LIONS BY DAY & LEO BY NIGHT : AN ASTRONOMY SAFARI ADVENTURE    

October 2014

Welcome to an extraordinary adventure which combines our planet’s most stunning wildlife and our galaxy’s breathtaking night skies.

Lions by Day & Leo by Night is the safari with the finest views of both the terrestrial and the celestial in the heart of Africa. Above us, with startling clarity are the billions of stars of the Milky Way far more clearly visible with the combination of the ‘dark skies’ of Africa and the altitude that gets us out of the much of the dust and pollution. And almost double the number of constellations are visible in the southern hemisphere than in the northern hemisphere. We observe neighbouring galaxies, passing meteors and our own solar system. The roars of the Serengeti’s famous lion prides rolling across the savannah will be our sound track.

By day, the spectacle of the Great Migration will be all around us as 1.5 million wildebeest and a quarter million zebra race across the plains chasing the seasonal rains. For the predators–lions, cheetahs, leopards, hyenas and jackals—it’s a time of plenty.

Our experienced guides navigate our specially converted 4×4 safari Land Cruisers through the landscape and introduce us to the other creatures which make up the dazzling ecosystem of the African plains; the herds of elephants crossing the plains, the delicate gazelles and the elegant giraffe, Tanzania’s national symbol.
On safari there’s more than big game to view. Hundreds of species of birds will delight birdwatchers. An insect favourite is the industrious dung beetle, which uses the Milky Way for navigation. And all in the dramatic flora of the high savannah set in the evocative geography of northern Tanzania.

At night our astronomer, Nick Howes, will guide us through our spectacular universe. In the African highlands, the Milky Way sparkles more brightly, the dark nebulae is even more impressive and the stars dazzling. Nick’s expertise will put us on a first name basis with constellations, the stars and more… whether you are an expert astronomer or a beginner.

We have chosen our luxury camps to take advantage of the best views of the night sky. Mysigio Camp, near Ngorongoro Crater, is in the heart of Maasai country is almost 9,000 feet –2700 metres– high. And in the Serengeti, renowned for vast night horizons, we will be camped at the evocative Kubu Kubu site right next to the famous Grumeti River. The permanent water drawing in the wild game. Both sites have stunning southern horizon views, where the Zodiacal light’s presence is testament to the darkness we obtain.

Although wild encounters are at the heart of a great safari, roughing it does not mean leaving creature comforts behind. Our luxury tented camps are both extremely comfortable and secure with standards harking back to the classic safaris of last century. Our tents have ensuite ‘caravan style’ flush toilets and traditional bush showers.

Our delicious meals are served in our comfortable mess tents — with dinner always by candlelight of course. These large, custom designed tents can be closed up during cool evenings or opened up for an al fresco feel for breakfast and lunch.

The Lounge tent is a place to relax – tea, coffee and drinks are always available with comfortable chairs so we can relax and share the events of the day. There is even a small library.

In the evening we enjoy sundowners around the roaring campfire as we await the darkness when we move to a pair of 4” Skywatcher ED Refracting telescopes. Under Nick’s guidance, we will explore our solar system, Messier objects, Magellanic clouds and globular clusters.

And as a special treat during daylight, when we pause for lunch and the midday sun, we can observe sunspots and solar flares on a Solarscope SV50 Hydrogen Alpha telescope.

Both Mysigio & Kubu Kubu camps are seasonal camps with low environmental impact. Where possible, only local materials are used and the charm of Tanzania is reflected in the camp. All energy we use is solar and sustainable.