A celestial safari in Namibia offers one of the best locations for stargazing in the world. The NamibRand Nature Reserve, situated in the Namib Desert of southern Namibia, was recognised as Africa’s first International Dark-Sky Reserve in 2012. The International Dark-Sky Association is a leading authority on light pollution and the effects that this has on astronomy, and they use a scientific measuring scale to judge the sky quality. Across most of the Earth, the wonder of the stars is concealed, due to the intense artificial light and the pollution it causes in the cities, and only the darkest of regions, isolated from the destructive city light, allow for superior visibility of the stars. The NamibRand Nature Reserve is one of only four places in the world that is accredited with the honour of being an International Dark Sky Reserve, and one of only two places in the world that are Gold Tier – meaning that it is little affected by light pollution.
Namibia is the perfect place for stargazing
The dry atmosphere and clear nights of the Namib allow for an incomparable view of the stars, and a celestial safari in Namibia is one of the few places on Earth where one can see the Milky Way in its most pure and profound state. On a celestial safari in Namibia, asteroid belts, orbiting moons, nebula, and Magellanic clouds are all visible, as well as that of Mars, Venus, and Jupiter. There are several lodges in the area that have research-grade telescopes and professional astronomers on their team of staff. Located on the edge of the Namib Naukluft National Park, Sossusvlei Lodge was voted by the CNN as one of the world’s top 12 hotels for stargazing, and has a range of activities as well as stargazing. The lodge offers scenic flights, nature drives, guided walks, quad biking and hot air balloon rides so that guests can explore the starkly beautiful landscape of the mountainous dunes.
- Sossusvlei Lodge houses 45 air conditioned accommodation units; three of which are wheelchair friendly. There is a telescope on-site, and the lodge offers archery lessons during the day.
Turn the lights out more often!
A celestial safari in Namibia will act as a reminder to turn off the lights more often. Our dense city lives mean that we do not get to see the beauty of the night in the same manner that those before us got to see it, and there is nothing like lying underneath the Milky Way to help one feel connected to simpler times. Stargazing must be one of the most soulful experiences a human can have – for there is nobody who can remain unaffected by the night sky, and a celestial safari in Namibia is sure to be an otherworldly voyage.