This Incredible 'Celestial Safari' Takes You Animal Spotting by Day and Stargazing by Night

Look up, down, and all around to be amazed by this spectacular safari experience.

Luxury Africa travel company Ker & Downey Africa wants to help you see all the wonders of Africa, from the animals that roam the land to the dazzling stars in the sky with its new celestial safari.

The company has launched a 12-day Stargazing Desert Safari in Namibia, which will bring guests to one of only six International Dark Sky Reserves in the world.

Group of people stargazing at Sossusvlei
Courtesy of andBeyond

"Namibia is an enigmatic country of contrasts, vast open spaces, and breathtaking scenery. It is a great safari destination for an adventurous traveler who has visited Africa before, or honeymooners looking for a romantic escape away from the crowds," Lisa Nel, group head of product and marketing at Ker & Downey Africa, said in a statement provided to Travel + Leisure.

A bed outdoors under the stars at Onduli Ridge Damaraland
Courtesy of Onduli Ridge

The new private fly-in itinerary brings guests straight to the action and straight to a few carefully selected luxury lodges to maximize guests' celestial safari experience. As part of the trip, guests will get to stargaze alongside astronomers in state-of-the-art observatories, an open-air desert cinema experience, and a night atop a custom-built Land Cruiser in Namibia's pristine wilderness.

On the safari, guests will visit five destinations by private charter including Zannier Private Reserve, Onguma Game Reserve, Damaraland, Sossusvlei, and the Namib Desert. It all begins at the ultra-luxurious Omaanda in Zannier Reserve where guests can take part in a bespoke safari experience matched to their personal interests.

Glowing Sonop camp on rocks in the desert at night
Courtesy of Sonop

The journey continues to Etosha National Park where guests can take part in both day and night safaris, as well as a unique sleepout experience on Onguma's Dream Cruiser, a custom-built Land Cruiser with two levels that sleeps two people.

Next up, guests will fly to Damaraland, a region renowned for its impressive rock formations, ancient river terraces, and desert-adapted wildlife, where they will check into Onduli Ridge.

Lounge seating on outdoor deck at sunset at Onguma The Fort
Courtesy of Onguma The Fort

The trip keeps going to Sossusvlei, which is home to some of the tallest sand dunes and dramatic desert landscapes in the world. There, guests will sleep at the Sossusvlei Desert Lodge, a secluded retreat on the border of an International Dark Sky Reserve, where they are guaranteed a stargazing night unlike any other.

A bubble bath with a desert mountain landscape view
Courtesy of Sonop

At the lodge, guests can visit its world-class observatory, complete with a Celestron CPC 1100 GPS computerized telescope so they can look up to the stars above with the lodge's resident astronomer and learn a thing or two about outer space.

The final leg of the trip takes guests to the southernmost part of the ancient Namib Desert to the exclusive Sonop camp where they will experience a few more nature drives, a horseback excursion in the desert, and even guided desert walks.

Pricing for the 12-day Stargazing Desert Safari in Namibia starts from $12,019 per person and is available year-round. Visit the company's website for the full itinerary and to book now.

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