Astronomy Holidays at Byseewah in Namibia

The fabulous unpolluted night skies of Namibia, Southern Africa, are world renowned and have led to this country becoming a magnet for northern based amateur astronomers seeking to savour the far south objects invisible from their latitude. This has led to a number of establishments offering some astronomy opportunities either through hosted observing sessions or specifically aimed at amateurs bringing their own equipment.

At Byseewah we have taken a different approach and offer our purpose built observatory, with a permanently mounted 10 inch Meade LX200, for the exclusive use by those who book with us.

The observatory has been used by visiting astronomers for some years and all the images on this website were taken from Byseewah.

The equipment

The observatory is set well above ground level, which means it has a nearly unobstructed view from horizon to horizon. We have a standard 10inch Meade LX200 complete with a full set of eyepieces. Cameras can be attached to the Meade via a piggy-back mount, or you can directly image through the telescope using your own CCD camera and off-axis guider.

During the daytime you can use the Coronado PST attached to the Meade to observer the sun in H alpha. Be warned though that the abundant wildlife always on view from the observatory makes it difficult to concentrate on the sky when so much else is going on just a few metres away! This is the magic of Byseewah.

The observatory has 220v electricity sockets; adapters for European plugs are available.

Telescope at Byseewah

Milky Way on horizon

Best time of year for Astronomy

The African summer can get extremely hot and, of course, it is also the rainy season when the likelihood of cloud cover is increased. For these reasons it is better to plan your astronomy trip during the cooler parts of the year. In Namibian the winter runs from May to September and during this period there is virtually no rainfall and clouds are rare. The sky is dominated by the Milky Way and even objects visible in northern latitudes are more spectacular. This is due to the extremely dry climate and lack of man-made pollution.

In this winter period the temperature can approach freezing during the night, so you should bring appropriate clothing. However it is so dry that you won’t need a dew shield to observe all night long. The nights are a little longer than the days at this time of year but as we are near the equator the daytime offers temperatures comparable to northern summers.

Please take a look at the night sky images taken from Byseewah.