Southern African Large Telescope

Probably one of the most important reasons why anyone who visits Sutherland can find (SALT) 18 km outside of the town in the direction of Fraserburg.

The Southern African Large Telescope (SALT) is the largest single optical telescope in the southern hemisphere and among the largest 5 or so in the world. It has a hexagonal primary mirror array 11 metres across, comprising 91 individual 1.2m hexagonal mirrors. Although very similar to the Hobby-Eberly Telescope (HET) in Texas, SALT has a redesigned optical system resulting in a larger field of view and effective collecting area.

The SAAO welcomes visitors from all parts of the country and the world, and with this provides tours of the facilities - Guided or Self-Guided. Booking is essential, as this is a secure site and certain areas and buildings are off limits to the public.