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About Sutherland

The clear skies above the town make Sutherland budget travel ideal for stargazing and astronomy, with a unique and charming Karoo culture and stunning scenery plus many activities to enjoy.


Sutherland airport information includes:
•There is a small airport found within Sutherland that serves local and unscheduled flights from within South Africa
•Cape Town International Airport is situated about 350km away
•Kimberly Airport is the Northern Cape's primary airport


With a range of species to be found across the area, Sutherland birds can be seen in abundance throughout the farmlands and wooded areas. The nearby Tankwa-Karoo National Park is also excellent for birding, with species such as Black eagle, Burchell's courser and other birdlife to be seen.


As a Karoo town, Sutherland conservation mostly focuses on preserving precious resources, with many droughts occurring throughout the dry months. A low rainfall combined with snowfall during the winter months creates harsh conditions for many plant and animal species. Protected areas within Sutherland and its surrounds include the national park of Tankwa-Karoo, which is home to Biodiversity Hotspots of the Cape Floral Kingdom and the Succulent Karoo.


Sutherland cultures include the following:
•Farming plays an important role in everyday life
•Coffee shops and small traditional pubs are popular hangout spots for locals
•Music and art has a number of influences across all of the region's cultural groups
•Traditional Afrikaans culture plays a fairly strong role, despite the town's English influences
•Markets are held frequently, offering a chance for locals to interact and purchase a number of produce ranging from tulips to livestock


Sutherland health information is as follows:
•There are no major hospitals within Sutherland, which means that medical help is not easily available
•Water is generally safe to drink, although it may be safest to stick to bottled water just in case
•There are no major health risks within Sutherland


Sutherland languages include:


Sutherland money and banking information includes:
•As a small town, Sutherland has one bank, which is a Standard Bank
•Foreign exchange facilities may be available at the bank, but in general, facilities are somewhat limited
•Credit cards and debit cards may be accepted at some guesthouses within the region, but cash is the easiest option for shops and markets
•It is best to get your banking done in Cape Town or Kimberly before leaving for Sutherland


Sutherland people include the following groups:


Sutherland local phrases include:
•Gooie dag/more/gooie aand, good day/morning/good evening (Afrikaans)
•Dankie/asseblief, thank you/please (Afrikaans)
•Aangename kennis, pleased to meet you (Afrikaans)
•Dumela - Hello (Setswana)
•Tsamaya sentle /Sala sentle, go well/stay well (Setswana)


Sutherland plants include a number of Karoo plant species such as elephant's foot, rye grass, Daubenia Aurea (a very rare plant that can only be seen in some parts of the region during September) and sterblom. Tulips are farmed locally, flowing during the spring months and often sold at the local markets.


Sutherland religion includes the following:
•Christianity is the largest religion
•The Dutch Reformed Church is the primary church within the town
•African traditional religions are practiced to some degree

Safety Tips

Sutherland safety tips include:
•Sutherland is a small farming town with very little crime and safety concerns
•There are not many large hospitals and healthcare facilities within Sutherland, stay safe and healthy during your travels
•Hikes and nature walks should not be done alone
•Summer in Sutherland brings very hot weather, always use sun protection
•While there is not much traffic in Sutherland itself, pay caution when driving on the roads leading into the town


Sutherland local transport options include:
•Self-drive offers an easy way to explore the Karoo and Sutherland area
•Bicycles offer a fun way to explore the town and its picturesque farmlands
•Walking can easily be done throughout the town
•There may be some bus routes to and from Sutherland, but these are not always the most reliable ways to travel
•Horse riding offers an adventurous way to explore the farmlands of Sutherland

Travel Books

Sutherland recommended travel books include:
•Succulent Flora of Southern Africa by Doreen Court
•Karoo Tales & Images by Nick Yell
•Star Gazing by Linda Gillard
•Insight Guide South Africa by Insight
•Lonely Planet South Africa, Lesotho & Swaziland: Northern Cape by Becca Blond

What To Buy

What to buy for Sutherland travel:
•Plug point adapters for UK, Europe and US visitors
•South Africa and Karoo guide books
•Afrikaans and Setswana phrase books
•Specialised medication that may not be available in South Africa
•South Africa birding and/or plant guide

What To Pack

What to pack for Sutherland travel:
•Comfortable walking or hiking shoes, plus sandals for summer and warm boots for the snowy winters
•Loose fitting clothing in light fabrics in the hot months, and plenty of warm clothing for the colder months
•Sunglasses, sunscreen and sunhat
•Camera, battery plus extra memory card or film
•Binoculars for bird spotting

When To Go

When to go to Sutherland:
•Spring runs from September to October, and this is when all the wildflowers and tulips come into bloom, bringing a riot of colour to the region
•Winter, which runs from June to August, is when the snow begins to fall, with picturesque views seen across the region
•Summers run from late November to early March, bringing very warm weather in the daytime with cold Karoo nights


The area is not known for its big game species, but nevertheless Sutherland wildlife offers an interesting blend of rare and endangered species such as aardvark along with dassies (rock rabbits), and of course, plenty of sheep that are farmed in the area. The best place to spot Karoo wildlife in Sutherland is at the Tankwa-Karoo National Park.


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