Location: The newest station, SANAE IV, is located on a nunatak, or rocky outcrop, at Vesleskarvet (Norwegian for ‘little barren mountain’) on the Ahlmann Ridge, about 100 miles (170k) from the coast.
History: The first SANAE base was occupied in December 1959, when Norway handed it over to South Africa, after deciding its work was finished there. Since then there has also been SANAE II and SANAE III bases. The later which was closed for wintering in December, 1994 had over the years been buried by 45′ (14m) of drifting snow. The new SANAE IV base is built at Vesleskarvet, 220 km due South of SANAE III.
Information: SANAE stands for South African National Antarctic Expedition. The huts are built on poles since there is about 150-200 cm snow accumulation during an Antarctic winter. Temperatures of up to -50 Celsius occur during the winter and the sun is not seen for more than three months, which make conditions for working outside the main base very difficult.
Science: Physical sciences, Earth Sciences, Life Sciences, Oceanographic Sciences. Only the physical sciences program is conducted year-round at SANAE IV. The other programs are conducted during the short Summer period when the temperatures weather permits field work and the extent of the sea ice is at its minimum.