The heart of Sutherland

After a long and frustrating recovery from foot surgery, I’m happily back on my feet, camera in hand and this time my wanderlust has taken me to Sutherland, a small town in the Northern Cape about 4 hours drive from Cape Town.

Situated in the Karoo, an area renowned for it’s barren and arid landscape, and home to less than 3 000 people, Sutherland boasts the coldest temperatures in South Africa all year round.  It’s also home to SALT, the largest telescope in the southern hemisphere: It’s dry climate means cloudless skies and together with it’s flat landscape, it’s unobstructed skies make it one of the top stargazing spots in the country.  And indeed, it is the stars that have coaxed me to this chilly dorpie*, just as summer finally arrived in Cape Town.  But more about my stargazing escapades in a later post.

A walk around town before breakfast confirmed that in this typical dusty Platteland** townlife is simple, from the succulent plants to the architecture and décor:

02-IMG_063204-IMG_0646Sandstone buildings, corrugated iron roofs and faded paintwork add to the charm of a town where the Dutch Reformed Church was used as a fort by British soldiers during the Anglo Boer War. The metal roofs are seldom painted, so the harsh glare of the sun can be blinding, not to mention playing havoc with photographs!06-IMG_0665 08-IMG_067416-IMG_0747And then there is the omnipresent wind pump, synonymous with Platteland towns.24-IMG_0990

27-IMG_1005 28-IMG_1022 29-IMG_1023

* small town

** flat land


9 thoughts on “The heart of Sutherland

    1. Yes, the landscape is a little bleak and nothing much happens on a weekend, but the hospitality is so amazing I wanted to bottle it. It did manage to find a handful of lovely gardens which I snapped with you in mind 🙂 Have a peek in my next post. I’ll get to the actual stargazing post eventually – thotos are great, it’s the post itself that won’t gel verbally.


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