13 May 2013 by Kate Turkington

Stars in your eyes

You can see stars – brilliant and blazing – in many places in South Africa. Bushmans Kloof in the Cederberg mountains in the Western Cape is great place for this.

The lovely Cederberg mountains

The thing is, you have stars in your eyes before the sun even sets, because Bushmans Kloof, in the Cederberg mountains in the Western Cape, is so incredibly beautiful.

Imagine a cluster of whitewashed cottages set among abundant fynbos – where green lawns and indigenous gardens (over 755 botanical species) seem to melt into the surrounding rocky mountainsides, and complement, not compete, with their wild-growing neighbours.

Beautiful accommodation

The multi-international-award-winning lodge is just 270km inland from Cape Town, and is known not only for its gorgeous setting and great hospitality, but also for its San rock paintings – more than 330 of them – that lie under weathered overhangs and by mysterious caves.

But I’m here to see the stars this time.

If you live where it’s hard to see the night sky, come to South Africa, where you’re guaranteed to see stars.

Heavy rain is flooding Cape Town as we set off for the Cederberg, and lashes our windscreen all the way there. But the next day, the sun is shining, and that evening, a couple of hours after sunset, we set off to see stars. On the way, as we drive towards the dam that is to be the base for our stargazing, we happen upon a not-too-often sighting of four bat-eared foxes foraging for insects.

Frogs twitter and croak softly, a nightjar calls. Otherwise all is still and silent.

The base for our stargazing

We gaze at the brilliant sky in awe as our two guides, Gerhard Thom and Simone Wood-Callender, point out the major constellations, the Milky Way, some black holes and nebulae, and a passing satellite or two.

If you live where it’s hard to see the night sky, come to South Africa, where you’re guaranteed to see stars. Come to Bushmans Kloof, and be filled with wonder.

Bat-eared fox

Category: Attractions

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