Due to the COVID-19 virus, all visits, tours and open nights have been cancelled until further notice both in Sutherland and in Cape Town. The visitors centre in Sutherland is closed. Please email or phone 076 900 0308 if you have any queries regarding bookings and tours for Sutherland.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

SAAO offers fully-guided tours to the public twice a day, which include a guided walk through the Visitor Centre, as well as a guided tour of selected research telescopes including SALT.
Time:   Monday to Saturday: 10:30 and 14:30
Fee: Adults: R100
Children 6 – 11: R50
Children under 6: free

Tour fees go towards the SAAO’s education, public outreach and socio-economic development programmes. Tour bookings must be paid in advance – no payments will be accepted on site.

Tour guides will meet you at the Visitor Centre at your scheduled time. If you arrive early please wait at the Visitor Centre for your guide. This is a secure site and all other buildings are off limits to the public. In an emergency you may call 076 900 0308. For queries, please email

Public Holidays

On public holidays and Saturdays, basic tours start every hour, and include a self-guided tour of the Visitor Centre and a basic guided tour of SALT. No booking is required.

Note we are closed on: Christmas Day, Day of Goodwill, New Years Day and Good Friday.

Time:   09:00 to 15:00 (every hour on the hour)
Fee: Adults: R80
Children 6 – 11: R40
Children under 6: free