The Observatory consists of a 25” (62 cm) and a 16” (40 cm) Meade Schmidt-Cassegrain
Telescope. The 25” is a Newtonian / Cassegrain Bradford telescope made by the Rand
Corporation in the USA. It is the largest privately owned telescope in South Africa
and the largest professional telescope in amateur hands in the Southern Hemisphere.
The 16” (40 cm)Meade LX200 operates with an Apogee 7 CCD camera. The CCD camera makes
the 16” LX200 telescope very powerful for the deep-sky photography of very faint
and distant objects. It is used for Comet hunting as well as for Supernova searches.Visitors
to the Observatory are given the chance to make use of both telescopes. Guests will
be called to look through the 25” telescope usually on a table basis, before and
during the various courses of food ordered in the restaurant in a feast of “Astronomy
The 16” telescope is usually used during and after desserts to look at objects that
are to faint to be
seen with the 25” telescope and the human eye. The images are projected onto a screen
restaurant. A short Comet hunt and/or Supernova hunt add to the excitement of the
evening. It is
quite possible that a dining guest will one day discover a Comet from the comfort
of his or her
dinner table at the Observatory Restaurant.
The Observatory Restaurant is ideally suited for private functions and corporate
resident astronomer is your “Tour guide of the Night Sky”. The cost of the Astronomy
is R100.00 per
person. The Menu is a la carte and a 10% gratuity will be added to the Food/Bar
bill. Starting time
The Observatory Restaurant has been mentioned in the book “Extreme Restaurants of
the world” by Birgit Krols in 2008.
Dining Under The Stars
Astronomy and Gastronomy are combined with the largest privately owned telescope
in Southern Africa and a Fine Dining Cuisine to match the heavenly bodies that can
be seen through the telescope. The Observatory is situated at Aloe Ridge Hotel &
Game Reserve and prides itself as being the first venue in the world where the concept
of Dining with
the Stars was pioneered in 1998. It is the only venue in the world where live comet
hunting can be enjoyed in the comfort of a restaurant.