Wildlife & Deserts of Namibia Photo Safari - August 2022
US$ TBC Sharing
US$ TBC Single
US$ 3,000 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.
On arrival we were treated as part of the family by Stu Porter, his wife Justyna, and parents John and Ann. The conditions for finding and photographing everything from small birds to large game was perfect – a 500mm lens on hire from Stu, a specially equipped vehicle, which was referred to as a hide on wheels ( with only 3 photographers) , a dedicated and professional approach to photography and plenty of time. We would set off at sunrise, find a group of lions as they were beginning to yawn and stir from sleep, or a pair of saddle-billed storks building a nest, and quietly move our cameras into position. The initial sighting was accompanied by the rapid firing of shutters, but then we would wait as long as necessary in the hope of getting further shots. Stu was very sensitive to our needs and would only make suggestions about the best camera settings if he thought we needed his advice. His awareness of how animals behave was very useful in planning our shots. Stu’s knowledge of African Wildlife and skill as a wildlife photographer is second to none, and I have learned a lot from his expertise. I am delighted with my photos !! This was the trip of a lifetime, good accommodation, delicious food and great company. It was altogether a wonderful, challenging and thrilling experience and, if you are looking for a photo safari in Africa, I too recommend you contact Stu Porter at Wild4.
David Austwick, UK
For thirty-five years I had dreamed of going on a photographic safari in South Africa. This year I finally realized that dream and it is fair to say that my hopes and expectations were surpassed in every way. I had done extensive research on African photographic safaris on the Internet before settling on Wild 4 photo safaris. What an inspired choice that turned out to be! This family company run by Stu Porter and his wife, Justyna, and aided by Stu’s parents, John and Ann, provides the perfect safari experience for photographers of every skill level. Stu is one South Africa’s finest wild-life photographers and a first-class teacher into the bargain. His knowledge of the habitat and habits of the animals and birds to be found in Kruger National Park is simply encyclopaedic. I was accompanied on the trip by my 25 year-old daughter, Amy, and we eagerly adapted to the early morning wake-up call to go off into the wilds in one of Stu’s specially fitted jeeps to photograph animals at sunrise. Every day brought its special moments whether the spectacle of lions mating just a few metres from the jeep, or leopards lying lazily in the grass digesting a meal, or elephants and hippos frolicking in a river. The days sped by and we returned home with thousands of photographs of birds and animals to sort through and cherish for the memories they bring back. A safari with Wild 4 is more than a photographic experience with a master photographer: it is an initiation into the wonders of South Africa – its wild-life and spectacular landscapes - and, above all, an experience of friendship as everyone aboard the jeep bond in common purpose. Everything about Wild 4 is first class: organization is superb, accommodations excellent, choices of locale perfect. Our safari with Stu and Wild4 was truly the experience of a life-time.
Andrew Oliver, CANADA