Focus on Sutherland, Northern Cape, South Africa

Gateway to the universe ....... that is what they call Sutherland. Land of snow and stars.
The coldest place in the Republic. The place where you find the largest telescope in the Southern Hemisphere....... a telescope so powerful that one could see a candle flame on the moon. When you take the tar road from Cape Town , you turn off at Matjiesfontein, the famous English Karoo town with its splendid museum, then another 110 km and you reach Sutherland ..... not only famous for its Observatory but also for its pure , fresh air …... fresher than anywhere else in the world!

350 km on the tar road from Cape Town and 1550 metres above sea level lies Sutherland in the Northern Cape. It forms part of the Karoo Hoogland Municipal area which includse Williston (145km away) and Fraserburg (110 km) The town was established in 1855 with everything focused around the Dutch Reformed Church. In 1872 there were 19 houses, with a community of 138. Today it is mainly a sheep farming area with 3648 inhabitants of which 749 are whites. Farms are usually very large - 5000 ha + There are two large shops in town as well as a café, one service station, 2 butcheries, farmers Coop, two schools and one bank (Standard Bank). All basic products can be bought locally. The newspaper of the day is only available in the late afternoon due to the distance from the cities.

An 18 hole golf course, tennis courts and yoke pin coarse provide the sport activities.
The average minimum temperature is 3 degrees Celcius over the whole year and the average maximum is 20,5º C.

All of the shops still follow the long practised tradition of closing from 13h00 - 14h00 each day.