One of the most spectacular wonders to be seen in the Karoo is the night sky and Sanbona Wildlife Reserve is the ideal location to experience it. Free from light pollution, it offers some of the finest stargazing in Southern Africa and is an ideal activity for all guests to enjoy.
In summer, Orion takes pride of place alongside Taurus the bull and Pleiades, the 7 sisters, but as winter comes around, one can witness Scorpius, with the red giant star Antares at its heart and the distinctive Southern Cross. These are just a few of the awe inspiring constellations on show.
For experienced or professional astronomers, sit back and enjoy the large and small Magellanic Clouds, which are neighbouring dwarf galaxies, or the deep space features that can be viewed with the telescopes provided at each lodge, such as the Orion and Carina Nebulas and not forgetting Tuc47, a brilliant star cluster.
Stargazing is done at the lodges and can also be incorporated on 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 sky. Should guests be fortunate enough to stay at Sanbona during a celestial event such as meteor shower, the Sanbona experience will be made extra special.
Stargazing is ideal for children to enjoy, and guides are happy to spend time explaining the uniqueness of the Karoo night sky, which can be a wonderful educational experience for younger guests taking full advantage of the Kids on Safari programme.
Photographer Chris Hitchcock captured this spectacular image of the Sanbona night sky at the 2012 Sanbona Forever Wild Weekend.
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