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Things to do

High on the list of things to do is definitely a visit to the Southern African Large Telescope (also called Salt). The telescope is approximately 18km from Sutherland, and only 15 minutes away from Rooikloof Farm. Guided tours are available. On these tours visitors get the opportunity to see exactly how the gigantic eye (the largest in the southern hemisphere) works.

The town's high elevation, its remoteness and the absence of light pollution is ideal for star gazing. Sutherland offers a truly unique insight into the universe.

Sutherland Stars


SALT Sutherland   Salt's primary mirror (also called Africa's Giant Eye) spanning 11 metres can show objects in space which are a billion times too faint to be seen with the naked eye. Salt is the largest single telescope for optical/infrared astronomy in the southern hemisphere, equal to the largest in the world. Gathering more than 25 times as much light as any existing African telescope. Salt can detect objects as faint as any existing African telescope. Salt can detect objects as faint as a candle flame on the moon.
SAAO : Tel. 023 571 2436. Tours must be booked well in advance during office hours (8h00 – 13h00 and 14h00 to 16h00)

Star gazing

This year we will offer star gazing sessions headed up by Dave O'Hearns. Dave is our resident night sky presenter and avid amateur astronomer. Having studied Astrophysics for twelve years plus being responsible for the day time visitor tours of the Observatory for ten years, not only can he show you the wonders of the night sky with a telescope and laser, he can also give much deeper explanations and information for those that want it.You will find his show an entertaining and informative evening for young and old,amateur and novice alike right on your doorstep at Rooikloof.

Please book directly with Dave at : daveohearns@vodamail.co.za or 023571 1087.
Information regarding our star gazing programme.

Starting time: 20:00 all year round
Duration of stargazing session: approx. 2 hours
Where: area between Renosterbos Cottage and Huis Harpuis
No of people (8 year and above) - Please indicate on booking form
Price per person ( 8+) : R100.00
Children under 8: free of charge
Stargazing sessions are subject to numbers and can be cancelled due to: - unforeseen circumstances, - foul weather conditions
What you need: warm clothes and a torch.



Cluster d` Hote : Tel. 023 571 1436. Book in advance (open from 18h00. Kitchen closes at 21h00)
Jupiter Restaurant : Tel. 023 571 1340. Open from 8h00 to 22h00 for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Open Sundays from 8h00 to 16h00. Cash Bar and DSTV available.
Karoo Kombuis Sutherland Hotel :
Tel. 023 571 1096. Open every day. Breakfast from 08h00 to 10h00. Lunch from 12h00 to 14h00. Dinner from 18h00 - 20h00. Bar open from 10h00 to 24h00. DSTV available.
Trail to Oubergpas : For sundowners - 45km from Rooikloof Farm.

Visit the historical Dutch Reformed church designed by Charles Freeman. It was occupied in the Anglo Boer War for approximately eight months by British soldiers. The graves of soldiers who died during the war in these parts are popular visiting places, as is the historical mission church.
Contact Details : Tel.023 571 1258 / 071 1367 468

The Louw Museum, birthplace of two well-known Afrikaans intellectuals of previous century, the writers and poets N.P. Van Wyk Louw and his brother, W.E.G. Louw, and the Tuinplaas church are also well worth a visit. The church still has its traditional floor and antique harmonium and is in all likelihood the oldest church building in the country still used by migrant farmers. The Louw house serves as a museum of literature.
Louw Museum : Tel. 023 571 1258 / 072 5609 342

Hiking & 4x4

People who enjoy walks can follow the Silhouette route on the farm Ezeljaht about 20km outside the town.

Four wheel drive routes and look-out points Skurweberg, Verlatenkloof and Banksgate has various 4x4 routes for outdoor adventurers who want to explore the Karoo landscape behind the steering wheel of a 4X4. Verlatenkloofpass was designed by Thomas Bain, son of the famous Bain who designed the Bainskloof pass close to Wellington among other spectacular mountain passes in South Africa.

For nature lovers

Visit the Ouberg pass, approximately 45km west of the town, where on clear days you can see the Ceres-Karoo Mountains (about 200km's away). Various unique fauna and flora can be found in this extreme landscape. Sutherland is in the so-called Succulent Karoo which is seen as one of the world's main bio-diversity hot spots. It is an area that has an abundance of endemic hardy plant species which are found nowhere else on earth. This includes unique flora such as the Cliffortia Aborea. Sutherland and surrounds offer bird watchers many unique opportunities. Remember to ask your hosts which dam farms in the area are worth inspecting for our feathered friends.

Be on the look out for the scarce riverine rabbit, Bonulagus monticularis, which can be found grazing in the Carnarvon area. It is one of the twelve most endangered species of rabbit in the world and has the same conservation status as the black rhino and the African wild dog. All indications are that there are no more than 250 adults of this species left.

The riverine rabbit is a timid loner with a grazing area of ten to twenty hectares per animal and can be found in the alluvial soil of intermittent streams. Its ears are approximately 12 cm long, and it has a reddish spot on the back of the neck, white circles around the eyes, a black-brown stripe along its lower jaw and has broad woolly hind legs.

Spring flowering starts from August in the Tankwa area and in September in Roggeveld. Perfect time for Autumn is between March and April.