One of the great wonders to experience at Sanbona Wildlife Reserve is the night sky. Stretching across 58 000 hectares of wide, open plains, Sanbona is known as the Western Cape’s premier wildlife destination. Free from light and city pollution, this area, known as the Klein Karoo, offers some of the finest stargazing in Southern Africa.
The expansive reserve offers guests a choice of four different lodges and camps. Each lodge has a high-powered telescope and dedicated ranger who, utilising a laser pointer, guides guests through the awe-inspiring constellations and planets.
As part of the constellations on show, in summer, Orion can be seen alongside Taurus the bull, and the Seven Sisters. But, as winter comes around, Scorpius, with the red giant star Antares at its’ heart and the distinctive Southern Cross, come into view.
Experienced or professional astronomers can sit back and enjoy the neighbouring dwarf galaxies, also known as the large and small Magellanic Clouds. Other deep space features that can be viewed with the telescopes provided at each lodge include the Orion and Carina Nebulas, and not forgetting Tuc47, another brilliant star cluster.
Stargazing can be conducted in the comfort of the lodges but can also be incorporated on exciting night drives. Although the winter months may be colder, they offer even better viewing as heat and dust are greatly reduced in the atmosphere, offering a clearer view of the sky.
Stargazing is the ideal activity for the whole family and can be included in the Kids on Safari programme at Gondwana Family Lodge. Guests travelling without children have a choice between romantic Dwyka Tented Lodge and Tilney Manor, or the Explorer Camp for adventurous travellers keen on walking safaris.