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Booking Now Open: S&T’s 2020 Stargazing Safari in Botswana

Wednesday, October 9, 2019 - 11:17

For many Northern Hemisphere stargazers, both professional and amateur, the chance to observe in the Southern Hemisphere is a dream come true. Eta Carinae. Omega Centauri. The Large and Small Magellanic Clouds. These and other celestial gems generally not visible from the north abound in southern skies.

The Milky Way arcs over elephants wading in the waterhole visible from the main deck of Savute Elephant Lodge in Botswana’s Chobe National Park.

When I learned a few years ago that former Sky & Telescope editor Stephen James O’Meara, who is one of the leading amateur astronomers in the world, now lives near Botswana’s fabled Okavango Delta and is married to Deborah Carter, who has run small-group safaris in the region for many years, I immediately thought: Hmm, how about a stargazing safari?

Steve and Deborah loved the idea, and we ran the first one in 2018. It was such a huge success — I know, I was on it — that we’re running it again in 2020 (17-23 July).

Just think: During the day, guests go on safari drives in some of the top game reserves in southern Africa. Lion, leopard, ostrich, impala, giraffe, hippo, elephant — you name it, it’s there, and in abundance. In the evening, they stargaze and take astrophotos under unbelievably pristine skies with a leading astronomer at their side, then return to a luxurious field camp for the night. The groups are small (16 total), the food fantastic, and the accommodations first-rate.

Sable Alley lodge in the Khwai Private Reserve, where guests will spend two nights.

To learn more about this tour, see the full itinerary. Dream come true? It’s close!

Book a Spot on the Botswana Tour

To learn about other S&T astronomy tours, visit this page.

Peter Tyson
Editor in Chief
Sky & Telescope
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