Astrotourism has enjoyed a huge surge in popularity over the years, offering travelers the sublime feeling of gazing into the mind-bending vastness of space and observing the twinkling stars above. This 12-day itinerary from Ker & Downey Africa (a luxury travel company well-known for expeditions in Africa) combines the best of safari with otherworldly stargazing experiences.
Namibia is home to one of the few Dark Sky Reserves in the world, with exceptionally clear night skies. You’ll visit five destinations in the region by private charter flights: Zannier Private Reserve, Onguma Game Reserve, Damaraland, Sossusvlei and the mythical Namib Desert.
At Zannier Reserve, head out on conservation-focused game drives and track rhino, elephant and big cats. Get up at sunrise and witness the resident (and adorable) meerkat clan. At Onguma, embark on night safaris to seek out nocturnal residents.
While the lodges are exceptional here (The Fort was built in a particular spot to guarantee the most gorgeous views of the sunset), you’ll spend a night out on board a custom-built Land Cruiser. It has two levels and sleeps two—spend a romantic night in the wilderness under the blanket of stars above.
Damaraland is known for its impressive rock formations, ancient river terraces and desert wildlife. Almost hidden away behind huge granite boulders, Onduli Ridge is a luxury camp with roll-out ‘star’ beds, where you can sleep out in the wilderness.
Sossusvlei Lodge is situated on the border of an International Dark Sky Reserve and has a world-class observatory, complete with a Celestron CPC 1100 GPS computerized telescope with which guests can discover Namibia’s night sky alongside the lodge’s resident astronomer.
The Namib Desert is the final stop—stay at the Sonop Camp and spend days on nature drives, riding horses or hiking through the desert. When darkness ascends, head to the camp’s open-air cinema.