological advancement. The tours are amazing, the night tour introduced us to planet Venus, just dress very warmly as it suddenly gets very cold. The guided day tour was the highlight, Dave, the tour guide was passionate and informative and made the tour very interesting. The visit to the old observatory was as interesting as the visit to SALT. The establishment illustrates how various counties can work together in harmony for the advancement of mankind.

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Salisbury, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
125 reviews 125 reviews
24 attraction reviews
Reviews in 79 cities Reviews in 79 cities
62 helpful votes 62 helpful votes
“Out of this world and into space”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 6, 2013

After a couple of days in the very isolated Tankwa Karoo, Sutherland was the real reason for our visit to the area. We'd booked the evening stargazing visit but as we arrived early in town we booked the 2:30pm tour of SALT itself. We were glad we did. We had a very knowledgeable guide called Dave who spent nearly two hours with just the two of us (no-one else had booked), starting with a short video, then a quick tour of the site including the whole array of telescopes besides SALT. We then entered SALT itself which is very, very, impressive. We witnessed some mirror changing and alignment as Dave explained how the whole thing worked, including an idiot's guide to spectrometers. You can only see SALT during the day as it is used by the astronomers/scientists after dark (strangely enough!).
In the evening we returned for stargazing using one of the smaller telescopes. I say small, but having done a couple of stargazing trips, this was the biggest and best telescope I've actually looked through. The lady who guided us was very knowledgeable and talked us through the moon, planets, constallations and stars/clusters.
Both trips were good, but if you've done stargazing before and can only make one tour then go for the daytine tour of SALT - it will open your eyes to modern astronomy based on reflector telescopes and spectrometry (if that's the right term for it). If you can, do both tours. They are incredible value for money - just remember to wrap up warm, it is VERY cold at night, even in the summer!

Visited December 2013
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