Design + building of both Observatories
Telescopes + Equipment
Chamäleon Observatory
Onjala Observatory
Image acquisition and processing
Solar System
Special Projects

The initial plans for Chameleon and Onjala observatories go back to 2012. Following the bankruptcy of Rooisand Desert lodge in 2010/2011 a new home had to be found for the equipment of Mr Paech. Through a lucky coincidence we got in touch with the owners of Onjala lodge and soon afterward signed a collaboration agreement.

Consequently the management of Onjala lodge was able to buy the entirety of the old equipment of Rooisand lodge. The preparation phase started in the summer of 2012 and in the fall of the same year the specific locations for both new observatories were chosen. In the winter of 2012 Franz Hofmann joined the team. Between fall 2012 and March of 2013 local craftsmen built the fundament for the 3 and 4 meter domes and starting mid-April both dome and instruments were installed.

In the presence of the lodge owners and many national and international guests the observatories were officially opened on May 4th 2013. ( » left to right: W. Paech, Ingo Lies, Peter Pack, Heiner Soltau)
In the 4 meter dome regularly scheduled 90 minute events are held for guests of Onjala lodge, whereas the 3 meter dome is owned by Paech & Hofmann and only used for private observations. Additionally, we can use the 4 meter dome for our own observations after the guided evening star observation tours are finished.

Onjala in the Namibian press: click here for an article on the opening as well as for details by the Namibian Tourism Board here.

In the following we will give general information on the planning process and will show pictures relating the construction of the domes and the mounting of the instruments. You can find a more detailed description about the buildings with planning and construction sketches here but only in german language.

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Planning and Onjala Guest Lodge: General

Picture galleries of the 3 meter dome
Picture galleries of the 4 meter dome Picture galleries of both the 3 and 4 meter dome
Picture gallery of the opening ceremony on May 4th 2013

« Heiner Soltau and the Onjala builders team

Sun Moon Solar System DeepSky Widefield Miscellaneous Spec. Projects
All Images and Content are © by Franz Hofmann + Wolfgang Paech