As the first African country to incorporate environmental protection into its constitution, Namibia has made its mark on the map for responsible tourism in a multitude of ways.

A staggering 40 percent of the country is now under conservation management and as an outcome, Namibia is home to the last free-roaming populations of black rhino and desert elephant. The NamibRand Nature Reserve, located in southern Namibia is a private reserve established to help conserve the unique ecology and wildlife of the south-west Namib desert.

In 2012, the International Darks Sky Association designated the reserve as a Gold Tier International Dark Sky Reserve, the first and only one in Africa.

The reserve’s initiatives and lighting guidelines, including maximum allowable brightness of outdoor light fixtures and maximum use of vehicle headlights, have successfully minimised the negative impacts on plant species and nocturnal animals in the area.

The lack of artificial light aided by the fact that Namibia is the second least densely populated country in the world, makes the night sky over the nature reserve exceptional for stargazing.

For more information, visit: Cover photo: Wolwedans Dune Camp