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Quad Biking Family Stargazing
Quad Biking Family Stargazing

Astro Tourism in Africa

Astro-tourism is travel with a star gazing theme, and it’ll take you to some of the last great wildernesses in Africa. Astro-tourism is travel with a star gazing theme, and it’ll take you to some of the last great wildernesses in Africa.
Astro-tourism is travel with a star gazing theme, and it’ll take you to some of the last great wildernesses in Africa. Astro-tourism is travel with a star gazing theme, and it’ll take you to some of the last great wildernesses in Africa.
When you look up at the night sky at home,
there is usually a faint orange glow from street lamps, car headlights, and other forms of light pollution. You might be able to see a few of the brighter stars, but the glow stops you picking out the detail.

Around the world are a relatively small number of dark sky reserves, usually a long way from towns and cities, which are deliberately kept free of artificial light pollution.

Star gazing here, from an official observatory or in a lodge with a powerful telescope, you’ll have a spectacular view of the heavens, with a level of detail you’ve never seen before.

Here we share our top three places to see the stars in Africa.
  • Namibia's NamibRand Nature Reserve
  • Kenya's Private Reserves
  • Dark Sky Spots in South Africa
1. Namibia's NamibRand Nature Reserve
The NamibRand Nature Reserve in southwestern Namibia is arguably the finest spot for astronomy in Africa. Out in the desert, not far from the Nubib Mountains, the reserve was established to protect the area’s unique ecology and wildlife.

15% of the reserve is untouched wilderness, without a single human settlement, and the International Dark Sky Association has awarded NamibRand with its coveted status as a Gold Tier International Dark Sky Reserve.

It was only the second place in the world to receive the Gold Tier, and it is the first such reserve in Africa.
Star gazing here, from an official observatory or in a lodge with a powerful telescope, you’ll have a spectacular view of the heavens, with a level of detail you’ve never seen before.

Top Tips:

  • Namibia is a year around destination, but can get very hot during their summer months.
  • If you prefer cooler temperatures we recommend travelling between April and September.
  • Also the journey from Namibia’s capital Windhoek to Sossusvlei is long; we recommend taking advantage of daily light aircraft flights which will maximise your time on the ground and enhance your experience with a birds eye view of the epic dunescapes.
Stargazing Astronomer Telescope Andbeyond Sossusvlei
Staying at The NamibRand Reserve
The NamibRand Reserve imposes a strict limit of one bed per 1,000 hectares, so the accommodation options tend to be small and exclusive.

Our favourite is the Sossusvlei Desert Lodge, surrounded by mountain peaks and sand dunes. By day you can float across the reserve by hot air balloon, do a dune safari by 4x4 or motorbike, and visit ancient San rock paintings, but the real highlight is when darkness falls and you head up to the state of the art astronomic observatory.

The lodge’s resident astronomer will teach you to use the telescopes another equipment, and explain what it is you’re looking at. On those nights when you’d rather recline on your veranda to watch the stars, there’s plenty to see with the naked eye.
2. Kenya's Private Reserves
If you are travelling instead to Kenya, you can star gaze from the comfort of your bed.

At Loisaba Starbeds in Laikipia (overlooked by Mount Kenya) they’ve built two star beds; raised wooden platforms with full size beds and showers, in the most scenic parts of the reserve. You can look straight up at the stars, with only a mosquito net between you and the universe. And the sight of the rising sun across the mountains is quite extraordinary, too.

Top Tips

Laikipia is a place where for decades tribal communities have worked with safari lodges to conserve wildlife and natural resources on their communal land. As such, the conservancy hold a number of pioneering conservation accolades; most recently they successfully reintroduced 21 black rhino, so it is very likely that you will catch a glimpse of this highly endangered species during your safari with your expert guide.
The conservation team of the Loisaba Wildlife Conservancy focuses on monitoring and managing wildlife and their habitat, including the elusive black leopard. Researchers and guides collaborate closely, offering visitors to Loisaba an exciting opportunity to observe the stealthy creatures, during afternoon game drives.

Now, with possibly six in the area, guests can embark on game drives guided by the very team who made this remarkable discovery. The luckiest of visitors might even win a 'catrick' of sightings—lion, leopard, and cheetah—all within Loisaba's diverse landscape.
Starbed At Night Lanterns Ol Donyo Lodge
Staying at Kenya's Private Reserves
In the southeastern part of the country, nestled between Tsavo West and Amboseli National Parks, you'll find Chyulu Hills, with another great destination for dark sky explorations.

Ol Donyo Lodge in Kenya’s 275,000-acre Mbirikani Group Ranch has a similar option to Loisaba, as each of the lodge’s 10 very large suites also comes with a rooftop star bed.

Take a glass (or bottle) of champagne to bed with you — Ol Donyo has a superb wine cellar — and soak up what must be one of the most romantic star gazing options on earth.
3. Dark Sky Spots in South Africa
South Africa boasts plenty of stunning opportunities for a celestial safari as well. Three of the top spots include:

  • Southern African Large Telescope (SALT): Situated near Sutherland, this impressive observatory beckons stargazers with its state-of-the-art facilities.


  • Iziko Planetarium in Cape Town offers an exceptional journey through the heavens, visitors can explore the wonders of the universe right from the comfort of the city.


  • Karoo National Park: For those seeking a serene and unobstructed view of the night sky, away from the urban lights, perfect for naked-eye stargazing.
Top Tips:

The dry, winter months between May and September are a particularly brilliant time for stargazing.

And don’t miss out on the array of daylight activities; by day the reserve is yours to explore by quad-bike, helicopter or kayak – you can even take a sky-diving safari! The expert guides will help you to enjoy the area in any way imaginable.
Leobo Lodge House Observatory Dook 35
Staying in South Africa
The Waterberg region feels like a world away from the bustle of South Africa’s big cities. The area comprises a collection of fantastic wildlife reserves, each offering a unique safari experience.

Within Waterberg’s rugged, unspoilt landscapes there are opportunities for game drives, walking and horse riding safaris and insightful cultural encounters.

This remarkable area is also known for its wellness retreats, family friendly safaris and exclusive luxury accommodations.

In Waterberg, we love Leobo Lodge, not only for it's adventurous activities, but for it's observatory too. Ask us about an exclusive use stay for your family and we can also arrange for a private astronomer to join you.
Best Places to Stay for Stargazing in Africa
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Hero Image Ivory Lodge Exterior Lions Sands Ivory Lodge The Kruger
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Hero Image Observatory Leobo The Waterberg
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Hero Image Pool Deck Ruckomechi Zimbabwe
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Hero Image Exterior Of Villa Puku Ridge Camp South Luangwa
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Hero Image Moste Exterior Tswalu Kalahari Madikwe Malaria Free Northern Properties
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Hero Image View From Main Area Bainess Camp Okavango Delta
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Hero Image Aerial View Donyo Lodge Amboseli
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Hero Sun Set Loisaba Star Beds
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Hero Image Aerial View Leroo La Tau Makgadikgadi
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Hero Image Main Area Dinaka Kalahari
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Arial View Tau Pan
Arial View Tau Pan
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Hero Image Exterior Xigera Camp Okavango Delta
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Experience a safari holiday like no other, with a journey across the remarkable landscapes of Rwanda and Tanzania. Be captivated by big game, search for primates in the rainforest, enjoy spectacular birdwatching and see the epic migration of wildebeest and plains game - all in one unforgettable trip you will regale for a lifetime.
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Aerial View Jao Camp Okavango Delta
Aerial View Jao Camp Okavango Delta
Family Trip Idea
Family Safari in Botswana
From the glistening floodplains of the Okavango Delta, to the pristine wilderness of Linyanti, and beyond to the shimmering salt flats of Makgadikgadi - this family friendly safari will leave you all with lifelong memories. Experience the diverse ecosystems and wildlife Botswana has to offer in this spectacular journey from Delta to Desert.
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Table Mountan Hike Cape Town Istock 1216765189
Table Mountan Hike Cape Town Istock 1216765189
Family Trip Idea
South Africa Family Safari
See the splendour of South Africa as a family on this exclusive safari. Spend your days exploring captivating Cape Town, enjoying the delights of the Winelands and on safari, seeking out the abundant wildlife that roams the wilderness. No matter your age, this iconic safari will leave you with memories for a lifetime.
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Lion Mother Of Notches Rongai Pride With Cub In Masai Mara Kenya Ss Maggy Meyer
Lion Mother Of Notches Rongai Pride With Cub In Masai Mara Kenya Ss Maggy Meyer
Family Trip Idea
Family Safari in Kenya
From the iconic Masai Mara to the awe-inspiring Laikipia, explore Kenya as a family. Witness breathtaking wildlife and immerse yourselves in rich traditions for an unforgettable adventure in a land where the untamed wilderness thrives alongside vibrant cultures.
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Elephants In Tanzania Ss
Elephants In Tanzania Ss
Family Trip Idea
Tanzania Family Safari
Create memories of a lifetime together on an epic family safari in Tanzania. Witness the endless, game-filled plains of the Serengeti, explore the natural wonder of the Ngorongoro Crater and experience the magnificent wildlife in Tarangire.
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Game Drive Children And Cheetah Little Vumbura
Game Drive Children And Cheetah Little Vumbura
Article
Botswana Family Safaris
Botswana is Africa’s most exclusive safari destination. Each enormous private reserve has just one or two luxury lodges guaranteeing a series of private experiences as you travel from one exquisite location to the next. Expert guides will take your family on safari among big cats and vast elephant herds in beautiful deltas and deserts.
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Guest Tent Duba Plains Camp
Guest Tent Duba Plains Camp
Explore Desert and Delta
Ultimate Luxury Botswana Safari
From the pristine wilderness of Linyanti, to the glistening floodplains of the Okavango Delta, and beyond to the shimmering salt flats of Makgadikgadi - this Botswana safari will leave you with incredible memories from beginning to end. Experience the diverse ecosystems and wildlife Botswana has to offer in this epic journey from plains, to delta to desert.
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Child Bushman Experience
Child Bushman Experience
Article
People of Botswana
Here’s something you might not expect. The people looking after you on safari might create some of your happiest safari memories. You’ll remember laughter and those after dinner stories and jokes around the campfire. During a three-night stay in a luxury camp, you’ll get to make friends with your guide, the chef, the vegetable gardener and the other people who love their work.
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Leopard Game Drive Seba Camp
Leopard Game Drive Seba Camp
Article
Animals on a Botswana Safari
Botswana is a great choice for an exclusive family safari. Roaming the spectacular deserts, deltas and savannahs are literally millions of animals. The fertility and abundant water of the Okavango and Linyanti Deltas supports an incredible 200 different mammal species. The Government’s high value, low volume tourism policy helps conservation and enables you to enjoy a top quality private safari.
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Family Sundowners Marshmallow Roasting Footsteps Camp
Family Sundowners Marshmallow Roasting Footsteps Camp
Article
Botswana Downtime & Combinations
Between safaris there is plenty for children to do in camp while the adults relax. Safari lodges may be small and in remote locations, but they have excellent facilities and your hosts’ purpose is to give you the best possible time. In this section we also suggest a couple of places that combine easily to complement your Botswana safari.
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Victoria And Alfred Waterfront Cape Town Istock 1556500564
Victoria And Alfred Waterfront Cape Town Istock 1556500564
Article
Top 10 South African Activities
With opportunities to see the Big Five of both land and sea, along with incredible scenery, enormous national parks, world-class vineyards, a fascinating history and vibrant, friendly people, South Africa frequently tops the lists of the world’s best holiday destinations. Even so, less than 1% of the world's travellers make it here, so it’s a place where you’ll find yourself with a few select, like-minded and discerning adventurers who have discovered this gem of a country. It’s a place you could return to for the whole of your life and never tire of it.
We’ve compiled a list of our favourite experiences to inspire your imagination.
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Elephant Reaching For Seed Pods In Mana Pools National Park Zimbabwe
Elephant Reaching For Seed Pods In Mana Pools National Park Zimbabwe
Article
Zimbabwe - Top 10 activities
We’ve compiled a list of our favourite experiences to inspire your imagination.
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Sundowner Game Drive Chiawa Camp Tcunniffe
Sundowner Game Drive Chiawa Camp Tcunniffe
Article
Top 10 Zambia Activities
We’ve compiled a list of our favourite experiences to inspire your imagination.
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Mountain Gorilla Family Rwanda Ss
Mountain Gorilla Family Rwanda Ss
Article
Top 10 Rwanda Activities
We’ve compiled a list of our favourite experiences to inspire your imagination.
Read moreTop 10 Rwanda Activities
Elephant Herd Near Duba Plains
Elephant Herd Near Duba Plains
Article
Top 10 Botswana Activities
We’ve compiled a list of our favourite experiences to inspire your imagination.
Read moreTop 10 Botswana Activities
Wildebeest Migration Istock 1021615288 Credit 1001Slide
Wildebeest Migration Istock 1021615288 Credit 1001Slide
Article
Top 10 Kenya Activities
We will ensure you can enjoy the best of Africa in the exclusivity of Kenya’s private conservancies where walking, riding and other expertly guided activities enable the richest safari experience.
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Hiking In Namibia
Hiking In Namibia
Article
Top 10 Namibia Activities
Here’s our list of ten wonderful experiences to consider including in your Namibia safari:
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Family Activity Children Serengeti Safari Camp Tanzania
Family Activity Children Serengeti Safari Camp Tanzania
Article
Tanzania Family Safaris
The Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater are truly spectacular settings filled with great herds and big cats. We take you far from the crowds and minibuses with your own private guide, staying in exclusive accommodation. Families with older teenagers will love the wildly remote Selous, Ruaha and Mahale, where you can walk, canoe and even track chimpanzees. Round it off on exotic Zanzibar.
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Elephants In Front Of Mount Kilimanjaro
Elephants In Front Of Mount Kilimanjaro
Article
Top 10 Tanzania Activities
We’ve collated a list of our ten favourite Tanzanian experiences to show you what’s possible in this incredible country.
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Bwindi Impenetrable Forest Uganda Istock 1085112684
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest Uganda Istock 1085112684
Article
Top 10 Uganda Activities
Here’s our list of ten wonderful experiences that you might consider having whilst you are in Uganda:
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