BEST of NAMIBIA Photo Safari April 2016
Posted by Wild4 Photo Safaris on 10th May 2016
The first of the 2016 Namibian photo safaris offered a great variety of both landscape and wildlife photo opportunities although the trip did focus more on the landscapes of Namibia and particularly those of the Namib desert.
The two visits to Kolmanskop Ghost Diamond Mining town were great fun, we were so lucky to not have any wind, this is unusual for Luderitz, but it was great for photography. The many houses and rooms at the ghost town, now partially engulfed by sand offer a variety of creative opportunities.
Next stop was Namtib Reserve and one of the most beautiful clear night skies in the world, star photography is a must here. The Quiver tree forest also offered some great opportunities to combine this iconic Namibian succulent tree in the arid landscape.
Wolwedans is a stunningly beautiful stop on this itinerary and we had a great time working compositions for both sunrise and sunset. It also offers a great chance of seeing the magnificent Oryx in a true desert landscape covered in red sand dunes, rolling hills covered in short yellow grass and rocky mountain backdrops.
A highlight of the trip is always the big Red dunes of Sossusvlei and the the unique ancient Camel Thorn Trees of "Deadvlei" photographing in Deadvlei in both the morning and the afternoon and evening offers some excellent photo opportunities.
We retreated out of the desert for a cool and refreshing stop at the coastal town of Swakoipmund where we had anothe enjoyable morning photo shoot with some of the smaller inhabitants of the desert. The only desert adapted chameleon, a Peringuey's Adder, the adorable Web-footed Gecko and the speedy Shovel Snouted Lizard were all photographed.
Leaving Swakopmund we headed north to Henties Bay before turning inland towards Camp Kipwe in Twyfelfontein. Desert Adapted Elephants were seen with the unique Damaraland setting in the background.
Final destination was Etosha National Park for a fix of some larger species of wildlife, Lions, Elephants, Kudu, Black Rhino, Giraffe, Zebra, Springbok and Oryx were all seen and photographed. A treat awaited us on our final game drive as we came across a rarely seen Caracal in the middle of the road !
Thanks very much to Bob & Jeanie, Stev & Lesley and Rita for joining us on this trip around Namibia.
Also a huge thanks to Ultimate Safaris for putting together a great trip for us and especially to our lead guide, Usco, who was simply outstanding and to Francois for taking care of vehicle no2 as we arrived for the Etosha section.
Here are some photos from the trip ... Enjoy
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I just returned from the 2017 'Birds of Kruger' safari, and it was a delight. This was by no means my first trip to Kruger, but I don't recall ever sighting so many birds - or other animals - in a single trip. Stefan's ability to spot, track and anticipate the movement of animals is superb - from the smallest LBJ to the Big 5. This allowed him to place the vehicle in the best spot for photography and I can rightly say that this trip produced more 'keepers' than any other safari I have been on. I would highly recommend this trip to anyone interested in birding or bird photography. Stefan and Sandrine were great company and everything about the safari was well organized and ran smoothly: from the initial contact with Justyna, who answered my emails promptly and made all the arrangements (down to my favourite SA snacks - thanks!), to Sandrine's excellent coffee every morning before sunrise, and Stefan's patience and good humour that never wavered. I am already planning my next trip with WILD4 and would highly recommend them for an unforgettable African experience.
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