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Frequently asked questions

What happens if its cloudy?

We will monitor the weather forecast closely.  For local bookings, a decision will be made and communicated with you approximately 2 hours before the start of the event. 

For bookings that require overnight stays, such as Astronomy Training, a decision will be made before the onset of our travel. 

If bookings are cancelled due to weather, they can be rebooked on an alternative date, subject to availability, or a full refund will be given.

Should the weather forecast be wrong, and the event is unable to go ahead after our arrival, we can offer a presentation as an alternative, or we will reschedule the evening.  Kindly note that travel costs will still need to be covered if outside the 25km radius of Hoedspruit town.

Is travel included?

Travel is included for local events within a 25km radius of Hoedspruit town centre.  Additional travel is calculated based on AA rates.  Any gate/entrance fees will also be additional.

Can I cancel an event?

Events may be cancelled, with a full refund, up to 72 hours in advance. 

Bookings that are cancelled within 72 hours, for any other reason than weather forecasts, will be charged at 50%. 

Bookings cancelled within 24 hours, for any other reason than weather forecasts, will be charged in full.

Do I need any prior knowledge of astronomy?

No! Our evenings are designed for anyone.  No knowledge of astronomy is required to enjoy our evenings.  We will guide you through the night skies and explain all the amazing objects in a simple and relatable fashion.

What time does the evening start?

Any time after dark.  We will agree a time during the booking process.

How will the Moon phase affect the viewing experience?

Dark skies are better since Full Moon will affect the number of stars that can be seen, but most of the prominent constellations are still visible since they contain brighter stars. 

It’s also a great opportunity to explore the Moon’s surface in detail, seeing craters and other features in beautiful detail. 

We use a special filter with our photographic telescope that will block out most of the light of the Moon, allowing you amazing views of deep sky objects despite the brighter skies.

What is included in the Astronomy Training?

The training involves a 90 minute presentation each day, and a 60-90 minute practical session after dark designed to help people navigate and gain a clearer understanding of the night sky.

Both levels of training include the use of our photographic telescope, PDF lecture notes, charts of the constellations covered, and a certificate of attendance.

Please note that the FGASA Specialist Astronomy manual and workbook is not included, and must be purchased directly from FGASA independently.


What presentation topics are covered in the courses?

The 2 day course includes presentations on:

Cultural Astronomy

(archaeoastronomy, the zodiac, constellations and celestial navigation etc)

Star Evolution

(birth, properties, distances, clusters, nebulae, neutron stars, black holes etc)


The 4 day course includes the aforementioned presentations, as well as:

The Moon

(formation, surface features, phases, eclipses, mythology)

The Planets & Meteors (rocky & gas planets, their moons, meteors, meteor showers & meteorites)


Does the training come with a recognised FGASA qualification?

Both levels are training are based on the FGASA material, but the full qualification involves completing the FGASA workbook, attaining 75% in the FGASA exam, and passing the Specialist Astronomy assessment. 

The exam and assessment are not included in the training, but can be added on request.  Guides wishing to attain the full qualification are advised to get the Specialist Astronomy manual from FGASA before the training to gain a better understanding of the material in advance.


What objects will I see?

The constellations and deep sky objects viewed will depend on the time and date of the event.  As the Earth travels around the Sun, the background stars change and thus different areas of the galaxy are visible at different times.  Regardless of the date, there will be a variety of incredible star clusters, nebulae and galaxies on display.


What area is required for the set up?

We require an open area, with views of the south, with minimal light pollution.  Kindly note that we do not provide seating.


How many people can attend?

There is no limit on the number of people who can attend our events, since our photographic telescope can project images onto a screen for large groups to enjoy.  


What software do I need to enjoy Virtual Stargazing?

Virtual Stargazing events are conducted via Zoom which can be downloaded free.  A Wi-Fi connection is all that is needed to stream the event.


What is included in the accompanying virtual stargazing presentation?

The accompanying presentation will cover background on all the objects being viewed during the evening, as well as cultural mythology of the constellations where the objects are found. 

If you have specific areas that you would like covered, we are happy to work with you to ensure that these are included.

Can I do Virtual Stargazing anywhere in the world?

Yes!  Virtual evenings can be conducted anywhere so long as you have a Wi-Fi connection. 

Please note that time differences must be taken into account since it must be dark in SA for us to facilitate an event.

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