The South African skies are a breathtaking bonus for any traveller. To stand in the middle of nowhere with an unspoilt arc of blue spanning the horizons and the big, bright, yellow sun warming your face is to understand heavenly bliss.

Did you know?

The last time the Southern Cross, the southern hemisphere's most famous constellation, was visible in Jerusalem was around 30 AD. It is no longer visible at latitudes north of 25 degrees.

There are a thousand different ways to enjoy looking at the skies over South Africa. As the sun rises from the eastern horizon you might find yourself sitting on a chair overlooking the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, a World Heritage site in KwaZulu-Natal, with a hippo for company.

Or maybe you've spent two days hiking to the top of the Amphitheatre in the world-renowned Drakensberg, and you're warming yourself around a fire, drinking hot coffee, as one of the most spectacular dawns on the planet is revealed to you.

As the day takes shape, a storm brews over Johannesburg. Giant rain clouds gather in all their dark and menacing glory. You're sitting 10 floors up in Skye Bar in Sandton, sipping a margarita as fork lightning bisects the Highveld and thunder rattles the glass windows.

And as the sun slinks slowly over the western horizon announcing the end of another spectacular day in Africa you head up to the top of Lion's Head in Cape Town at full moon to watch the sunset over the Atlantic Ocean, while simultaneously observing moonrise. It's quite a walk and a gentle sea breeze cools your body as the last strands of sunlight disappear.

The stars are out in all their heavenly magnificence as you gaze up into a cloudless sky in the Central Karoo or the Kalahari. The Milky Way lies like a broad path overhead, a meteor streaks across the sky and the Southern Cross points your way back home.

Wherever you find yourself in this beautiful country, the vastness, the clarity, the beauty of the open skies will keep you coming back for more.

Travel tips & Planning info

Who to contact

Sutherland Tourism - Karoo Hoogland Tourism
Tel: +27 (0)23 571-1265
Email: hooglandtourism@telkomsa.net

Best time to visit

Any time of year offers superb skies in South Africa, although Cape winters can be cloudy.

What to pack

Champagne and orange juice for sun up, a smooth cabernet for sundown and someone warm for the night sky.

Where to stay

Watch the sun rise in Kosi Bay, watch it set from Signal Hill and look at the stars in Sutherland or anywhere in the Karoo.