Reach for the stars in South Africa

Anyone who loves trying to spot the plough or Orion’s belt of an evening may also be interested in holidays to South Africa during 2009.

This year will see the International Year of Astronomy taking place and according to IOL, a number of special events will be going on in Cape Town in order to mark the event.

The city’s links with astronomy date back to 1685, when an observatory was first built there after Galileo’s revelations.

Mosibudi Mangena, the country’s science minister, said the festivities will include presentations at observatories and special displays at museums and are “an opportunity for stimulating the imaginations” of tourists and locals.

He added: “Astronomy in South Africa is thriving.”

In related news, people in Cape Town were lucky enough to experience a partial eclipse of the sun yesterday (January 26th), the Witness attests.

Although conditions in other parts of the country were too poor to see it, eyewitnesses in Cape Town saw the moon block off the top section of the sun.

South Africa is also world-renowned for its safari holidays. Robert Ure of the Sydney Morning Herald recently wrote about his trip to watch lions, rhinos and hyenas in the country.

He reported how the vehicles the guides used for the safaris do not have doors or roofs and how it is possible for lucky visitors to creep close to animals.

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