Star studded safaris – something a little different
16 Oct 2019|Catherine Soares de Melo
Safaris today are so much more than searching for animals in a Land Cruiser following an afternoon high tea… you can ride camels into the sunset, canter alongside giraffe on horseback, wind through deltas and waterways on speed boats or canoes, and venture on foot for days on end with nothing between you and the elements except your guide and your walking stick But here are three different options to consider… If starlit skies make you ponder life’s bigger questions and you can’t resist a lesson on the planets, comets and galaxies, why not immerse yourself deeper into the outdoors, and consider visiting these areas with extremely low light pollution, that are known for their velvety night skies, star bed sleep outs and outdoor observatories…
The Waterberg, South Africa
You can find the spectacular Waterberg Observatory within the Leobo Private Reserve in South Africa. Designed by the same architects who created North Island in the Seychelles, this unassuming but elegant observatory is a “seven-meter-high tower with a library extension, crowned with an automated rotating copper dome brought in from California, which houses a 20 – inch telescope for stargazing.” It offers some of most impressive astronomy in the world, with the chance to see objects of the sky down to Magnitude 7.4 (the limit of the human eye is Magnitude 6), and a local astronomer can be booked to guide guests’ gazes through a more detailed journey of the galaxies.
The Cederberg, South Africa
Bushmans Kloof is a luxury eco-retreat in the Cederberg Mountains, South Africa, where guests can fine-tune their astronomical skills by glimpsing into the universe, through their observatories 16-inch telescope. Thanks to a British astronomer by the name of Peter Mack who visited this area in the 1980s and decided that this was the perfect spot for an observatory, guests are able to delight in all of the solar finery and celestial wonder of these dark and magnificent night skies.
The NamibRand Reserve, Namibia
Namibia’s NamibRand Reserve is recognized as Africa’s only International Dark Sky Reserve (IDSR) and has been awarded the honor of Gold Tier status, which celebrates nighttime environments that have very low to no light pollution. After dazzling discussions with in-house astronomers making use of a state-of-the-art observatory, complete with a Meade LX200R 12 inch telescope, retire to your beautiful desert room, where the show must go on…drift off quietly to stars shooting above you through the large skylight overhead. This is a starlit safari at its brightest.