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Hakos Gastefarm Vs Tivoli Astrofarm Vs Kiripotib Astrofarm

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#1 nicknacknock

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 08:06 AM

Not much stuff left on my bucket list and this is one of them, spending one week in Namibia stargazing and taking in the wonders of the southern skies. Both places have instruments which will cater to my needs (large dobs and mid sized refractors) so it's not a matter of who's got what, but rather, which one for one reason or another is considered better.

 

Could be the owners are nicer at one of the two. Or food is better. Or location is better. Or I have no idea, so anybody who's been to either one, enlighten me please!


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#2 Enkidu

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 10:49 PM

Although I went to Kiripotib (highly recommended in all aspects), we researched these two and spoke with other guests who had been to multiple farms.

 

Apparently, equipment is not quite as well cared for at Tivoli as it is at Kiripotib. Both farms are in the same area. I imagine Tivoli would be a fine choice.

 

Hakos' owners are, according to reviews, incredibly racist. We didn't want to support them, so we didn't go there.


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#3 nicknacknock

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 11:03 PM

Hi Enkidu,

 

I added Kiripotib in the title as it seems like a great place and it also has the range of equipment I would like to use. Thanks for the tip!

 

As to Hakos' owners being incredibly racist, I had no idea that there was such feedback circulating, but I can't ignore this, so thanks again for dropping this bombshell here!

 

OK, so Tivoli Vs Kiripotib then! I'd love to have your feedback on Kiripotib - please expand on it!



#4 Enkidu

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Posted 20 July 2019 - 02:46 AM

I'd love to have your feedback on Kiripotib - please expand on it!

I was happily surprised by the comfort & quality of the rooms etc. The owners and staff are very friendly and accommodating. There's a former conservationist on site with many interesting stories about local wildlife and flora.

 

Dinner ends at sunset; we usually rushed out afterward to catch Mercury. Braai (barbecue) on Saturdays. Nothing is too exotic besides the meat, but it's always different and generally very good. Fresh, tasty, sometimes local ingredients. Three of us are vegetarian; dietary requests were no problem.

 

Our group (4) were the only visual observers. We rented the 14.5" dob, which was collimated on the first night. If you're sensitive to coma, you might bring a Paracorr/corrector. I initially noticed when sweeping, but quickly forgot about it in those conditions!

 

I brought my refractor/gear, and just rented the Berlebach tripod. They allowed us to set this up in the savannah next to the dob platform (we also brought a birding scope and a few binoculars).

 

Booking should be done well in advance. We were lucky to do it seven months ahead.

 

The naked eye views alone are worth the trip. I hardly used any optics the first night. If you had no equipment requirements you could stay almost anywhere in the country.

 

A few more details here, in the bino forum. Feel free to send me a message if you'd like photos.


Edited by Enkidu, 20 July 2019 - 03:05 AM.

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#5 nicknacknock

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Posted 20 July 2019 - 06:56 AM

Enkidu,

 

The more I research Kiripotib, the more I like it! Sounds like the perfect place for me. I think in October I will make a booking for sometime July / August.

 

The only annoyance which has been bugging me for a while, is that it is "winter" over there at that time, which means I need to take warm clothes, which means that a carry-on won't cut it. It's 3 flights to get there, so I would have preferred a carry-on.

 

Still, I will take a few eyepieces, a couple of filters, tripod, DSLR, all as carry-on, and the clothes separately. If the clothes get lost, well, probably easier to replace than astronomy related items ;)


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#6 Enkidu

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Posted 21 July 2019 - 02:56 AM

Sounds great Nick! July/August are the most popular months, I hope you can reserve the equipment you want.

 

Let us know how it goes : )



#7 nicknacknock

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Posted 21 July 2019 - 03:21 AM

Will do. Final decision if I will go, will be in September. I am between Japan and Namibia...

#8 IMB

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Posted 22 July 2019 - 06:09 PM

<...> It's 3 flights to get there, so I would have preferred a carry-on. <...>

 

Air Namibia offers a non-stop service from Frankfurt to Windhoek.



#9 nicknacknock

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Posted 22 July 2019 - 07:40 PM

Two flights then! Even better...

#10 MEE

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Posted 22 July 2019 - 11:42 PM

Please note that some flights are seasonal. Is this Air Namibia flight non-stop all year?

 

Also, wherever you choose to go, here is a challenge for you: look for the light bridge between Triangulum Australe and the Milky Way. It's very faint, and rarely seen.

 

From Timo Karhula, posting to the IceinSpace Australian Astronomy Forum: "The journey’s most exciting and unexpected sky phenomenon that we observed, was without a doubt, the light or material bridge (as I call it) of the Large Magellanic Cloud, LMC. It is not even scientifically studied yet and only a handful of people have reported it in the literature! With our unaided eyes, we noted how the light band reached from the LMC, went due south, passed the south celestial pole and continued along a great circle towards the Norma starcloud in the Milky Way. The material bridge was nearly as wide as LMC itself and more than 40° long. In surface brightness it was comparable to the faintest part of the zodiacal band and maybe half of the gegenschein’s. In the beginning of the night, it reminded me of a waterfall that disappeared into the airglow near the horizon. Later in the night, this phenomenon had rotated clock-wise around the south celestial pole which proved that this was indeed an astronomical feature and followed the earth’s rotation. The material bridge disappeared in Triangulum Australe, near its alpha star, Atria."

 

You can also see some posts about this feature if you search the forum archives here.


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#11 nicknacknock

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Posted 22 July 2019 - 11:51 PM

Yeah, I need to check around a bit and see if it fits with the dates I have in mind...

 

I'll just amble over to Ice In Space now ;)



#12 IMB

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Posted 23 July 2019 - 12:09 AM

Please note that some flights are seasonal. Is this Air Namibia flight non-stop all year? <...>

FRA-WDH by Air Namibia is a daily service.



#13 ChristopherBeere

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Posted 02 August 2019 - 03:52 PM

Kiripotib and Tivoli are neighbours so the sky is this good :

 

The-Galaxy-Mosaic-1000px.jpg

 

Thats a horizon to horizon panoramic composite shot from my trip in 2011 with the OG Nikon 14-24 on a modded Canon 60D.

 

 

Both sites are class 1 and you will see 22.00+ on the SQM. Zodiacal band is visible and on a decent night you can see it arc the entire sky.

 

Tivoli is perfect in my experience. Reinhold and Kirsten are awesome hosts and the farm is a remote oasis deep in the heart of the Kalahari savanna.

 

I have observed the LMC light bridge from Tivoli https://www.cloudyni...-the-ifn/page-2

 

Kiripotib originally hosted glider enthusiasts and later evolved into an astronomy focused guest farm. Tivoli was the pioneer.

 

Cant go wrong with either, they will blow your mind. 

 

Im back at Tivoli in 7 weeks. Cant wait.


Edited by ChristopherBeere, 03 August 2019 - 09:24 AM.

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#14 nicknacknock

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Posted 05 August 2019 - 12:53 AM

All I want is one peaceful week either at Tivoli or Kiripotib, spending 3 days with their largest dob and 3 days with a 4" to 6" refractor and see southern skies objects I have been wanting to see for years. Take with me some astro gear (DSLR, tripod, a couple of favorite eyepieces, a couple of filters, iPad with SkySafari) and find a small measure of peace out there...



#15 ChristopherBeere

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Posted 07 August 2019 - 05:18 PM

You will definitely find peace there, except the karakuls bleeting from time to time (its a sheep farm first and foremost).

 

What nothing can prepare you for is the zodiacal light, the airglow, the light bridge, 5th mag stars popping out from behind bushes at less than 5 degrees above the spirit level flat horizon, shadows from the galactic plane, zero humidity and moisture.

 

PbQbjmq.png

 

The light bump you see buried in the airglow behind the bush is Windhoek - 180km away to the NW. As you can see the only light pollution is from natural sky phenomena. The zodiacal light that dominates the centre frame extends all the way through the ecliptic into the core of the galaxy.


Edited by ChristopherBeere, 07 August 2019 - 05:20 PM.

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#16 nicknacknock

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Posted 07 August 2019 - 11:28 PM

I'm so sold on the idea of going there next year..

 

However, it depends on how well my dog is. Spondylolithesis of L7 vertebrae and that is nothing to scoff about. I have the same in "human" equivalent (that would be L5) so I know what she is going through. If she heals well enough and I feel comfortable enough to let her stay for a week at a dog hotel, fine. If not, then the year after...



#17 Ukrainian

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Posted 28 August 2019 - 11:58 PM

I have very good impressions of Kiripotib guest farm this year, really nice place. Comparing to others, not so much reviews, but the place was great. Meals and accommodation were excellent, flights by Qatar airways were comfortable, and, finally, the sky was outstanding. Winter brings there +20..+25°C  at daytime and +10...+4°C at night, take warm clothes for observing.

We've rent 24" and 14.5" dobsonians, although they need  to be collimated, it was not a problem, they keep instruments in good condition, our detailed report is here:

https://stargazerslo...from-kiripotib/

I can highly recommend Kiripotib. 

Please keep in mind that booking should be done in advance.


Edited by Ukrainian, 28 August 2019 - 11:59 PM.

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#18 nicknacknock

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Posted 29 August 2019 - 12:53 AM

Hi Ukrainian,

 

Thanks for the feedback and the link to SGL report. I actually decided on Kiripotib if I go next year. I must make up my mind in the next couple of months if I am to find space for next year.

 

Unfortunately, my dog has been diagnosed with Spondylolisthesis (sigh, same with dogs as with humans, but dogs have more lumbar vertebrae, so for my girl it is L7-S1) and I am not planning anything at the moment until I see that she is truly well. I have no intention of dropping her at a dog hotel while I am off stargazing. It is what it is...


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#19 Vinny1980

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Posted 13 September 2019 - 07:16 AM

I d be very interested to go to Namibia next year, too. Only, Id like to do (apart from visual with big dob's) some planetary imaging and here come two problems: first I dont know what kind of seeing the farms have, and second point not all of them have suitable telescopes. Only Hakos has a C11HD which would be great for that, even I dont know what to think about accusation of racism I read about them. In my opinion, 1 or 2 bad reviews dont have too much weight cos there are lots of ppl intrinsecally negative out there. 

Rooisand are not far from Gamsbserg and hosts a 17" Planewave which could be great, even if severely obstructed. From website and reviews they have good appeal, it would be nice to hear from someone who has been there. 


Edited by Vinny1980, 13 September 2019 - 08:26 AM.


#20 timokarhula

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Posted 14 September 2019 - 12:01 AM

Please note that some flights are seasonal. Is this Air Namibia flight non-stop all year?

 

Also, wherever you choose to go, here is a challenge for you: look for the light bridge between Triangulum Australe and the Milky Way. It's very faint, and rarely seen.

 

From Timo Karhula, posting to the IceinSpace Australian Astronomy Forum: "The journey’s most exciting and unexpected sky phenomenon that we observed, was without a doubt, the light or material bridge (as I call it) of the Large Magellanic Cloud, LMC. It is not even scientifically studied yet and only a handful of people have reported it in the literature! With our unaided eyes, we noted how the light band reached from the LMC, went due south, passed the south celestial pole and continued along a great circle towards the Norma starcloud in the Milky Way. The material bridge was nearly as wide as LMC itself and more than 40° long. In surface brightness it was comparable to the faintest part of the zodiacal band and maybe half of the gegenschein’s. In the beginning of the night, it reminded me of a waterfall that disappeared into the airglow near the horizon. Later in the night, this phenomenon had rotated clock-wise around the south celestial pole which proved that this was indeed an astronomical feature and followed the earth’s rotation. The material bridge disappeared in Triangulum Australe, near its alpha star, Atria."

 

You can also see some posts about this feature if you search the forum archives here.

 

 

 I was visiting my "second home" in Geraldton, Western Australia this past August / September.  If I drive a few miles in whatever direction I get Bortle 2 / 1 skies.  With my rental car I drove every night some 50 kms due east of Geraldton to get Bortle 1 class skies.  See my thread Fabulous night skies in Western Australia.  My SQM-L meter showed 22.00 or better every night when the Milky Way had been sinking lower in the sky.  The best sky readings I got was SQM-L 22.12 and the sky was incredible, the bright zodiacal arc was seen all night long with an annoyingly bright airglow around the horizon and a large Gegenschein in zenith at midnight.  Still, the Coal Sack was easily visible in the middle of the low airglow during lower culmination.  The only way the Namibian sites can beat my favourite place in W.A. is the extinction. Still it is good there at only 250 meters elevation and the limiting magnitude in zenith is the same as in Namibia.  I reached ZLM 7.9 ten years ago with my naked eyes.  I did not bother to check it this this time but I noticed a V=7.4 mag star without too much trouble near the LMC one night.

 

And, yes, "my" Magellanic Ghost was indeed visible, even when its light coincided with the Airglow.  Since I knew what to expect, I could in the still of the night watch when the Ghost got higher up with the LMC.  The Magellanic Ghost has been identified as an Intergalactic Flux Nebula thanks to research done by my friend Dana de Zoysa in South Africa.  The biggest of its kind and the largest reflexion nebula in the sky.  Discovered naked eye, and reported yet by only a handful people! smile.gif 

 

/Timo Karhula 


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#21 Astrojedi

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Posted 14 September 2019 - 08:31 PM

All I want is one peaceful week either at Tivoli or Kiripotib, spending 3 days with their largest dob and 3 days with a 4" to 6" refractor and see southern skies objects I have been wanting to see for years. Take with me some astro gear (DSLR, tripod, a couple of favorite eyepieces, a couple of filters, iPad with SkySafari) and find a small measure of peace out there...

That sounds like my ideal Astro trip as well. I hope you get to go soon.


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#22 ChristopherBeere

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Posted 15 September 2019 - 02:20 PM

...with an annoyingly bright airglow around the horizon... 

Haha yeah its super annoying for visual and photographic.

 

It extends crazy high as well, i measured it over 40 degrees from the horizon most nights.

 

Y7kHQXf.jpg

 

Notice its presence up as high as the SMC.

 

Its testament to how bright the LMC Light Bridge (Timos "Ghost") actually is that you can see it through the almost fog like veil of airglow.


Edited by ChristopherBeere, 15 September 2019 - 02:42 PM.



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