Top Five Places for Star Gazing with Asilia
By Warren Glam – Content Writer
Time is a relative thing in the heart of East Africa. With animals that have danced the same dances for millennia, and landscapes that wait on sun and rain and nothing else, moments here do not pass with the relentless ticking of seconds. They dissolve, particularly at night when the southern hemisphere’s stars grace the sky.
The region has known countless generations of stargazers, who will have used the constellations to determine seasonal cycles, time rituals, plant crops or simply look up and wonder. Here are our top five places for enjoying a practice that goes all the way back.
Olakira Camp, North & South Serengeti, & NCA – Tanzania
Olakira is far away from the overly bright light pollution of cities, Tanzania’s dark skies offer incredible conditions for star gazing. Some urban areas only allow you to see around 500 stars. On a good night with no cloud cover, you could see as many as 15 000 here.
Ubuntu Camp, North, South, & West Serengeti – Tanzania
Ubuntu Camp stops at three places across the Serengeti, tracking Africa’s Great Migration across the plains. The region is particularly good for star gazing during the dry season, when the plains’ unobstructed view of the night sky is enhanced by lower humidity. This makes for better visibility.
Sayari Camp, North Serengeti – Tanzania
Sayari’s dark skies and unblemished plains allow the naked eye to see circumpolar constellations that are unique to the Southern Hemisphere. These constellations circle the south celestial pole without ever dipping below the horizon –as their northern counterparts do in their realm. That’s why they never disappear from view. Other constellations are seasonal and are only visible at certain times of the year.
The South Pole points to the galactic centre of the Milky Way, meaning that star gazers will see more bright stars and constellations than in the Northern Hemisphere. These include the Southern Cross and Alpha Centauri: the third brightest star in the night sky and the star system closest to us.
The Highlands, Ngorongoro Conservation Area – Tanzania
The Highlands is set to the north of the Ngorongoro Crater, where the altitude lends itself to star gazing. The air is less dense so visibility is at its best. Also, like all of our camps, The Highlands has Wi-Fi so you could use a star-gazing app to spot some constellations.
Rekero Camp, Masai Mara – Kenya
Based in Kenya, Rekero’s location near the equator allows you to potentially see all 88 constellations, from Ursa Minor in the north to the Southern Cross in the south. Its dark skies and surrounding plains provide excellent viewing conditions.
All of our camps have Wi-Fi which means that star-gazing just got that much easier with the help of a number of applications available for download.
Here are a few free apps you should download before joining us on safari:
- Star Walk 2
- Star Chart
- Star Rover
- Sky Wiki
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