US$ 9,500 Sharing
US$ 9,850 Single
US$ 2,000 Deposit
PLACES VISITED: Windhoek / Quiver Tree Forest / Fish River Canyon / Luderitz (Kolmanskop Ghost Town) / Namib Rand Nature Reserve / Namib Naukluft National Park (Sossusvlei & Deadvlei) including Helicopter ride over the dunes / Walvis Bay / Dorob National Park / Swakopmund
SKILL LEVEL: Any level from beginner to advanced - photo tuition and guidance is offered on this safari
This will be a 14-day photo tour starting and ending in Windhoek, the capital of Namibia. The main focus will be the landscapes and wildlife of the world's oldest Desert, the NAMIB.
This tour is small and exclusive, limited to only 4 participants in one airconditioned 4x4 Toyota Landcruiser safari vehicle with a local guide / driver. The photographic tour leader will be Stu Porter.
Namibia is a vast country, covering an area approximately four times the size of the United Kingdom but with a population of a mere 2 million - one of the lowest densities in the world. The overwhelming sense of space and silence contribute to a feeling of antiquity, solitude and wilderness.
The climate is typical of a semi-desert country. Days are warm to hot and nights are generally cool. Temperatures are modified by the high plateau in the interior and by the cold Benguela Current that runs along the Atlantic coastline. We have selected the month of April for this photo adventure, as it is the end of the rainy season, which offers crisp clear skies, and pleasant temperatures. There is also a good chance of some remaining cloud activity, which can add character to the landscapes we plan to photograph.
We will be looked after by a very professional and experienced local safari guide who will enhance our enjoyment of this unique country by making it a fascinating and stress-free journey of discovery amidst very dramatic scenery. His local knowledge and experience will prove to be invaluable. Namibia is a big country and we will spend a number of hours driving between locations. We do not waste "photographic time" on these drives. We have planned the itinerary & logistics very carefully so that we will be able to take full advantage of the photographic opportunities on offer at each location when the light is at its best. We then use the time when the sun is high and the light is harsh to move to our next location.
The tour begins in Windhoek with an overnight stopover. The recommended connections to Windhoek are via Johannesburg in South Africa, although, Qatar and KLM now also fly direct to Windhoek.
This 14 day photo safari will take in some of the best locations in all of Namibia. You will get to photograph the unusual Quiver Trees at the Quiver Tree Forest near Keetmanshoop, visit the Fish River Canyon (the second biggest in the world), photograph the unusual Kolmanskop Ghost Diamond Mining town near Luderitz, spend 3 nights in the magnificent Namib Rand Nature Reserve, visit the Apricot coloured dunes of Sossusvlei & the ancient Camel Thorn Trees of Deadvlei. There is the opportunity to enjoy a helicopter ride over the dunes and all the way to the Atlantic Coast. After seeing this part of the Namib desert, you will then head to the coastal towns of Walvis Bay and Swakopmund where you will stay in an unusual lodge at Pelican Point, within walking distance of a 30 000 strong Cape Fur Seal Colony, visit Sandwich Harbour on an exciting 4x4 tour to photograph where the massive sand dunes meet the Atlantic Ocean and photograph some of the smaller and very interesting creatures that live in this harsh environment on a private photo tour of the Dorob National Park.
Photo highlights include: Quiver Trees, night skies, Fish River Canyon, sand engulfed buildings at Kolmanskop at both sunrise and sunset, sweeping vistas at Namib Rand where the red dunes meet the rocky mountains. Apricot Dunes of Sossusvlei and the Camel Thorn Trees at Deadvlei, both at sunrise and sunset. Helicopter ride over the dunes, Seals and Falmingos in Walvis Bay, Sandwich Harbourn 4x4 tour, Dunes meeting the Atlantic Ocean and smaller creatures of the Namib Desert. Larger mammals could include Oryx, Springbok, Giraffe, Zebra, Klipspringer and Greater Kudu.
Day 1 Arrive in Windhoek, met at the airport and transferred to River Crossing Lodge. Afternoon briefing and overnight in Windhoek
Day 2 Depart after breakfast and drive to Keetmanshoop and the Quiver Tree Forest, picnic lunch on the way. Photograph the Quiver Trees in the afternoon and at night. Overnight at the Quiver Tree Forest Restcamp
Day 3 Early morning sunrise photo shoot at the Quiver Trees, breakfast and depart for the Fish River Canyon. Arrive in time for lunch and afternoon photo session of the Canyon and more Quiver Trees. Night photography. Overnight at Fish River Lodge
Day 4 Early morning sunrise photo shoot of the Canyon followed by breakfast then depart for Luderitz. Afternoon and sunset photo shoot with special photo permits at Kolmanskop Ghost Town. Overnight at the Nest Hotel in Luderitz
Day 5 Early morning sunrise photo shoot with special photo permit at Kolmanskop Ghost Town. Depart with packed lunch for Namib Rand. Arrive and enjoy first afternoon & sunset photo shoot. Overnight at Wolwedans Dune Lodge
Day 6 Sunrise and sunset photo shoots in the Namib Rand. Overnight at Wolwedans Dune Lodge
Day 7 Sunrise and sunset photo shoots in the Namib Rand. Overnight at Wolwedans Dune Lodge
Day 8 Early morning photo shoot from Dune Lodge, return for breakfast and then transfer to Sossusvlei. Arrive in Sossusvlei for lunch, afternoon photo shoot of the big red sand dunes. Overnight at Sossus Dune Lodge
Day 9 Sunrise and sunset photography at Deadvlei. Overnight at Sossus Dune Lodge
Day 10 Sunrise photo shoot from helicopter or of the big Dunes, Sunset photography at Deadvlei. Overnight at Sossus Dune Lodge
Day 11 Sunrise photo shoot from helicopter or of the big Dunes. Depart with packed breakfast for Swakopmund, arrive mid afternoon and photograph the young dunes in the Dorob National Park near Swakopmund. Overnight at Hansa Hotel
Day 12 Depart after breakfast for private Living Desert photo tour to photograph the small critters of the dunes, then transfer to Walvis Bay, arrive mid afternoon at Pelican Point Lodge - sunset photography of Seal Colony. Overnight at Pelican Point
Day 13 Early morning 4 x 4 photographic excursion through the enormous coastal dunes to reach Sandwich Harbour. Return to Pelican Point for afternoon photography of the Seal colony or of the Flamingos at Walvis Bay. Overnight Pelican Point
Day 14 Depart after an early breakfast for our drive back to Windhoek, arriving around midday, in time to catch our international flights home.
- all road transfers within Namibia as detailed in the itinerary
- all meals and all local drinks (house red & white wine, beer, soft drinks, fruit juice, bottled water)
- 1 night in Windhoek at River Crossing Lodge
- 1 night at the Quiver Tree Rest Camp
- 1 night at the Fish River Lodge
- 1 night in Luderitz at The Nest Hotel
- 3 nights in NamibRand Reserve at Wolwedans Dune Lodge
- 3 nights in Namib Naukluft National Park at Sossus Dune Lodge
- 1 night in Swakopmund at the Hansa Hotel
- 2 nights in Walvis Bay at Pelican Point Lodge
- All entry fees to attractions and parks / reserves
- private use of 7 seater air-conditioned 4x4 Land cruiser with qualified expert local guide
- photographic tuition
- INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS to Windhoek in Namibia where the tour will start
- Laundry services are available - but at your own cost
- personal medical, travel & equipment insurance
- visa fees (if applicable) it is best to check the latest and most up to date information with the Namibian consulate closest to you
- Any extra nights of accommodation before or after the safari - we can arrange these for you and add it to your statement
- Tips / Gratuities for your local safari driver / guide and hotel / lodge / camp staff
There will be no internal flights on this safari, we will be driving to all locations in an air-conditioned 4x4 safari vehicle with a total seating capacity for 7 passengers
Accommodation on the trip will be in a mix of Hotels, Lodges and Safari Camps.
Please note that not all rooms have airconditioning, however April in Namibia is not a very hot month and the evenings and nights are very pleasant and cool. The days can be warm around midday, but otherwise temperatures are mild / warm in Namibia at this time of year.
The weather in Namibia in April is very pleasant and mild. There might still be a few thunderstorms which will add dramatic skies to the photographs, but these are usually short. The air is crisp and clear and this is probably the best time to photograph Namibia's Landscapes. The grasses still have colour to them and it is not as dry and dusty as it is later in the year around Aug & September. The temperatures at the coast are considerable cooler than those inland and Fog is often present. Sossusvlei and Etosha will be the warmest areas where temperatures around midday can reach 35 C or 95 F.
We would recommend a warm fleece as well as a wind breaker jacket, long trousers / shorts. Good quality walking / hiking shoes
As far as camera equipment goes, we have a more detailed kit list which we will send out to you at time of registration. However this trip will have the major focus on Landscape Photography, so a good quality tripod and ballhead are essential.
All locations will have power in the rooms or in the case of small tented camps, there will be a central recharging point. Most of the camps do not offer 24hr electricity so you will have to re-charge within the allocated times. Hotels will have 24 hour power. There are also recharging facilities inside the safari vehicle.
On all our safaris it is preferable to use a duffel type bag for your main luggage (not hard suitcases) as these are easier to pack into vehicles and planes. The normal luggage restriction as far as weight goes are 20 kgs for hold luggage and 8 kgs for Cabin Luggage. We all know that as photographers 8 kgs for camera equipment is not enough ! However you will find that the size of the bag is more important.
A normal Think Tank type camera bag (airport accelerator) should carry the amount of equipment you need for your safari. The only internal flight we have to take will be from Windhoek to Luderitz. This is a scheduled flight so weight restrictions will be the same as for the flight from Johannesburg to Windhoek. There are laundry services available at all locations on the safari and we recommend that you bring as little as possible and make use of the laundry services along the route.
Our main luggage bags will travel in a trailer that we will pull along behind us.
Yes there are laundry services available at all locations at an extra charge which will be added to your room and you will need to settle this on the day of departure from that particular lodge / camp.
There is wifi at most of the locations on this safari as well as cell phone signal
Tipping is a safari tradition in Africa. You are welcome to stick to your regular personal tipping policies but we politely recommend you try to follow our guidelines regarding tipping as it helps to set a standard.
Firstly, even though it is expected, it is not compulsory. If you feel that you have not been given excellent service then you do not have to tip. I personally feel that if somebody goes above and beyond their job description then it is polite to tip them and I am more than happy to do so.
We do our utmost to source quality safari companies / lodges and guides who have a similar work ethic and passion to us. The staff and guides work extremely hard to make sure we have a good time and they are incredibly patient and flexible.
Please ask us to send you our detailed recommended tipping policy for this photo safari if you would like more details. It will also be in your Arrival Information Document, which will be sent to you 2 weeks before the start of your photo safari.
YES, any level from total beginner to experienced wildlife photographers can enjoy our photo safaris. Having a small group allows me to accommodate the different levels very easily. The amount of tuition and approach is tailored to the needs of individual clients on each trip.
As far as equipment goes, this can make a difference in your overall enjoyment of the safari. If you are concerned you might not have the appropriate equipment then please contact me to discuss this in more detail.
It is best to contact the embassy of the country you will be travelling to; to double check and see what their latest policies are with regards to Visas and whether you should apply for them before you travel or if you can obtain them at the port of entry.
Smoking is not allowed in the safari vehicle and generally it is not a very good idea to smoke in the bush as the grass is often tinder dry and bush fires can start easily. We do not take specific breaks for smoking either, but we will stop at relevant times for everyone to have a break and stretch their legs or have a cup of coffee. This would be your opportunity to have a smoke break. We ask you to respect the environment and carry your cigarette ends away with you.
Spending long hours in the safari vehicles will inevitably end up in folks needed a bathroom stop. We have to respect the rules of the different parks when it comes to this and these rules will be explained before the start of each safari. Generally the safari saying of "any tree is a lavatree (lavatory)" goes. We will make sure we stop in a safe location for the comfort break.
The Kruger National Park is the only location that has proper washroom facilities at designated picnic sites or in the camps, and as per the rules of the park we are required to stop at these specific places, not anywhere in the bush. Botswana, Kenya and Tanzania do not have such facilities, and stopping at an appropriate place in the bush is allowed.
All of our safaris have emergency procedures in place. We will have contact with the office via either radio, cell phone or satellite phone. The office would then dispatch the relevant help - be it medical or otherwise. In the case of medical assistance, the initial recovery from the field to the most relevant medical facility would be covered by our safari insurance. Your medical insurance would need to cover you for all other expenses.
From a photo tuition perspective, we have two options available to potential clients.
When I personally lead any photo safari, there will be photo tuition and guidance available. On some of our extensions and Bespoke Photo Safaris we really hit the photo tuition hard and work through as many elements of nature photography as we can in a "workshop" style. This is because it is at the request of the particular clients who have asked for a high level of tuition and because we have a good deal of time available to focus specifically on certain aspects.
On our scheduled photo safaris you will soon find that the days are long and tiring, we get up early, return late and barely have time to download the days images before getting to bed at a sensible time only to do it all over again on the following day. The tuition format is therefore very informal, I like to approach topics as they become relevant and we will do these in the field in front of real live situations - this is the best way to learn. There will be times when we are waiting patiently at a sighting and can discuss any topic that you feel you would like help with. Siesta times at midday are usually well used for that exact reason, but I am personally available at any time of day or night. I have sat up until midnight on many occasions running through workflow, camera technique and doing night photography with those who are keen.
I am on the safari so that you can pick my brain, ask questions, watch my workflow and teach me a new technique that you might like or find useful yourself !- there is always room to learn and I always learn a lot on each trip myself.
I like to pick up on elements that would be relevant to each photographer. I adjust the level of tuition to the needs of each individual, again this is the beauty of having a small group. I like to talk my way through scenarios as they unfold in front of us and let you know what I am trying to achieve.
If you are a more experienced wildlife photographer, this option would suit you better. During the past 14 years I have met and worked with many excellent safari guides who are not necessarily professional photographers. However they know what the needs of photographers are and how to position the vehicle and predict animal behaviour. They are also very keen photographers themselves and I can highly recommend them as specialist photographic guides. If you are a confident & experieinced photographer you can confidently book a safari with one of our specialist guides in the knowledge that they will always be looking out for photographic opportunities, and not simply trying to show you african wildlife, which would be the case on a regular safari with a regular safari guide.
In this option you would then not receive any specialist photo tuition or assistance with setting up your camera or which settings to use etc.., but you will be in very capable hands as far as getting photographs would be concerned. These safaris are also better priced compared with the scheduled trips that I personally lead as I do not have to build my own accommodation, travel and personal costs into the safari.
Regardless of which safari you register for, I will also send you my own set of PDF Photo Tuition Documents which include a pre-safari Camera Set-up guide and my "Seven Top Tips". Reading these before the safari begins will help to prepare you for the types of things you will be doing on safari.
Yes, myself and the guides I use do take photos and I feel that it is important for us to do this. We are constantly looking for the best angle for a good photograph. We have many years of experience in the African bush and can predict a lot of animal behaviour. Getting the vehicle into position where we feel it would make a good photo often helps others who are unsure of where to park, which lens to use, how to compose, which settings to use and what behaviour might follow.
We all have an interest in photography but our passion is our business; which is guiding people on a photo safari. We want to make sure you achieve the best photos possible.
Our main aim is not to sell our portfolios, it is to sell our photo safaris. We do need good photos of animals to do this, but more importantly we want our clients to go home with the best portfolio possible.
Yes we can cater for special medical dietary requirements, but you need to inform us of these requirements when you register. We will then be able to inform the lodges / camps we will be staying at about your requests well in advance.
Depending on what your special requirements are there may be a surcharge for this service.
Your time on safari is YOURS, you can feel free to use it as you wish. However I can confidently say that very few people have ever opted to sleep in or spend time at the pool. This is a photo safari after all. Our main reason of being on the safari is to spend every possible minute doing photography so leisure time is not something people normally request.
On occasion people have wanted to sleep in on one day or skip an afternoon game drive, this is entirely up to you. However please note that we will not change our usual schedule to accommodate "leisure time" If for example you decided to sleep in, you would not have the right to request the vehicle to come back and collect you at a more convenient time.
The photographers who go out with the vehicle can decide when to return. If you have a private vehicle to yourself then you can do as you please.
I personally feel that Traveller's Cheques are the most awkward of the three and I never use them. Credit Cards are by far the most convenient 90% of the time. Bringing along some cash is also a good idea. US$ are readily accepted in all African Countries and can often be used even in local shops (except in South Africa where ZAR South African Rand is the accepted form of payment).
As far as tipping goes (more on the tipping section) this can be given in US$ at all locations - any other major foreign currency will also be readily accepted (CAD, EURO, GBP, AUS$) - South Africa would be the only place where it would be appropriate to convert your tip into local currency (ZAR), but foreign currency is also readily accepted.
All of our scheduled photo safaris (except for Namibia) are vehicle based for the majority of the time. You will need to be in reasonable health but we will not undergo any long walks or hikes unless you personally choose to do so, or unless it is detailed in the safari description. Our extensions and custom safaris might warrant a different fitness level - please ask us for more details about the fitness level required for your specific custom photo safari or chosen extension.
Our Landscape tours of Namibia do require a fairly good level of fitness to get the most out of them. There is a lot of sans in Namibia and walking in this sand and up sand dunes is part of the trip. If you have more questions about fitness levels PLEASE ask us before signing up on any of our safaris.
On any trip to Africa there is a risk of getting Malaria. Some areas have a higher risk than others. As we are not medical doctors we cannot advise you about whether or not you should take malaria medication. Our advice is to consult your local doctor or travel clinic.
This is also a question you would need to consult a doctor or travel clinic about as details of these change on an ongoing basis. Be sure to ask your doctor or clinic about YELLOW FEVER as it is relevant in some of the countries we visit.
In general we would recommend that you stick to bottled drinking water on all the safaris. In Kenya and Tanzania this also includes brushing your teeth with bottled water. In South Africa it is possible to drink the local water and brush your teeth with it, so the risk of getting ill is small, however we still recommend you drink bottled water.
Each country has its own electrical and plug system. After you have registered to do a safari with us, we will send out the "PLUG & VOLTAGE" document which will explain this topic in more detail
YES it is possible to add on an extension to any of our safaris if you wanted to stay longer or visit a different place. There are some extension suggestions on the photo safari pages under the "EXTENSIONS" tab. Please ask us if you need help with this or if you would like to tailor a specific extension.
- First contact us to confirm that there are spaces available on the photo safari that you are interested in - (please use the enquiry form on this page)
- Once we confirm with you that there is space available, and you would like to make a booking, these are the steps you would follow:
We will send you a link that will take you to the photo safari that you want to join. Along with the link we will send a detailed PDF document that will guide you though the booking process.
We only accept International Bank Transfer as method of payment / or PayPal **
** PayPal - please note that an additional 4% handling fee will be added to all payments made through PayPal
Please note that ALL bank charges are for your account
Once this is complete, will update your "outstanding balance" amount which will be due 90 days before the start date of the safari.
Please note that it is recommended that you take out your own travel insurance to cover unexpected trip cancellation, medical, personal and photographic equipment. WILD4 will not be held responsible in any way for the loss of or damage to any photographic equipment or personal belongings, nor for any medical expenses. Our medical insurance will only cover you for evacuation from the field to the closest most appropriate medical facility, at which point your medical insurance would take over.
- We must receive a formal written notification of your cancellation
- Deposits are non-refundable.
- Tour fees are not transferable.
- If for any reason a participant ends a tour early or does not make use of a service that has been included in the price of any scheduled tour, tailor-made tour or tour extension, no refund for this unused portion or service will be made.
- Full payment of the tour fee is due 90 days prior to the departure date. We must receive written notification of your cancellation, at which time the following cancellation fees apply:
- 89 to 60 days before departure: 75% of tour fee
- 59 or fewer days before departure: 100% of tour fee
- If due to circumstances out of our control, we are not able to run the photo safari, we are entitled to either cancel the trip, in which case clients will be entitled to a full re-fund. Or, with the clients permission and consent, we might modify the itinerary, which could also mean modifications to the price.
US$ 9,500 Sharing
US$ 9,850 Single
US$ 2,000 Deposit
14th - 27th Apr 2018
3 places available
- 14th - 27th Apr 2018
- 13 nights / 14 days
Tour Led By
We were very lucky to have found the Wild 4 Team when we were able to take a short photographic safari as part of a business trip to Cape Town. So when we could plan a photography trip overseas, naturally we contacted Stu and Justyna. We brought along a good friend who wanted to do her first photo safari. To say the three of us had a blast would be to underestimate the experience. I wonder how many other photographers have been a few feet from a cheetah taking down an impala only to share the kill with a caracal. Other highlights included a rare king cheetah, mating leopards, a den of wild dogs with their pups, photographing and touching a boomslang, green mamba and black mamba, and being surrounded by a herd of elephants. But perhaps the best part of all was being back with friends whom we know and trust. We know a good thing when we experience it. When we are ready for our next African adventure, you can bet we will contact the Wild 4 Team.
Michael & Toni Anderson, USA
From the moment we contacted Wild 4 we were impressed with the prompt, friendly, enthusiastic way our queries were answered. Stu is a passionate wildlife photographer eager to pass on skills, ideas, techniques and information. The wildlife sightings leopards, lions with cubs, rhinos, elephant herds the list goes on - Awesome, Amazing, Exciting are just a few words that come to mind. Not forgetting the support of John, Ann (excellent food) and of course Justyna nothing was to much trouble for them. We have had many safaris in various countries but this surpassed them all. The only decision now is not if, but when we return
Maureen & Trevor Lovegrove, UK