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I Dream Africa

I Dream Africa

Star Gazing


I'd say you haven't truly experienced Namibia unless you have been to one of the amazingly remote places where you can gaze at the stars in the sky at night without any artificial lights around you (incl. city lights etc.!). It is stunning, mind-blowing and somehow probably impossible to describe. Nevertheless, watch the video (filmed in Central Namibia) below for a glimpse of what you might look at in Namibia:

Under the perfect conditions of the Namibian desert even the naked-eye Southern Sky will drop your jaw the first time you see it. It is simply magnificent and no written account or photograph can prepare you for it.

Rooisand Telescope Dome

Rooisand Desert Lodge is situated two hours west of the capital, Windhoek. It houses a 15 meter high dome equipped with three astronomical telescopes amateur astronomers capable of handling the equipment are allowed to use the dome alone, other interested parties will be assisted.


Two hours’ drive away from Windhoek, on top of the Gamsberg Pass, you will find Guest Farm Hakos. Amateur astronomers especially like the farm, because the high elevation at the edge of the desert gives best opportunities for observation and photography. A 45cm telescope at f/3.6 designed for astrophotography on a huge English frame mount and a Celestron 14 telescope on a heavy German Mount (350kg) as well as some smaller telescopes are already in operation and ready for use. In the near future additional telescopes with a mirror diameter up to 80cm will be put into operation.

Capella Observatory

The Capella-Observatory is located about 20km southwest of Windhoek at the Kupferberg (Copperhill), about 2100m above sea level. The nearness to Windhoek results in a light polluted sky to the North East direction, but to the south direction the sky is as black as a hole. First experiences show, that the seeing, which is so important for astronomical images, is moderate (2.5” FWHM) to good (1.5” FWHM). Until now the observatory have no experiences with the seeing in the ‘cold season’ (May to August), but hope to have even better values soon.


Southern Africa is renowned for spectacular stargazing, with numerous lodges throughout the region focusing on astronomy this exciting activity can be enjoyed by professional astronomers and novices alike. Various lodges in the southern African region facilitate Stargazing activities and supply guests with the necessary equipment.

Our favourite stargazing spot in Namibia is Sossusvlei Mountain Lodge which is situated in the Namib Naukluft region in Namibia. The Lodge has a private observatory, boasting the most powerful electronic telescope in Namibia apart from the National Observatory. They also have a resident astronomer who will ensure that you receive an unforgettable cosmic experience.

Lunar Rainbows or “Moonbows” at Victoria Falls:

Moonbows are seen when conditions are right; a Lunar Rainbow forms when a full moon is bright enough to have its light refracted by raindrops just as is the case for the sun. Moonlight is much fainter, of course, so the lunar rainbow is not nearly as bright as one produced by sunlight. Moonbows are beautiful but not in the colorful way that day light rainbows are. They are a delicate white with no "colors of the rainbow" and they appear to be eerie and ghost-like.

Victoria Falls and Livingstone Island are the perfect places to experience this rare and awesome natural phenomenon.

When the moon is full, the sky is relatively clear and the Victoria Falls are at their peak flow - the months of March, April, May, June and July; huge rainbows appear at night through the mist that rise up from the base of Victoria Falls. This unique event is visible the day before, the day of and the day after the full moon.

At the rising of the full moon the park stays open late on both sides of the falls and special tours are offered

Lunar Moon Calendar for Southern Africa:

2010 (day)
2011 (day)
30 19 February
28 18 March
30 19 April
28 19 May
27 17 June
26 15 July
26 15 August
24 13 September
23 12 October
23 12 November
21 10 December
21 10

Southern Hemisphere:

The dry winter months are particularly good, this is primarily because there are no clouds and the crisp winter air makes for clear viewing.

Some of the star constellations that can be seen in the Southern African night skies during the summer months:

  • Great Square
  • Orion
  • Leo

Some of the star constellations that can be seen in the Southern African night skies during the winter months:

  • Southern Cross
  • Scorpio

Some of the planets that can be seen during the year in the Southern African night skies.

  • Venus
  • Mars
  • Jupiter
  • Saturn

Our Solar System:

The Sun

The Sun is a star that lives at the centre of the Solar System. Its huge gravity holds the planets in place.


The planets all revolve around the Sun. There are 9 planets in our solar system - Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto.


Moons rotate around their parent planet. Earth has one moon, but some planets have over 30. Only Mercury and Venus do not have any moons.


Asteroids are rocky bits of debris up to 1,000km (620 miles) across. Most live in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. They are the remnants from early planets that collided and were torn apart.


Comets are dirty snowballs of ice and dust that revolve around the Sun in long orbits. When they approach the Sun they heat up, leaving a trail of gas behind them, which looks like a tail.

Recent comets to fly-by the Sun include Halley, Hale-Bopp and Ikeya-Zhang.

More about our planets...

Unlike the Sun and the other stars, planets do not produce their own light they shine because they are reflecting the Sun's light.

The 4 planets closest to the Sun are:

  • Mercury
  • Venus
  • Earth
  • Mars

These are called the 'rocky' or 'terrestrial' planets. They are small by planetary standards and made of similar materials to the Earth.

The next 4 planets are:

  • Jupiter
  • Saturn
  • Uranus
  • Neptune

They are known as the 'gas giants'. They all have rings and lots of moons. The gas giants are made up mostly of hydrogen, helium, frozen water, ammonia, methane, and carbon monoxide.

Planet or comet?

Pluto is a tiny rocky body at the edge of the Solar System. Some people think it's a giant comet rather than a planet. Its composition is similar to a comet (ice and rock). But its orbit is different from the other comets and planets.

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