Technical Tours

South Africa has several Astronomy facilities that you could visit before, during and after the General Assembly. Please note that the cost for these visits is not included in the conference fee and you will have to self-fund. Please feel free to contact these facilities if you would like to visit. If you have any general enquiries about technical tours and site visits, please contact Anton Binneman at

Facility  Contact person Recommended/available Travel options/ Distance from Cape Town 
1. SAAO Observatory Cape Town

Visitor Centre, Optical telescopes

Sivuyile Manqoyi

Pran Govender

Cape Town shuttle services Located in Cape Town
2. SARAO Observatory Cape town

SARAO offices and Control room

Anton Binneman

Angus Flowers

Cape Town shuttle services Located in Cape Town
3. SANSA Hermanus

Satellite tracking Space weather tracking

Daleen Fouché Shuttle or self-drive 122 km: two hours from Cape Town
4. SARAO Johannesburg Observatory

The 100-year Innes Telescope and Dome, The Papadopoulos Dome with the Franklin Adams Refractors and The Popodopolis Casagrain, The Jacobs Dome with the 12” Newtonian Refractor

Optical telescope

Carmel Ives

Anton Binneman

– Flights to Johannesburg and rental cars to the observatory- Two-hour flight from Cape Town 1405 km self-drive
5. SARAO Hartebeest Hoek

Radio Astronomy, Geodesy

Marion West 2-hour flights to Johannesburg or Lanseria and self-drive to Hartebeesthoek, a 40-minute drive from Lanseria Airport to Hartebeesthoek
6. SANSA Hartebeesthoek

Satellite tracking, tracking station

Dan Matsapola

Flights to Johannesburg or Lanseria and self-drive to Hartebeest Hoek two-hour flight to Lanseria and a 40-minute drive

Optical telescope

Sivuyile Manqoyi

Anthea Oliphant

-Facilitated tour by SAAO and SARAO -Distance from Cape Town 350 km
8. MeerKAT, HERA, CBASS, KAT7, SKA Mid site

Radio Telescope


Anton Binneman

-VIP tours on Wednesdays -Site tour middle weekend in collaboration with SAAO -Distance from Cape Town is 670 km
9. Boyden Observatory and Naval Hill Planetarium

University of the Free State

Dawid Van Jaarsveldt

Matie Hoffman

– 90-minute flight from Cape Town to Bloemfontein, with Rental Cars -Self-drive: 1000 km from Cape Town
10. HESS telescope and Hoba Meteorite

UNAM Oxford

Backes, Michael -Flights to Windhoek and a drive of 1 hour to the site – Self-drive:  1600 km from Cape Town. -Visa and travel restrictions may be in place
11. Wits Anglo American Digital Dome


Deena Naidoo

Andrew Chen

-2-hour flight to Johannesburg – drive to Wits University (Main Campus). – Self-drive: 1405 km