2-12 April 2023
Mariental - Keetmanshoop - Luderlitz - NamibRand Nature Reserve - Sesriem - Spitzkoppe
Namibia offers a rich variety of landscapes, people and wildlife. From the spectacular red dunes of the Namib desert to the shifting sands of the Skeleton Coast, the ever-changing landscape is a dream for photographers.
Our journey through this sparsely populated country in South-West Africa begins on the edge of the Southern Kalahari desert. Keetmanshoop, known for its’ German colonial architecture, is a short drive from the Quiver Tree forest and the ‘Giant’s playground’, an expanse of strange rock formations. The colours and shapes are amazing to photograph at sunset and against the night sky.
Sandwiched between the rugged Atlantic Coast and the arid Namib Desert, the town of Luderitz is set in an incredibly unique geographical setting. This seaside town is something of an anomaly frozen in time – a piece of 19th-century Bavaria bordering the pinkish sand dunes of the Namib Desert. Lutheran churches, German bakeries, and colonial buildings boasting German art nouveau architecture are dotted about the settlement, while its windswept beaches are home to flamingos, ostriches, seals and penguins.
Amongst the sands of the Namib, the crumbling buildings of a small, once-luxurious town emerge from the drifting dunes. This ghost town is Kolmanskop, a reminder of a time when diamonds could be picked by hand from the desert, and a remarkable photographic opportunity with few equals anywhere on earth.
Spanning an area of 172,200 hectares and encompassing four distinct ecosystems, the Namib Rand Reserve is among the largest privately owned game parks in Southern Africa. The park’s mix of dunes, mountains, rocky outcrops, sandy flats and gravel plains provides habitats for a diversity of mammals – including hyenas, jackals, foxes, antelopes and various wild cats.
Located in the scenic Namib-Naukluft National Park, Sossusvlei is where you will find the iconic red sand dunes of the Namib. The clear blue skies contrast with the giant red dunes to make this one of the most scenic natural wonders of Africa. The 400 metre high red sand dunes are wonderful to photograph at dawn and at dusk. If we’re lucky, we may see an oryx climb up the side of a dune. Dead Vlei is an ancient clay pan and home to the iconic ‘dead’ trees. So dry were the climatic conditions that the trees never decomposed – instead they were entirely leached of moisture so that today, 900 years later, they remain as desiccated, blackened sentinels dotting the pan’s cracked surface. Scenic flights and hot air ballooning are available and offer a unique viewpoint of this exceptional landscape.
Situated in Namibia’s spectacularly scenic Namib Desert, between Usakos and Swakopmund, the Spitzkoppe are a group of bald granite peaks forming one of Namibia’s most recognisable and dramatic landmarks. We’ll capture these enormous domes at sunrise and sunset.
Okonjima Nature Reserve 12-15 April 2023
A wildlife photography experience in a private game reserve
Okonjima was a cattle farm since the early 1920s that was bought by Brahman breeders Val (VJ) and Rose Hanssen in 1970. By the time Namibia gained its independence in early 1990, they needed to address increasing livestock losses and growing interest in Namibia as a tourist destination. Three years later their herds of Brahman and Jersey cattle were sold and Okonjima’s attention turned to recovering the grass plains and transforming it into a nature reserve, with a primary focus on carnivore conservation through The AfriCat Foundation. Today it is a luxurious African safari destination in the heart of Namibia that is ideal for wildlife photography and famed for its cheetah, brown hyena and leopard sightings.