What exactly is it? It is awesome. A Dark Sky Reserve is an area that is specifically kept free of artificial light pollution. This is done to promote astronomy and the appreciation of the stunning night sky.
And so the next question beckons…what does this have to do with Namibia? Our little corner of the globe, has its very own Dark Sky Reserve! Exciting, isn’t it? We all know the Namibian night sky is something to marvel over, and now it is internationally recognized! A certain portion of it at least.
The NamibRand Reserve was declared a Dark Sky Reserve on 24 May 2012. Ideally so, as NamibRand is one of Africa’s largest private nature reserves. It is also easily accessed and is one of the darkest places on earth. An astronomer’s dream.
Where the NamibRand Reserve was first established to preserve and protect the Namib Desert’s wildlife and ecology, it now also protects the beauty of the night sky.
Inside the reserve, open to visitors, is the Namib Desert Environmental Education Trust (NaDEET) Centre. The Centre offers programs to teach those interested, about the earth and the sky.
To make this recognition even more special, is that the NamibRand Reserve is considered a Gold Tier International Dark Sky Reserve.
This means that the area is barely impacted, if at all, by light pollution and artificial light. Because the closest communities are around 90 kilometres away, this reserve offers one of the darkest skies measured to date.
Another great place to experience the Namibian night sky is in the Namib Desert as well, at the Namib Dune Star Camp.
Where guests can roll their beds out onto private terraces and enjoy the mesmerizing beauty of the Namibian Skies. Endless stars await.
If you have any information or stories of the Dark Sky Reserve, please share them with us in the comment section below.
Author – Jescey Visagie is a proud Namibian and is passionate about writing and language. Tag along for the ride as she tries to uncover new insights into Namibia and explores what the country has to offer.