Astro Tourism, a new trend in Africa
Astro Tourism is a new trend in tourism that enables the travellers to probe in learning more about the vast open sky. Recent atmospheric pollution and cloudy skies had put 60 per cent of Europeans and 80 per cent in the US unable to watch the clear sky. However, the large fields in Africa that lies far from cities give clear night skies throughout the year.
Chile in South America is said to be the astronomical capital of the world that showcases exquisite beauty of dazzling exuberant open skies.
African countries such as Kenya reported over 40,000 visits during November (solar eclipse 2016) that helped the county to have a position in the category. Brightly dotted dark skies at Loisaba Wilderness and Finch Hattons are famous locations for travellers.
Suderland in South Africa (which is a 4 hour drive from Cape Town) has Southern African large telescope (SALT), which is the single largest optical telescope in the southern hemisphere, that enables local as well as international travellers to watch distant galaxies. The surrounding area also has some of the cleanest air as well as less light pollution that makes it a perfect combo for the event.
For centuries, Morocco has been blessed with flashy skies. A camel safari through the Sahara deserts to Zagora dunes at night is an experience that can never be missed.
Namibia on the other hand is considered to be the best for some of the darkest skies ever recorded in the world. In 2012 the international dark sky association stated NamibRand Nature Reserve as an official dark sky reserve for marvelous night sky views.
Astro tourism programmes include astro photography, local and international astronomy tours, star parties, excursion to view celestial events. Each year various star gazers flock to various sites around the world to see the latest eclipse, that booms tourism sector leading to economic growth making Astro tourism a perfect combination of travel and exploration.