BEST of NAMIBIA Photo Safari May 2016
Posted by Wild4 Photo Safaris on 26th May 2016
The second "Best of Namibia" photographic safari started with very different weather conditions compared to the first trip. We were greeted by the famous wind in Luderitz and the first afternoon photo shoot at Kolmanskop Ghost Town was very blustery. This has a good side to it though as the sand covers all the footprints left by visitors and creates lovely ripples. Our second shoot the following morning was great with fresh sand filling the rooms.
Next stop was the Quiver Tree Forest at Namtib Reserve and we all got some great shots of these unusual trees against a clear blue Namibian Sky.
Our two night stay at Wolwedans in the Namib Rand Reserve provided some excellent landscape shots, we even had clouds on one afternoon which made the skies a little more interesting. A special treat was to see the very shy and elusive Peringuey's Adder, this time a much deeper red colour to match the red dunes.
Oryx were abundant and this must surely be one of the best places to photograph this majestic antelope amongst some of the most stunning landscapes in Namibia. Our finger supper on the deck provided some night landscape and star photo opportunities.
Next it was the big dunes of Sossusvlei and that magical place, Deadvlei with its ancient Camel Thorn Trees. Our first afternoon was spent shooting the big dunes from the main road. Sunrise the following morning was spent at Deadvlei. The afternoon and early evening session was spent back at Deadvlei and our final morning we once again photographed the big dunes as the soft warm morning light lit them up in a deep orange colour.
The living desert Tour in Swakopmund was cooler than on the last trip and the reptiles took some time to show themselves. However we got to photograph a great Namaqua Chameleon feeding, Peringuey's Adder, Shovel snouted Lizard and the best looking Gecko in Namibia, the Namib Web-footed Gecko.
Next stop was Twyfelfontein to look for the Desert Adapted Elephants which we found not too far from Camp Kipwe.
Our final three nights were spent in Etosha National park where we saw a pride of Lions near Okaukuejo, plenty of Oryx, Black faced Impala, Springbok, Kudu and Zebra. Of course we had a number of excellent sightings of Elephant, 2 Black Rhino, lots of Giraffe and a numer of good bird photo opportuntiies.
On our final morning we listened to a Male Lion roaring close to our camp and this was a perfect ending to a great safari.
Many thanks to all the staff at the lodges we stayed at, we were well looked after by all.
Special thanks to our head guide, Nestor, it was a great pleasure working with you and thank you for looking after us all so well. Thanks also to Hans, our second guide who joined us in Etosha, and to all the staff at Ultimate Safaris for making our trip such a great success.
Finally thank you to all the participants who joined us on this photo tour, Larry, Debbie, Ralph, Winnie, Warwick and Vickie.. it was a pleasure travelling with you all.
Here are a few photos from the trip... enjoy
Leave a Comment
My wife Joanie and I joined Wild4 for the Best of Kruger and Big Cats in August of 2014. It was our very first trip on an African safari. I’m a serious amateur photographer and my wife’s a non-photographer but both of us enjoyed the trip thoroughly ! To this day, we still regularly recall the highlights of sightings and events fondly. True to Wild4’s brand promise, Stu Porter delivers maximum photographic times spent chasing photo opportunities out in the field - out 6am as soon as the camp gate opens and back only 6pm when the gate closes. Having no more than three photographers on each of two jeeps allows every photographer immediate access to both sides of the vehicle. Stu always knows where to position the vehicle for the best vantage points. Every day has its highs – big cat chases and kills, grazers sparring, herds of elephants and buffaloes appearing from nowhere at water holes... Thanks to Stu and the enthusiasm and knowledge of experienced senior guide Mike Lentz. Camps in Kruger are basic (by first world standards) but hey this is a safari ! There’s the important benefit of being only a short drive away from dams, good spots to catch the first light when the sun rises. This is important as the gates do not open till 6am so there’s little margin for being late. I had the opportunity to experience first-hand, the Wild4 team’s dedication and commitment to a successful photo trip for guests, beyond the call of duty. The Wild4 team helped solved a major photographic equipment problem. Early afternoon on Day 5, the lens AF motor on my 400mm telephoto lens failed. This was really a disaster on a trip like this, as (like everyone else) I had a spare camera body but not a spare super telephoto lens ! The other lens I had was a medium telephoto zoom, hardly a lens to use with tele-converters. Murphy’s Law indeed ! This happened with seven more days to go ! I enquired with Stu about hiring a lens from the nearby towns. Stu sprang into action immediately whilst still on the afternoon game drive - got his back-office team to make enquiries back in Nelspruit town. This was something new to the Wild4 team as they never had to hire a lens but they found a lens on the same day, a 200-400mm that’s also ideal for safari. The lens had to be dispatched from almost 200 km away and Mr John Porter helped to drive south to collect the lens sooner. I had the use of this lens by the morning of Day 7, with one-and-half day “downtime” in a remote location. Service excellence lived by as a core value indeed. After eight nights I left Kruger National Park with the feeling that I was just warming up and was leaving too soon. I would have gladly extended a few more days if that was possible. But we were bound for the next destination. I notice Wild4 has not been static. More new trips were added. I see the enterprise is growing fast ! Joanie and I are now looking forward to a trip to Kenya, again with Stu and the Wild4 team.
Steve Seow, Singapore
This was truly a fantastic safari. The camping experience gave us the feel of being closer to nature as opposed to being in a lodge without really roughing it and the camp food was superior to the lodge buffets. The photographic opportunities were great throughout the safari and our time on the Chobe River was exceptional. As a veteran of 13 safaris to other locations in Africa I can say this was fantastic.
Don Getty www.dongettywildlifephotography.com, USA