Workshop 2016

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The CASPER collaboration workshop in Cape Town took place from January 25 - 29 2016 at the University of Cape Town. Information below is for historical purposes


University of Cape Town (UCT), Upper Campus
Menzies Building
Rondebosch 7701
South Africa
Lecture Theaters 9 and 12 on 3rd floor

Meeting dates: January 25 (9am) through January 29 (1pm)

Cost and Registration

Full fee: R 2,500 (~ 200 US$)
Student fee: R 500 (~40 US$) - Please provide proof of full-time student registration, e.g. student card or endorsement by Head of Department.

Register and submit your abstract/poster at: (


The closest airport is Cape Town International (CPT). CPT is about 20 minutes away by car or shuttle.

Places to Stay

Accommodation in Cape Town

We have block booked rooms for you in two hotels:

Protea Hotel Mowbray ( +27 21 442 5300;; R 1380 per person per night, including breakfast
City Lodge Hotel Pinelands ( +27 21 685 7944;; R 1040 per person per night, breakfast R 135 per person

Please use the name “Casper” when you book.

The rooms will be held until October 31. (Protea Mowbray hotel holds a few of the rooms until December, but on a first come first serve basis. Note that November through January is tourist peak season in Cape Town, so book early).

We have a list of other accommodation here: Please contact us if you need help.


See (

MeerKAT Site Visit

We are planning a visit to the MeerKAT telescope site on the weekend after the meeting - 29 - 31 January 2016.

MeerKAT Site Visit Itinerary

Friday at 12:00: Bus departs the conference venue for Carnarvon
Friday evening - sleep over in Carnarvon
Saturday - Visit to MeerKAT site
Sunday - return to Cape Town (arrival time ~ 6PM)

MeerKAT Site Visit Costs

The estimated cost for the trip, including dinner on Friday, breakfast on Saturday, lunch on Saturday and breakfast on Sunday is approximately R2000 (US$ 165) per person.

Please indicate your interest to join the site visit on the registration page.

Participant List


Sightseeing in and around Cape Town

Cape Town, the Mother City, is ranked as one of the world’s most beautiful cities. It is extremely diverse and offers an abundance of activities for visitors. Visitors are advised to exercise caution as it is more than likely that you will fall in love with Cape Town and not want to leave! There is something to do for everybody: there are splendid mountains and roaring oceans, majestic landscapes and diverse vegetation. There are wine farms in close proximity offering tours and wine tastings. All manner of adventurous activities are possible in Cape Town.

Information about the Mother City is available at Cape Town’s Official Tourism Website – they even have a brand new app and provide the Official Visitors’ Guide with lots of suggestions and vouchers.

Some recommendations:

The Hop-on, hop-off bus tour gives a good overview over the city, in an easy and convenient way. The bus offers two routes, the red tour leads through the city centre and the popular Long Street, District 6, passes by Table Mountain cableway, by Camps Bay, V&A Waterfront and the Castle of Good Hope. The blue route brings you to Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden, Hout Bay Harbour with view of the spectacular Chapman’s Peak Drive, and Constantia wine farms.

Cape Town is synonymous with Table Mountain, towering over the city bowl. You take the convenient cable car to reach the top and have stunning views over the city. The cable cars rotate so that the passengers can enjoy all views on the way up. More sporty people can hike up to the top. There are different routes, from a 6-hour hike from the side to the hike right up from the foot of the mountain (very steep, 1-2h). Do not forget to check weather conditions beforehand as the cable car can be closed when conditions become too windy and the hike up can also be challenging in strong wind.

Lion’s Head is the other city bowl mountain. From afar, the mountain looks like a lion lying on the ground and the peak resembles a lion’s head. It is a pleasant hike up to the top and only takes about one hour. On the top there are beautiful views over the city, the sea, Camps Bay and the mountains Twelve Apostles. Capetonians like especially to hike Lion’s Head on full moon to enjoy the view in the moon-light. The lion’s rear, so to say, is called Signal Hill, which is another popular viewpoint and particularly frequented for beautiful sunset impressions. If talk of hiking makes you tired, then fear not, it is possible to drive right to the top and the red bus tour offers special sunset drives up.

A must on a visit to Cape Town is the V&A Waterfront where the formerly unattractive docks have been revamped and are today a pleasant area for shopping (clothes as well as real Africa gifts), leisure and entertainment by local musicians and food of all kinds (the Food Court offers diverse dishes and snacks to try).

Two Oceans Aquarium at the Waterfront is exciting for adults and children alike. You can see African penguins, sharks and giant turtles, crabs, and any sea-life that the Atlantic and Indian Oceans have to offer. Daring visitors might like to know that you can dive with great white sharks – without being in a cage! Let’s hope they’re well fed otherwise Casper might be missing a delegate! The aquarium has feeding times where you can see the feeding of e.g. penguins, sharks, and predator fish.

A visit to Robben Island brings one right back to South Africa’s history, the apartheid era and to its great leader Nelson Mandela. Robben Island is the place of Mandela’s incarceration for 18 years. Visitors are guided by former political prisoners of Robben Island and can see where Mandela worked in the lime quarry and in which cell he slept. However, the visitors can also see where Mandela had buried part of his script and hear about how the prisoners communicated with each other. Book your ticket in advance, as the tickets sell out in high season.

A Cape Peninsula Tour via the surfer’s paradise Muizenberg, taking a relaxed walk through the little shops and cafés in Kalk Bay to Simon’s Town with its naval port and a colony of African Penguins at Boulders beach. Further on is the national park with famous Cape Point and Cape of Good Hope, the most south-westerly point of the African continent. Take the route back via Kommetjie and the breath taking Chapman’s Peak drive. Find tour operators here.

Chapman’s Peak Drive is a spectacular coastal road where the cars drive partially under overhanging rocks of the mountain. Not for the faint-hearted, but this thrilling drive overlooks some of the world’s most stunning scenery.

Adventure seekers can try shark cage diving with great white sharks. You will go on a boat, get into a cage and go halfway into the water (your head will still be above water level). The sharks will be fed right in front of your very eyes so keep your limbs close to you to avoid becoming lunch. It is mostly a one-day tour driving you to Gansbaai or Simon’s Town. Find a tour operator here.

The coastal suburb of Cape Town Bloubergstrand gives you the chance to get a full picture of the whole city set against the spectacular Table Mountain backdrop. Lion’s Head and the stadium are all visible from across the bay. Bloubergstrand has a sublime sandy beach and is a perfect sun-set location.

For a taste of the real Africa and African animals in the wild go on a safari to see the "Big 5", South Africa’s greatest wild animals, lions, leopards, elephants, buffalos and rhinos. You can find tour operators here.

For lists of other tour operators, click here or here.