Namibia’s NamibRand Nature Reserve, 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 as a Dark-Sky Association, International Dark Sky Reserve.
The International Dark-Sky Association’s night sky conservation efforts include working with groups to form International Dark Sky Reserves (IDSR) and other dark sky places. International Dark-Sky Association’s Executive Director Bob Parks explains, “The night sky over the NamibRand Nature Reserve is exceptional, as are the efforts the reserve has taken in modifying its lighting for the sake of its wildlife and visitors.”
Dr. George Tucker, a retired professor of physics from the USA, who identified the NamibRand as a potential Dark Sky Reserve and led the certification effort, says “Viewing the pristine night sky over the NamibRand is an unforgettable experience. Being recognised as a Gold Tier International Dark Sky Reserve will serve to promote and protect this valuable resource. Achieving this status is a significant accomplishment not just for the NamibRand, but also for Namibia and all of Africa.” Gold Tier is the term used to describe reserves with nighttime environments that have little to no impact from light pollution and artificial light. NamibRand’s nearest neighbouring communities are small and lie some 60 miles distant, so the reserve’s sky is one of the darkest yet measured.