|More African Night Sky Photos | More photos from this trip|
The last part of our trip was a week-long stay at Tivoli Farm in Namibia. Tivoli Farm is primarily a working sheep farm, but also includes a small B&B which caters to amateur astronomers. Currently only 8 people can be accomodated at one time, so visitors must reserve well in advance of a trip. Observing conditions are excellent -- the darkest skies I've experienced, an unobstructed horizon, and clear air down to the horizon. Since we were there at the end of fall for the southern hemisphere, it was cool during the day and chilly at night (I noted 21 degrees one morning). It was very dry and we had no clouds at all during the night for the entire stay!
An additional bonus at Tivoli farm is the option to take an ultralight flight. Normally the ultralight is used to monitor the herd or hunt down predators (such as hyenas) which kill the sheep, but it is also available for visitors to go up and see the countryside from a different perspective. The aerial shots here were taken during one of these flights.
I'm very grateful to Greg and Vicki Buchwald who made the arrangements for us to stay at Tivoli Farm. Greg and Vicki also went with us to Zambia to see the transit of Venus. Greg is a regular visitor to Tivoli Farm and even has a Losmandy G11 mount stored there. It saved an enormous effort to be able to use his mount during our stay. Greg and Vicki observed with a rented 20" Dob nearby, so we also enjoyed some spectacular views with the big scope!
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