05 June 2012

Namibia: The NamibRand Nature Reserve is Africa's first International Dark Sky Reserve

The NamibRand Nature Reserve in Namibia, bordering the Namib-Naukluft National Park to the west and the Nubib mountains to the east, recently became Africa's first International Dark Sky Reserve. The NamibRand, with a size of 1,722km² one of Africa's largest private nature reserves, has expanded its conservation role to include preserving the star-filled nighttime skies that shine above its dunes and mountains, so that the International Dark-Sky Association honoured the efforts made by proclaiming the Nature Reserve an International Dark Sky Reserve.


The NamibRand Nature Reserve also got the "Gold Tier" status, a term used to describe reserves with nighttime environments that have little to no impact from light pollution and artificial light. NamibRand's nearest neighboring communities are small and lie some 100 km distant, so the reserve's sky is one of the darkest yet measured.
The International Dark-Sky Association established the International Dark Sky Places conservation program in 2001 to recognise excellent stewardship of the night sky. Designations are based on stringent outdoor lighting standards and innovative community outreach. Since the program began four communities and ten parks have also received International Dark Sky designations. Kudos loreastro for the amazing video!

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