Iconic Namibia

AT A GLANCE
On this 14-night/15-day tour of Namibia we will be focusing our photographic attention on some of the most iconic and picturesque wildlife and landscape destinations that Namibia has to offer. From the Quiver tree forests of Keetmanshoop we will explore the hidden beauties and ephemeral pans of the Namib Desert, before sinking our toes into the sands of the desolate Skeleton Coast, kept deceptively lifeless by the frigid waters of the Atlantic. With an abrupt change in scenery we will find ourselves scrambling over massive granite boulders photographing the towering “inselbergs” of the Spitzkoppe Mountains before concluding our epic journey with a four-night stay in the world-famous and incredibly photogenic Etosha National Park, where we will be dedicated to photographing the tremendous diversity of wildlife and birdlife that this park has to offer.
Photographic Focus
Landscape
Quiver-tree forests, Sossusvlei, Spitzkoppe
Wildlife
Namib Naukluft, Walvis Bay, Cape Cross, Ongava Private Game Reserve and Etosha National Park
People
Photograph the ochre-coloured Himba people of the Kunene region by adding an optional 3-night extension to your photo safari

Tour Highlights:
– Sunset and sunrise photography of the Quiver Tree Forest and dolerite stacks of Giant’s Playground, as well as astrophotography of the Quiver Trees against the outstanding Southern Hemisphere milky way (weather permitting).
– Explore and photograph the iconic attractions of the Namib Naukluft park including the world’s tallest sand dunes; Sossusvlei and deadvlei; as well as the unique desert adapted micro-fauna.
– Hot air balloon above the red dune-sea of the Namib desert (optional)
– Photograph large flocks of lesser and greater flamingos in Walvis Bay as well as the largest Cape Fur Seal colony in the world at Cape Cross.
– The towering granite inselberg of Spitzkoppe
– Four nights in the world famous Etosha National Park photographing some of the world’s tallest elephants, desert adapted Black Rhino and many other special mammal and bird species.
– Professional photographic guidance and training as well as photo-editing demonstrations in Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop.

Tour Overview:
Starting and ending in Namibia’s capital city of Windhoek our voyage will take us through the remarkable mountain ranges of the central escarpment, where we will spend a night photographing the rocky landscapes of the Giant’s Playground dotted with the majestic Quiver Trees both at sunset and sunrise as well as under the incredible Namibian night skies. We will journey down the rugged escarpment to explore the beauties of our planets oldest desert home to the world’s tallest sand dunes as well as the mesmerizing ephemeral pans of Sossusvlei and the ghostly Deadvlei, dotted with the black skeletal remains of camelthorn trees from a bygone era.
The remote gravel roads will guide us up along Skeleton coast where we will visit the sleepy coastal town of Swakopmund with the possibility of encountering large congregations of pink flamingos at Walvis Bay as well as the world’s largest cape fur seal colony at Cape Cross.
Steering inland, we will be heading to another unique landscape – the towering granite inselbergs (“island mountains”) of Spitzkoppe, where we will spend 2 nights photographing the spectacular rock formations during both day and night.
And finally, to conclude our epic journey, we will be spending some quality time capturing the diverse wildlife and birdlife of Etosha National Park, against one of the most photogenic backdrops, before heading south to end our trip back where we started.

Itinerary: Iconic Namibia
Duration: 14-nights/15-days

Day 1: Welcome to Namibia
Shortly after landing at Hosea Kutako International Airport you will be welcomed by your photographic guide and driven to your overnight accommodation on the outskirts of Windhoek, Namibia’s capital city. This evening we will be sitting down to dinner as a group where we will have a chance to become acquainted with one another and discuss the coming days exciting travel itinerary in more detail, answering any questions that you may have.

Day 2: Windhoek to the Quiver Tree Forests of Keetmanshoop
After a good night’s rest and an early breakfast, we will depart Windhoek and set off on our much-anticipated photographic journey. The first day’s travels will take us roughly 500km south from Namibia’s mother city and take approximately five and a half hours, arriving at our over-night’s accommodation for lunch. It will be a long day on the road, but we will make regular stops and there will be terrific scenery to be enjoyed.
After a brief check-in and lunch, we will have a moment to recover and to prepare our photographic gear for a late afternoon excursion to photograph the Giants Playground with its unique quiver tree forests in golden afternoon/evening light.

Day 3: Morning/afternoon/evening session photographing the Quiver Tree Forests and Giant’s playground
Today we will have the entire day to explore and photograph Giants Playground and the incredible quiver tree forests. Photographing at both sunrise and sunset we will have ample time in the day to relax as well as have a photo-editing session after breakfast where you can pick your guides brain about the best editing techniques for landscape photography.
After our sunset photo session, we will return to the lodge for dinner, after which we will have a second photoshoot of the quiver trees under the incredible Southern Hemispheres night sky.

Day 4: Travel from Keetmanshoop to the Namib Naukluft Park
Shortly after breakfast we will be departing Quivertree Forest rest camp to spend another lengthy morning on the road en route to the world’s oldest desert, where we will spend 3 quality days photographing one of the most pristine areas on earth, boasting the world’s tallest sand dunes and incredible ephemeral pans. Due to the distance we are going to be covering today we will stop for lunch along the way and depending on how our journey goes, we may or may not reach our next destination in time for an afternoon activity.

Day 5 & 6: Explore and photograph the attractions of the Namib Naukluft Park – Sossusvlei and Deadvlei
Over the next two full days we will be exploring and capturing the endless horizons and breath-taking landscapes of the Namib Naukluft Park. We will have the opportunity to devote our time to photographing colossal iron-rich sand dunes; the world famous Sossusvlei and Deadvlei; as well as a chance to encounter the incredible micro-fauna specially adapted to survive in this unforgiving desert wilderness.

Day 7: Optional sunrise photo shoot and travel to the coastal town of Swakopmund.
Before travelling to the sleepy coastal town of Swakopmund you will have the option of having one last sunrise photoshoot of the living desert before breakfast. Shortly after, we will embark on our journey to the coastal town of Swakopmund, which will take us approximately six hours including regular stops and a lunch along the way.
Optional Activity: Sunrise hot air balloon safari photograph the red dune sea from an entirely different perspective.

Day 8: Morning/afternoon outing to photograph the birdlife of Walvis Bay.
This morning we will leave Swakopmund bright and early with breakfast packs in hand, as we will be taking a short drive down south along the coast to the neighbouring town of Walvis Bay. Here, we will photograph the lesser and greater Flamingos that frequent the shallow waters of the bay.
The afternoon will be yours to do with what you like, be it exploring the many shops and craft stores that the quiet town of Swakopmund has to offer or just sitting in a beachside restaurant sipping cocktails as the sun goes down over the cold Atlantic Ocean. Whatever you decide, the afternoon is yours to enjoy and to recharge before hitting the road for the next leg of our journey.

Day 9: Cape Cross fur seal colony and drive to Spitzkoppe
This morning we will rise early to continue our safari northwards along the desolate skeleton coast. With an optional stop along the way to photograph a ghostly shipwreck, we will be making our way to the immense Cape Fur Seal Colony of Cape Cross where we will spend much of our morning photographing the seals before continuing our route inland to the impressive granite obelisks of the Spitzkoppe inselberg (“island mountain”). After an abrupt change in landscape and scenery we will arrive at our over-night destination in time for lunch, a well needed siesta and our first evening photographic session of the breath-taking landscapes of Spitzkoppe.
For the next two nights we will be staying at the our lodge lying amidst the gigantic granite boulders offering us direct access to the remarkable landscapes of the Spitzkoppe Mountain Reserve.

Day 10: Sunrise and sunset photography of the Spitzkoppe Mountains
Today we will be focusing our wide-angle lenses on photographing the towering granite inselberg of Spitzkoppe and the spectacular rock formations carved within them. We will be photographing both the sunrise and sunset session as we as the option of shooting incredible nightscapes and star trails after dinner.
The incredible Spitzkoppe mountains rise sharply out of the flat grassy savannas that border the desolate Namib Desert, towering up to 700 metres higher than the surrounding plains. Dominated by the Gross Spitzkoppe, peaking at an impressive 1,784 metres above sea level, these mountains are characterised by massive vertical walls and huge jumbles of granite boulders dotted with unique plant species such as the Quiver Tree Aloidendron dichotomum, the region’s most famous aloe, as well as the pale-trunked Butter Tree Cyphostemma currorii.

Day 11: Morning Photo shoot of Spitzkoppe and travel to Ongava Private Game Reserve, Etosha National Park.
Rising bright and early, this morning we will take one last excursion to photograph the Spitzkoppe before departing for the final highlight of our photo safari – to photograph the incredible wildlife of the renowned Etosha National Park. Here we will be spending our time searching for the astonishing variety of wildlife found in this spectacular environment, including the rare and elusive desert adapted black rhinoceros, white rhinoceros, lion, leopard, cheetah and some of the world’s largest elephants.
For the next four nights we will be base ourselves at the luxurious Ongava Lodge, which is set within one of Namibia’s largest and diverse private game reserves and sharing a common boundary with Etosha National Park. Here we will be spending our time searching for the astonishing variety of wildlife found in this spectacular environment, including the rare and elusive desert adapted black rhinoceros, white rhinoceros, lion, leopard, cheetah and some of the world’s tallest elephants.

Day 12-14: Three full days photographing the wildlife of Ongava Private Game Reserve and Etosha National Park.
Over the next 3 full days we will be dedicating all our photographic energies on capturing the spectacular diversity of wildlife and birdlife of Ongava Private Game Reserve and Etosha National Park.
While at Ongava we will have the flexibility to select our preferred game viewing experiences based on your keen interests. The optional safari activities include morning/afternoon drives in the Ongava Private Game Reserve, half-day or full-day drives into Etosha National Park and spending time in the lodge’s incredible photographic hide, situated on the edge of a permanent waterhole that attracts a large variety of mammals and birds. Guided nature walks to track and view game on foot is also an attraction at Ongava.

Day 15: Morning safari in Ongava Game Reserve and travel to Windhoek
This morning we will have the option of one last morning drive to conclude our Namibian photographic safari experience before heading back to our starting point of Windhoek, 430km south of Ongava, taking us roughly 5 hours with a stop for lunch along the way. In Windhoek you will be taken to your required destinations and we will be saying our final goodbyes before parting ways.

Optional extensions:
To photograph the Himba Tribe (+3 nights):
After Spitzkoppe we will overnight at Palmwag lodge before traveling further north to Opuwo in the heart of the Kunene Region where we will spend two nights photographing the incredibly photogenic Himba people.

Do you have a quick question about this Namibia Safari? Speak to a specialist at
info@naturetravelnamibia.com