About Stargaze at Boyden Observatory

South Africa is famous for it's diamonds; diamonds which South African skies receive on a sunless night canopy for safe-keeping.

As the African night deepens the heavens enrobe themselves in midnight velvet for a evening gown and adorn themselves with a perfectly placed cross for jewellery. This Southern Cross hangs direction on the darkened horizon and guides its gazer toward the embellished hemisphere's most southerly sanctuary. As African camp fires are lit by flamed torches, the moon rises to light the silver bonfires that burn brilliance into African camp side ceilings. This is the nightly ritual taken in by the naked eye on a South African sky and collected in constellations by the telescopes of the Boyden Observatory.

The University of the Free State continued in Bloemfontein with the work commenced by Harvard University in Peru in 1889. Stable atmospheric environments and perfect weather conditions resulted in the relocation of this look-out laboratory to South Africa in 1927. Closed down in 1977, the cast of loyal galaxies stayed faithful until its re-opening in 1989.

The support of the local Amateur Astronomy Association ultimately led to the formation of The Friends of Boyden Society which makes magnified star gazing a high-tech experience for both the public and professionals. Impressive telescopic lenses pierce the atmosphere of day and night skies.

Telescopes include the 60 inch Rockefeller reflector, the 16 inch Nishimura reflector, the 16 inch Watcher Robotic reflector, the 13 inch Alvin Clark refractor, the 10 inch Metcalf refractor, the 20 cm Coelostat solar telescope and the UFS Boyden refractor (1.5m) which is the third largest operational telescope in Africa.

Vantage points for taking in sunsets and planetary pathways include an auditorium roof and observation platform. The auditorium, science centre and library (holding original historic books that date back centuries), enlighten minds on the meaning of light years. Human and robotic spaceflight as well as planet discoveries are explored in digital presentations while the skies present their dazzling live displays.

Boyden Observatory is the most accessible observatory of its nature and the star of a Bloemfontein visit. Observatory visitors can take advantage of the very same equipment once utilised by famous astronomers who now look down from the very heavens they once studied. Look up and look out.

Need to Know

Where20km East of Bloemfontein, off N8 towards airport, first turn left after airport, travel 15km turn off at sign Boyden Observatory.

WhenBy prior arrangement only.

How muchPrices on request.

Telephone+27 (0)51 401-2561 or +27 (0)51 401-2924

OvernightStay nearby in Bloemfontein, in Free State


Please note, business details can change. While we endeavour to ensure all information provided by the service provider is correct at the time of publication, we do not assume any liability caused by errors or changes, such as price, cost, time, and location. Please check with the provider that the activity/business is still offered as described, before making any travel plans.

Need an Update?

Send us feedback if this is your service/activity. Please let us know if anything on this page is outdated or contains inaccuracies.
Note, we do not have additional information or rates. Please don't contact us, rather use the service provider's contact details provided.

Find Stargaze at Boyden Observatory in these collections

In the vicinity

Hotels & other accommodation options by proximity

* Distances shown are "as the crow flies", not driving distances. Please confirm with the establishment should driving distance be a factor in your decision.

Other things to do in the area

Noteworthy attractions

Accommodation convenient to Stargaze at Boyden Observatory

FIND / South Africa Accommodation / Free State Accommodation / Motheo Region Accommodation / Bloemfontein Accommodation

Bloemfontein as a destination

Want to stay overnight?


When would you like to stay?
Choose dates

Number of Guests

Why book with SA-Venues.com
  • Your card is safe with us; strictest card verification in the industry and we don't store card numbers.
  • No airy fairy service fees; you save!
  • We care. Service with integrity.
  • Multiple payment methods:
    credit card, SID instant EFT, bank transfer.
  • All Bloemfontein property owners / managers are verified (our experience protects you from online fraud).
  • Secure your booking
Our Payment Protection Guarantee only applies if your deposit payment is made via SA-Venues.com
Things To Do
South Africa. Explore. Experience. Stay

SA-Venues.com® has been assisting travellers with their South Africa travel plans since 1999, and is the largest, independent online travel guide for South Africa available in both English and German.