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Best of Namibia Photo Safari - August 2022

August 07th - 23rd, 2022
Best of Namibia Photo Safari - August 2022
Namibia &
3 Spaces

OVERVIEW

This 17-day photo tour begins and ends in Windhoek, the capital of Namibia. The main focus will be to visit the most popular destinations for photography in Namibia. 

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.

We will be looked after by a very professional and experienced local safari guide who will enhance our enjoyment of this unique country. Prepare for a fascinating and stress-free journey of discovery amidst incredible scenery. Namibia is a big country and we will spend several hours driving between locations. However, we do not waste "photographic time" on these drives. We have planned the itinerary & logistics very carefully so that we can 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 following location.

The climate is typical of a semi-desert country. Days are warm to hot, and nights are generally cool. Temperatures are influenced by the high plateau in the interior and the cold Benguela Current that runs along the Atlantic coastline. We have selected the month of August for this photo adventure. This time of year offers crisp, clear skies and pleasant temperatures.

The tour begins in Windhoek with an overnight stopover. The recommended connections to Windhoek are via Johannesburg in South Africa, although Qatar and KLM also fly directly to Windhoek.

On this tour, you will get to experience and photograph nine different locations that cover the best of what Namibia has to offer. 

These include the unusual Quiver Tree Forest, Fish River Canyon, Kolmanskop Ghost Town, Namib Rand, Sossusvlei Dunes, Deadvlei, Walvis Bay, Dorob National Park, and you end off at Etosha, Namibia's flagship national park.

After departing Etosha, we drive back for an overnight stop in Windhoek before departing for home the following morning.

QUIVER TREE FOREST

The Quiver Tree Forest comprises about 250 specimens of Aloidendron dichotomum, a succulent species of tree that is commonly known as the Quiver Tree or the Kokerboom. 

Original inhabitants of the area, the San people, used the light branches as quivers to carry their arrows.

The largest trees in the forest are over 200 years old and in 1990 the forest was declared a national monument of Nambia.

The forest is situated on private land and this allows easy access for both day and night photography.

FISH RIVER CANYON

Located in the south of Namibia, the Fish River Canyon is the largest canyon in Africa, as well as the second most visited tourist attraction in Namibia. It is about 160 kilometres long, up to 27 km wide and in places almost 550 meters deep.

The Fish River is the longest interior river in Namibia and flows intermittently, usually flooding in late summer; the rest of the year it becomes a chain of long narrow pools.

Quiver Trees are also found in this area.

KOLMANSKOP GHOST TOWN

This abandoned town lies ten kilometres inland from the port town of Lüderitz. It was named after Johnny Coleman who, during a sand storm, abandoned his ox wagon on a small incline opposite the settlement.

In 1908, in what was then German South-West Africa, the worker Zacharias Lewala found a diamond while working in this area and showed it to his supervisor, August Stauch.

Soon after this, German miners began a settlement. Driven by the enormous Diamond wealth of the area, the residents built a town in the German architectural style. The town boasted incredible amenities including a hospital, ballroom, power station, school, skittle-alley, theatre, sports hall, casino, ice factory and the first x-ray-station in the southern hemisphere, as well as the first tram in Africa. Kolmanskop was linked to Luderitz by a railway.

By the early 1950s, the area was in a severe decline and the Diamond fields near the Orange River were far more lucrative. Many of the town's inhabitants joined the rush to the south, leaving their homes and possessions behind. Kolmanskop was ultimately abandoned in 1956. For over 60 years the desert and its harsh sand storms have reclaimed the once-thriving town and now tourists walk through houses knee-deep in sand.

Kolmanskop is popular with photographers for its images of the desert sands' reclaiming this once-thriving town.

NAMIB RAND PRIVATE NATURE RESERVE

The Namib Rand is one of Southern Africa's largest private nature reserves and originated as a dream to expand the desert frontiers through the integration of a large number of former sheep farms. The aim was to develop a sanctuary free of fences so that the wildlife could once again roam unhindered.

Four distinct habitats are found on the Reserve: dunes and sandy plains, inselbergs and mountains, gravel plains, and sand and gravel plains. The predominant large mammals on the Reserve are the Gemsbok or Oryx and the Springbok. Other large mammals include kudu, Hartman's and Burchell's zebra, giraffe, klipspringer, steenbok, hartebeest and baboon. Predators include leopard, spotted and brown hyena, black-backed jackal, aardwolf, bat-eared fox, Cape fox, African wildcat, caracal and genet. More than 150 bird species have been identified in this stunning reserve.

SOSSUSVLEI

The Sossusvlei area belongs to a wider region that extends between two rivers, the Koichab and the Kuiseb. This area is characterized by high sand dunes of vivid pink-to-orange colour, an indication of a high concentration of iron in the sand and consequent oxidation processes. The oldest dunes are those of a more intense reddish colour. These dunes are among the highest in the world; many of them are above 200 metres. The tallest dune in the Namib Desert is called "Dune 7", at nearly 400 metres high.

Wildlife in the Sossusvlei area comprises small animals that can survive with little water, including a number of arthropods, small reptiles and small mammals such as rodents or jackals.

Bigger animals include antelopes such as Gemsbok (Oryx) and Springboks. Many species are endemic and highly adapted to desert life. Most notably, fog beetles such as the Namib Desert Beetle have developed a technique for collecting water from early morning fogs through the bumps in their back.

DEADVLEI

Deadvlei is a white clay pan surrounded by massive sand dunes. It is located 70km inside the Namib-Naukluft Park. Its name means "dead marsh".

The clay pan was formed after rainfall, when the Tsauchab river flooded, creating temporary shallow pools where the abundance of water allowed Camel Thorn trees to grow. When the climate changed, drought hit the area, and sand dunes encroached on the pan, which blocked the river from the area. As a result, the Camel Thorn trees died.

The remaining dead trees, which are believed to have died 600–700 years ago are all that remain. It is one of the main photographic highlights for any photographer on a trip to Namibia.

** Please note that you will need to carry your equipment and walk for 1.1km over sand to reach Deadvlei. **

WALVIS BAY

Walvis Bay (Whale Bay) is the second-largest city in Namibia and the largest coastal city in the country.

The bay is a safe haven for sea vessels because of its natural deepwater harbour, protected by the Pelican Point natural sand spit. A colony of 30 000 Cape Fur Seals are also found at Pelican Point.

It is the only natural harbour of any size along the country's entire coast. Being rich in plankton and marine life, these waters attracted large numbers of southern right whales and was a very popular whaling area in the past.

DOROB NATIONAL PARK - SWAKOPMUND

Dorob "dry land" National Park is a protected area along the central Namibian coast, which is 1,600 kilometres (990 mi) in length. Some 75 species of birds flock to this coast, with nearly 1.6 million birds recorded.

This park has "a spectacular coastal dune belt, vast gravel plains, Namibia's richest coastal area for birds, rich botanical diversity, and major ephemeral river system.

Specific areas are designated for tourism activities and we will visit this park with a local tour guide who will show us some of the smaller creatures of the desert, such as chameleons, snakes, birds, geckos, lizards and scorpions.

ETOSHA NATIONAL PARK

Etosha National Park lies in northwestern Namibia and is one of the largest national parks in Africa at 22,270 sq km (8,600 sq mi). It was elevated from a game reserve to a national park in 1967.

It gets its name from the large Etosha pan which is almost entirely within the park. With an area of 4,760 km2 (1,840 sq mi), the Etosha pan covers 23% of the total area of the national park.

Etosha is home to hundreds of species of mammals, birds and reptiles, including several threatened and endangered species such as the black rhinoceros.

Lion, Leopard, Cheetah and Elephant are also found in the park.

It is mostly flat and can be very dry. Waterholes supply the wildlife with much needed water and these waterholes are where most of your time is spent, waiting to photograph the animals as they arrive, drink and interact with each other.

DETAILS

This is an exclusive small-group wildlife photography tour with a maximum of 3 participants in 1 private vehicle. You will have plenty of space for equipment and guaranteed access to both sides of the safari vehicle.

Stu Porter will lead this photo tour.

Photographic tuition and guidance will be offered, making it ideal for beginners. The informal and flexible nature of the tuition also makes it perfect for intermediate and advanced photographers who can choose to engage in as much or as little as they feel comfortable with.

We always use professional and experienced guides who know how to use their local contacts and knowledge of the area to locate the wildlife.

Our guide will be aware of the needs of photographers. He will always do his utmost to position the safari vehicle for the best photographic results.

You will have an excellent chance to see and photograph the following on this "Best of Namibia" Photo Safari:

LANDSCAPES & SCENERY:

Quiver Trees, night skies, Fish River Canyon, sand engulfed buildings at Kolmanskop, sweeping vistas at Namib Rand Private Nature Reserve, apricot dunes of Sossusvlei & the ancient Camel Thorn trees at Deadvlei.

WILDLIFE:

Before arriving at Etosha National Park, you have an excellent chance to photograph the following: Gemsbok, Springbok, Klipspringer, Cape Fur Seals, Flamingos and smaller desert critters such as chameleons, snakes, birds, geckos, lizards and scorpions.

ETOSHA NATIONAL PARK:

Gemsbok, Springbok, Giraffe, Zebra, Greater Kudu, Blue Wildebeest, Ostrich, Black-faced Impala, Damara Dik-Dik, Angolan Giraffe, Lion, Leopard, Elephant, Cheetah, Red Hartebeest, Black Rhino as well as fantastic birdlife.

DAY 1

Fly to Hosea Kutako International Airport (WDH) in Windhoek, Namibia. Meet & Greet at airport and transfer to lodge.

The safari begins in Windhoek, Namibia. You will be met at the airport and transferred by road to a lodge overlooking the capital city. Here you will meet the rest of the group for a briefing followed by dinner.

You will stay for 1 night at RIVER CROSSING LODGE in an en-suite room.

PM - arrive at lodge, photo briefing

(All meals included)
(Local drinks included)

DAY 2

Drive south to Keetmanshoop. Arrive mid-afternoon. Late afternoon and night photography of the Quiver Trees

After breakfast, depart on a road transfer towards the southern part of the country and arrive at the rustic farm accommodation in the mid afternoon. Prepare for afternoon photography of the Quiver Tree Forest that is within walking distance of the accommodation. You will also have special access to the forest at night to photograph the trees illuminated by lights and the clear night sky in the background.

You will stay for 1 night at QUIVER TREE FOREST REST CAMP in an en-suite room.

AM - road transfer to Quiver Tree Forest
PM - Quiver Tree Photography
NIGHT - Quiver Tree Photography

(All meals included)
(Local drinks included)

DAY 3

Sunrise photography at Quiver Tree Forest. Depart after breakfast. Road transfer to Fish River Canyon

Enjoy a sunrise photo session at the Quiver Tree Forest. After breakfast, depart on a road transfer to the Fish River Canyon. Arrive at the lodge in time for lunch and prepare for an afternoon photo session of some more Quiver Trees with the Fish River Canyon as a backdrop. Enjoy a delicious dinner.

Nighttime photography of more Quiver Trees will allow you a second opportunity to photograph these unusual trees at night under the brilliant Namibian sky.

You will stay for 1 night at FISH RIVER LODGE in an en-suite room.

AM - Quiver Tree Photography
PM - Quiver Tree & Fish River Canyon Photography
NIGHT - Quiver Tree Photography

(All meals included)
(Local drinks included)

DAY 4

Sunrise photography of the Canyon and the Quiver Trees. Depart after breakfast. Road transfer to Luderitz. Kolmanskop Ghost Town

Enjoy your final photo session of the Canyon and the Quiver Trees at sunrise. After breakfast, depart on a road transfer to the quaint coastal town of Luderitz. Arrive at the hotel in time for lunch and prepare for an afternoon photo session at the fascinating Diamond mining ghost town of Kolmanskop.

Spend the afternoon until sunset exploring the derelict town which is slowly being engulfed by sand.

You will stay for 1 night at THE NEST HOTEL in an en-suite room.

AM - Quiver Tree & Fish River Canyon Photography
PM - Kolmanskop Ghost Town Photography

(All meals included)
(Local drinks included)

DAY 5

Sunrise photography at Kolmanskop. Depart after breakfast. Road transfer to Namib Rand Private Nature Reserve

Enjoy a sunrise photo session at the Kolmanskop Ghost Town. Depart on a road transfer and arrive for lunch at the Namib Rand Private Nature Reserve. Prepare for an afternoon photo session out in the reserve famous for its sweeping vistas and desert-adapted wildlife.

You will stay for 2 nights at WOLWEDANS DUNES LODGE in an en-suite tent.

AM - Kolmanskop Ghost Town Photography
PM - Namib Rand Photography

(All meals included)
(Local drinks included)

DAY 6

Morning and Afternoon photo sessions in the Namib Rand Nature Reserve

Head out early to be in position for a spectacular sunrise over the reserve, an area where the trees and grasses meet the sand dunes. Return for a midday break and head out again for an afternoon and sunset photo session in this stunning reserve.

Enjoy a light dinner under the stars with the opportunity to capture some more images of the night sky.

AM - Namib Rand Photography
PM - Namib Rand Photography
NIGHT - Namib Rand Photography

(All meals included)
(Local drinks included)

DAY 7

Sunrise photography at Namib Rand. Depart after breakfast. Road transfer to Sossusvlei (Namib Naukluft National Park)

Enjoy a final sunrise photo session in the Namib Rand Nature Reserve. Depart on a road transfer and arrive for lunch at your accommodation inside the Namib Naukluft National Park. This area is famous for its enormous apricot coloured sand dunes, and one of the main highlights of the safari. Prepare for an afternoon photo session stopping to photograph the massive sand dunes. As the light softens they begin to glow orange and then red.

You will stay for 2 nights at SOSSUS DUNE LODGE in an en-suite room.

AM - Namib Rand Photography
PM - Sand Dune Photography

(All meals included)
(Local drinks included)

DAY 8

Sunrise photography at Deadvlei

We are up and away early so that we can reach the enchanting Deadvlei, a dry flat pan dotted with ancient dead Camel Thorn Trees and surrounded by towering dunes. This is a special place and we spend the morning here. We enjoy breakfast as Sossusvlei before heading back to the lodge for a break in the heat of the day.

In the afternoon, we return again to the magical Deadvlei, it is the same location as the morning but the afternoon light paints it with a totally different brush. We remain at Deadvlei until just after sunset before heading back to the lodge.

AM - Photography at Deadvlei
PM - Photography at Deadvlei

(All meals included)
(Local drinks included)

DAY 9

Sunrise photography of the dunes. Depart after breakfast. Road transfer to Walvis Bay

Today you will photograph the big dunes at sunrise. After breakfast we begin the road journey towards the coast, arriving at a most unusual lodge in the afternoon.  Afternoon photography of the Cape Fur Seal colonies at Pelican Point.

You will stay for 2 nights at PELICAN POINT LODGE in an en-suite room.

AM - Sand Dune Photography
PM - Seal Photography

(All meals included)
(Local drinks included)

DAY 10

Sunrise photography at Pelican Point. Catamaran Boat excursion around Walvis Bay.

Optional sunrise photography around the lodge. Breakfast, followed by a 3-hour boat excursion in search of marine wildlife. 

AM - Sunrise photography followed by boat excursion
PM - Waterbird photography around Walvis Bay

(All meals included)
(Local drinks included)

DAY 11

Sunrise Photography. Breakfast. Living Desert Tour. Depart for Etosha stopping for an overnight en-route.

Enjoy a final optional sunrise photoshoot around the lodge. After breakfast, we enjoy a morning excursion into the Dorob National Park to search for and photograph some of the smaller desert creatures such as Gecko's, Chameleons and snakes. We then set off on a road transfer towards our final destination, Etosha National Park. By the end of the afternoon, we will need to break this long journey and reach Otjiwarongo for a stopover at a local nature reserve,

You will stay for 1 night at FRANS INDONGO LODGE in an en-suite room.

AM - Living Desert Tour
PM - Driving

(All meals included)
(Local drinks included)

DAY 12

Optional sunrise photography. Breakfast. Depart for Etosha National Park.

After breakfast, we will drive the final leg to reach Etosha National Park by lunchtime. Check in to the rooms and then enjoy afternoon and sunset photography at the famous Okaukuejo waterhole, right at the camp.

After dinner, you can enjoy photographing the animals at the floodlit waterhole long into the night.

You will stay for 2 nights at OKAUKUEJO CAMP in an en-suite room.

AM - Optional sunrise photography
PM - Etosha National Park Photography
NIGHT - Photography at the floodlit camp waterhole

(All meals included)
(Local drinks included)

DAY 13

Morning and Afternoon photo sessions in the Etosha National Park

Head out early to look for the animals when it is still cool and comfortable for them. By midday, it will be quite hot and a midday rest can be enjoyed back at the camp. The animals will continue to come and drink at the camp's waterhole during the day.

You can choose to head out for an afternoon game drive or simply sit and wait at the camp's waterhole, the choice is yours.

AM - Etosha National Park Photography
PM - Etosha National Park Photography
NIGHT - Photography at the floodlit camp waterhole

(All meals included)
(Local drinks included)

DAY 14

Move camp to the Eastern side of Etosha. Morning and Afternoon photo sessions.

Today we leave the area around Okaukuejo and head east. We will stop for lunch at Halali Camp and then continue on towards the Namutoni area. In the late afternoon, we will exit the park and reach our tented camp in a private reserve bordering Etosha. 

You will stay for 2 nights at ONGUMA TENTED CAMP in an en-suite tent.

AM - Etosha National Park Photography
PM - Etosha National Park Photography

(All meals included)
(Local drinks included)

DAY 15

Morning and Afternoon photo sessions in the Etosha National Park

Head out early to get back into the Etosha National Park. Enjoy a full morning in the park. Return to Onguma Camp for lunch and a short break.

Return again to Etosha for the afternoon game drive. This final photo session will be spent visiting some of the best waterholes in Etosha.

AM - Etosha National Park Photography
PM - Etosha National Park Photography

(All meals included)
(Local drinks included)

DAY 16

Relaxed morning at Onguma before heading back to Windhoek for an overnight stop.

Enjoy a relaxed start to the day. After breakfast, we will drive back to Windhoek. Due to the lack of an appropriate flight back to Johannesburg, we will need to overnight in Windhoek

You will stay for 1 night at RIVER CROSSING LODGE in an en-suite room.

AM - Optional sunrise photography at Onguma
PM - Drive back to Windhoek

(All meals included)
(Local drinks included)

DAY 17

Depart from Windhoek back to Johannesburg

After an early breakfast, we will head for the airport to catch the 09:15 flight back to Johannesburg. This flight will arrive around midday. This will allow plenty of time to connect to your international flight home.

(Breakfast included)

STEP 1 - PLEASE READ OUR BOOKING TERMS & CONDITIONS

We first recommend that you read and become familiar with our booking terms & conditions, which can be found on this page, under the PRICES box.

STEP 2 - GET IN TOUCH

Get in touch with us to confirm that there are still spaces available on the photo safari that you are interested in. Click on the “ENQUIRE NOW” button above.

STEP 3 - AWAIT A REPLY FROM US & THEN CREATE YOUR CLIENT ACCOUNT

Once we confirm with you that there is space available, and you would like to join the safari, we will send you a direct link via email. Follow this unique link to sign up to our CLIENT AREA. After you have registered with your name, email address and a password of your choice, you will then be asked to complete our online booking form.

STEP 4 - COMPLETE A BOOKING FORM

As soon as we receive your completed booking form/s (1 per participant) then you will be required to send us the deposit to secure your place on the safari.

STEP 5 - SEND YOUR DEPOSIT

Deposits can be paid via credit card, PayPal or international bank transfer. We will notify you as soon as your deposit arrives. Places on the safari will only be confirmed once we have received both a completed booking form and deposit payment.

STEP 6 - FINAL BALANCE PAYMENT

As soon as your booking form and deposit are with us, we will update your CLIENT AREA to display the outstanding balance amount. This amount will be due 90 days before the start date of the safari.