No visit to Sutherland (possibly the hottest as well as coldest place in South Africa) without a fisit to S.A.L.T. Southern Africa Large Telescope and an evening of stargazing at one of the operators offering this service. S.A.L.T. is the largest single optic telescope in the southern hemisphere.
Probably one of the most important reasons why anyone visits Sutherland can be found 18 km outside of the town in the direction of Fraserburg, the largest telescope in the Southern Hemisphere namely SALT (Southern African Largest Telescope).
Guided tours to the observatory take place Mondays at 10:30 and 14:30, Tuesdays only at 14:30, Wednesdays to Fridays at 10:30 and 14:30 and Saturdays at 11:30 and 14:30.
There are rumours that a second Salt telescope are in the pipeline. The official opening will take place on the 11th November 2005.
We also now have our own 8 inch Go To Telescope - the only one of it's size in town!
Visit their website at the following addresses:www.saao.ac.za & www.salt.ac.za
This unique endangered veld plant is called Star Cliffortia(Cliffortia
Arborea) and confined to the mountains around Sutherland on a southern
Peak high up in the mountains. It can grow between 3 to 5 metres high and in
very sheltered areas, it can reach a hight of up to 10 meters!
I was drawn by the name Halley se kom eet meaning (Halley says come and eat) Afrikaans word play on "Halley se komeet" meaning "Halley's comet"
Favorite Dish: Their breakfasts are good value for money, nothing special but you are in the middle of the Karoo. The sausage is to die for - I went and bought the entire stock from the butcher!
On route to the observatory, one will find Salpeterkop, the last active volcano south of the Equator some 66 milion years ago. It lies at a height of 1767 metres above sea level. Seismological the Japanese found out that Sutherland and the surrounding area are the quietest in the world!!
Far back in 1900, the town was involved with the Anglo Boer War when General J B M Hertzog launched an attack in the Cape Colony. Horses and mules were used by the government in counter attacks against the enemy. In 1901 the British troops invaded the local church for 8 months. The very first farm, Uitkyk, close to Sneeukrans was set out by the government as far back as 1746 for farmer Geele van der Walt, the father of the famous Commander Tjaart van der Walt who gained the admiration of black and white for his bravery. The farmers had many sheep and the only way to look after them was on horseback. Due to the extreme cold and harsh conditions, a strong bloodline horse was needed. The Arabic horse seemed to cope well with these conditions. Today farmer Piet Frick is carrying on in this tradition and has 33 mares for breeding.