We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Freezing but worth it! Science, Technology, Museum and Awesome view of stars”

Southern Africa Large Telescope
South Africa
Level 6 Contributor
214 reviews
70 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
“Freezing but worth it! Science, Technology, Museum and Awesome view of stars”
Reviewed June 17, 2012

We went with a group of Popular Mechanics readers to visit the South African Astronomical Observatory and the main focus was to see SALT. What an interesting experience.

As we were a large group, we were split in half and we first had a lecture, video and tour of their museum. Afterwards we were taken up on the hill to see both the Radcliffe and SALT telescopes. I had not been aware that there were so many different facilities up there. About sixteen different telescopes, many used robotically by other countries and universities. The latest is Korean. The reason they are all here is that it is generally free of noise and light pollution and facing the centre of the Milky Way Galaxy.

After that we were taken to view the night skies through a Meade and Celestron telescopes. They are computerised insofar as you are able to put in coordinates and then it adjusts to that position. We saw Venus like a shining crescent with most of it behind its cloud; nebulae; pulsars; Mars; a surprising view of Saturn vertically and many more.

It was icy cold and luckily for us a clear clear night. The astronomer working on the Radcliffe told us it would be -16 degrees. I was geared for this and wore four layers, most of which were thermal. Over and above that were hats, scarves, gloves, ski boots and a ski jacket. I did look like the michelin man but could comfortably stand outside and view a magnificent sky. My husband was entranced with watching the satellites flitting across the sky with no visual aids.

We loved it and if this is up your alley - you have to go!

Visited May 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank SouthAfricaConcerned
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

214 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    99
    75
    22
    8
    10
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level 6 Contributor
149 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
“Very interesting visit”
Reviewed June 15, 2012

It's really worthwhile to see this - the largest telescope in the Southern Hemisphere

Visited June 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank Yellowblood
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Town
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“SALT”
Reviewed May 30, 2012

30.05.2012

We visited Sutherland from the 25th to 28th May and we had a good relaxing time. Not much to do in Sutherland but for a getaway it was great. The townsfolk are friendly and receptive. On our 2nd evening we visited SALT. What an amazing experience. To be able to see what is not visible with the naked eye and even take a pic or few through the telescope. We'll go back but we need quadbikes to get around or perhaps a 4x4 is in order! Most of the roads are gravel.

Visited May 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank GarTas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level 6 Contributor
306 reviews
62 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 123 helpful votes
“Worth a visit.”
Reviewed February 2, 2012

I f you are in Sutherland you must visit SALT, the largest optical telescope in the Southern hemisphere. There are daytime guided tours of the facilities and SALT itself, an amazing sight. There are also night time viewings of the stars, not from SALT though but through two smaller telescopes designed for this. Take the children they will love it, also take warm clothes !!

Visited January 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank david o
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
31 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“what a sight to behold”
Reviewed December 24, 2011

Highly recommended. The view of the sky is truly magnificent.

Visited December 2011
Helpful?
1 Thank Jeean P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Southern Africa Large Telescope also viewed

Sutherland, Northern Cape
Sutherland, Northern Cape
 

Been to Southern Africa Large Telescope? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing