Namibia Landscape Safari Tour

Desert elephants, abandoned diamond camps, and sand dunes

$6,295 (€5,995) PP*

Namibia Landscape Safari Tour

Desert elephants, abandoned diamond camps, and sand dunes
$6,295 (€5,995) PP

Namibia is a vast country, even by African standards, 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. It is also an ‘ageless land’; visible through a heritage of rock art created by stone-age artists and geological attractions such as the Organ Pipes and the Erongo Mountains. Added to the space and silence, these all contribute to a feeling of antiquity, solitude and wilderness.

Our ranger was the best – knowledgeable and with a keen sense of what the animals were likely to do next. At times, we were so close to the animals that we could hear them breathe! Ed was able to hold a conversation, recommend photographic settings and image composition. And he would spot animals in the bush all at the same time.Jeanine W.

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 on the west of the country. Except for the first few months of the year, the country is generally dry with very little rain. We will have our own professional and experienced 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. The knowledge, experience and attitude of our guides are critical to a successful safari – they are both personable and very professional.

Safari Tour Highlights
    • Travel with one of Namibia’s most well-known naturalist guides
    • Visit the “ghost” diamond towns of Kolmanskop and Elizabeth Bay
    • Stay in the only lodge inside the world’s 4th largest National Park
    • Climb some of the world’s highest free-standing sand dunes
    • Fly along the Diamond Coast viewing shipwrecks, seal colonies, abandoned diamond camps and the giant sand dunes
    • Embark on a marine dolphin cruise on the Walvis Bay lagoon combined with a coastal dune day activity to Sandwich Harbour
    • Walk amongst pre-historic rock art at the UNESCO World Heritage Site at Twyfelfontein
    • Track for desert-adapted elephants
    • Stay at Namibia’s only wholly owned conservancy lodge (Grootberg Lodge)
    • Visit and interact with locals at an authentic and remote Himba settlement
    • Visit the world renowned AfriCat Foundation

About the Photo Safari Tour
This tour is for photographers of all skill levels. The techniques you learn from me can be put into practice and immediately experienced in the field. In addition to the technical knowledge, you will gain a greater appreciation for, and understanding of, the majestic animals you encounter. The experienced game rangers who accompany us on game drives will explain the behavior and lifestyle of the animals we encounter, enabling you to take better images which truly depict the nature of your fascinating subjects.  Each vehicle carries a dedicated tracker constantly on the lookout for clues pointing to animal activity in the vicinity.

Services and facilities
The tour accommodates a maximum of 8 photographers traveling in two vehicles. The tour strikes a fine balance between travelling great distances and getting as many images as we can. We leave Windhoek by air to maximize the time spent in Luderitz photographing the ghost towns of Kholskop and Elizabeth Bay over two days. We travel through Feral Horse country to Sossusvlei and Deadvlei for stunning landscapes. The desert seen from the sky is spectacular – from Sossusvlei to Swakopmund we take in the Star Shaped Dunes, the azure seas and the rugged Skeleton Coast.

The safari tour weaves its way from the coast to the highest point, Brandberg, to the rocky UNESCO World Heritage Site of Twyfelfontein. The desert area of Damaraland allows us to see the elusive desert-adapted elephants before spending a day in an exclusive Himba village. We take in the sights of the Grootberg Plateau before tracking leopard and cheetahs at the AfriCat Foundation, an organisation doing great research in the conservation of these predators. We take in a night tour to visit a night hide and look for nocturnal animals such as honey badger and porcupine. Never a dull moment over the 11 days with opportunity around every corner.

From the moment you arrive in Namibia until your departure all regular expenses are covered by the tour fees. All accommodation at hotels, lodges and camps, the three daily meals, soft drinks, house wines, local brand spirits and beers, teas and coffees, refreshments on game drives are included. All transportation, air flights and charters, welcome services and reserve taxes and fees are provided for. Guests travel from far and to reduce the load of clothes I have arranged to provide laundry services at the Lodges. Gratuities and premium brand spirits and beers are excluded.

Safari Tour Outline and Itinerary

The outline described hereunder applied to the 2016 safari tour. Some details may change for the 2017 outing but most will remain the same.

Day 1 – Arrive in Windhoek
Each guest will be met by a tour representative on our arrival at the Windhoek International Airport. You have the option to go on a short orientation tour of the city, if that appeals to you, and will be dropped off at Galton House in the northern suburbs to check-in and freshen up as required. The rest of the afternoon can be spent relaxing at the guesthouse recovering from the long flight. If you wish, you may go back into town for more sightseeing. We will be briefed on some of the details of our safari, especially the first few days, and will then be free to take dinner at the guest house.
Overnight: Galton House ⋅ Dinner, Bed & Breakfast

Day 2 – Fly to Lüderitz
After a leisurely breakfast we will be collected from the guesthouse and transferred to Windhoek’s International Airport where we will board our scheduled flight to Lüderitz (Air Namibia). From Windhoek International Airport we fly south over Namibia’s central highlands and savannah and land at Lüderitz on the southern part of the Coast. Here we will be met by our safaris guide and vehicle on arrival and transferred to the Lüderitz Nest Hotel for two nights. Later in the afternoon our guide will take us to the deserted “Ghost” Diamond Mining town of Kolmanskop with a special sunset photography permit to go and capture this historical place in the afternoon light. Once finished taking our series of photographs we will be taken back to the hotel in time to freshen up for dinner. Note that a detailed tour of the property will be undertaken the following day – this afternoon is only for photography.
Overnight: Nest Hotel ⋅ Full Board & Excursions (with private guide)

Day 3 – Lüderitz
This morning we will be collected from the hotel and taken off on a fascinating tour to visit one of the old diamond processing centers at Elizabeth Bay where giant sorting machines gently decay in the sea air as well as some of the other machinery that has been rehabilitated as the result of re-opening part of the town. After our visit to Elizabeth Bay, we will return to Kolmanskop where the management of the whole “Forbidden” diamond area (Sperrgebiet) used to live so that we have an opportunity to capture images of this fascinating place. After our guided excursion there will be time to wander around the desolate streets and abandoned buildings.
Afterwards we will return to the Nest Hotel – we can either review the day’s images or spend the afternoon at leisure with the option to explore Lüderitz town further, taking in the colourful ‘Jugendstil’ architecture and notable buildings such as the historical Goerke House and the ‘Felsenkirche’ (Church on the Rock).
Overnight: Nest Hotel ⋅ Full Board & Excursions

Day 4 – Lüderitz to Sossusvlei Area
We leave the coast and Lüderitz behind today as we make our way northwards into the NamibRand, keeping a lookout for the legendary feral desert horses along the way. From Aus we head north through spectacular scenery of the Tiras Mountain Conservancy driving via the NamibRand Nature Reserve before entering the Namib Naukluft National Park. We will stay at the Sossus Dune Lodge for two nights whilst we explore the remarkable sights of the Namib Desert with our guide. Sossus Dune Lodge is the only lodge that affords us prime location within the boundaries of the Namib Naukluft National Park with early and late access to the Sossusvlei Dunes etc. After arrival our guide will take us to some of the close by dunes for afternoon photography and also to Sesriem Canyon, a nearby geological attraction, if time allows this afternoon, before returning us to the lodge
Overnight: Sossus Dune Lodge ⋅ Full Board & Excursions

Day 5 – Sossusvlei / Namib Desert
Today will be yet another full day of exciting activities as we rise early for a magical excursion into the dunes with our guide. As we are already inside the park we can get into the Sossusvlei dunes area before everyone else – we are able to get there in time to see the sun rise and capture the dunes whilst the light is soft and shadows accentuate their towering shapes and curves. This area boasts some of the highest free-standing sand dunes in the world. Our guide will give us an insight on the formation of the Namib Desert and its myriad of fascinating creatures and plants that have adapted to survive these harsh environs. Once we have explored the area to our heart’s content we can enjoy a relaxing picnic breakfast under the shade of a camel thorn tree. We return to Sossus Dune Lodge in the early afternoon for lunch, stopping off to view Sesriem Canyon if we haven’t already done so the day before. The rest of the afternoon is at leisure – from experience, this is usually welcomed after an exhilarating morning in the dunes.
Overnight: Sossus Dune Lodge ⋅ Full Board & Excursions

Day 6 – Fly from Sossusvlei Area to Walvis Bay
This morning can be spent on one last early activity if required. After a leisurely breakfast we will be transferred to the Sossusvlei Lodge airstrip for our light aircraft charter flight to Walvis Bay Airport. The flight route begins with an amazing bird’s eye view of the Sossusvlei area and the great dune sea on the way across to the Coast. We then fly north along the coastline (fog permitting) over abandoned mining camps, shipwrecks including that of the Edouard Bohlen at Conception Bay and the Shawnee further to the north, seal colonies, Sandwich Harbour, salt pans and Walvis Bay lagoon before we land at Walvis Bay Airport.
Upon our arrival at the Walvis Bay airport we will be met by an ultimate safari representative for the commencement of our Marine Dune Day excursion. We will be transferred from the airport to Sandwich harbour 4×4 head offices from where the Marine Dune Day activity commences. The Marine Dune Day provides us the ultimate combination of a leisure cruise on the Walvis Bay Lagoon and Atlantic Ocean, a delicious lunch on the beach or in the dunes, and a 4×4 ride in the breath taking and very photogenic Sandwich Harbour Area of the Namib Naukluft Park. On the marine cruise we will get a chance to see pelicans, seals, the Walvis Bay Harbour, old boat wrecks, dolphins and – during season – even whales and turtles!

Around 11h30, our skipper will drop us off on a deserted beach at the Jetty at Pelican Point, where the Sandwich Harbour 4×4 guide will meet us with one of their Land rovers. From there, we will begin the Sandwich Harbour Excursion to see the Kuiseb River Delta, flamingoes, the saltpans and the wetlands just north of the Sandwich Harbour Lagoon. If weather and tides allow, we will drive right to the Sandwich Harbour Lagoon, one of Southern Africa’s richest and unique wetlands. If the vehicles cannot drive all along the beach to get to Sandwich Harbour because of the tides, we will have the time to walk 4-5 km. We will return at 16h30 to Walvis Bay where our guide will pick us up and transfer us to Swakopmund for our overnight stay at the Hansa Hotel.
Overnight: Hansa Hotel ⋅ Full Board & Excursions

Day 7 – Swakopmund to Damaraland
Our safari continues heading north and east into the wonderful and diverse region of Damaraland. We’ll pass Namibia’s highest mountain, the Brandberg which peaks at 2,573m (over 6,500ft) above sea level, and take time to view game and absorb the vastness of the scenery along the way. Damaraland is typified by displays of colour, magnificent table topped mountains, rock formations and bizarre-looking vegetation. The present day landscape has been formed by the erosion of wind, water and geological forces which have formed rolling hills, dunes, gravel plains and ancient river terraces. It is the variety and loneliness of the area as well as the scenic splendour which will reward and astound us, giving one an authentic understanding of the word ‘wilderness’.
If time allows this afternoon our guide will take us to visit the nearby attractions and geological sites of Twyfelfontein rock engravings (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), Burnt Mountain and the Organ Pipes
Overnight: Mowani Mountain Camp ⋅ Full Board & Excursions

Day 8 – Damaraland
After an early breakfast we will be treated to an exciting 4×4 excursion along the ephemeral Aba Huab River valley to explore this remarkable region and to search for game, including the elusive desert adapted elephants if they are in the area. We will take a picnic lunch and take that in the shade of a large Ana tree, ideally while watching a herd of elephant browsing nearby; we also have the option to return to Camp for lunch if we prefer. Our guide will arrange to fit in a visit to Twyfelfontein and other nearby attractions at a suitable time if we haven’t already done so the previous day. On return to Camp there should be time to take a walk into the local area with your guide, or simply relax and enjoy some well-deserved leisure time.
Overnight: Mowani Mountain Camp ⋅ Full Board & Excursions

Day 9 – Damaraland to Grootberg Mountain
After an early breakfast we will start making our way north to Grootberg lodge. After departing the camp we visit an extremely remote Himba village, known only to a handful of people and exploring the area with our private guide. We will spend the entire day with these fascinating people and will return to the lodge on in the late afternoon
Overnight: Grootberg Lodge ⋅ Full Board & Excursions

Day 10 – Grootberg Mountain to AfriCat Foundation
This morning after breakfast we make your way to Okonjima located at the base of the Omboroko Mountains near Waterberg. We will arrive at Okonjima Plains Camp in the afternoon. Here we can enjoy the welcoming atmosphere, superb accommodation and fantastic activities, starting with a guided afternoon excursion.
Overnight: Okonjima Plains Camp ⋅ Full Board & Excursions

Day 11 – AfriCat Foundation to Windhoek and Departure
We will rise early this morning for another memorable guided activity before you return to Plains Camp for a sumptuous breakfast. After freshening up we will depart for Windhoek in the late morning, via the town of Okahandja where we can stop over at the craft market if desired. Upon our arrival in Windhoek we will be transferred to Windhoek International Airport to check in for our ongoing flight.
Breakfast & Lunch

Costs & Terms of Payment

The 11 day (10 nights) all-inclusive photographic safari tour costs $6,295 (€5,995) per person. (Fee for 2017 is being negotiated – for planning purposes factor in a 5% price increase over 2016 fees) This includes

  • 11 days (10 nights) accommodation in Namibia
  • Scheduled flight from Windhoek to Luderitz
  • Light aircraft scenic flight from Sossusvlei to Swakopmund
  • All accommodation and air transfers as indicated
  • Luxury air-conditioned safari vehicles
  • Mineral water on board the safari vehicle
  • All meals, local drinks and park fees included
  • Max group size: 8 photographer guests
  • Experienced guides & trackers
  • Local alcoholic beverages at camp
  • Fees, tourism taxes and levies
  • Radio linked vehicles
  • Daily image reviews.

The following items are not included

  • International flights to and from Windhoek International Airport
  • Medical inoculations, vaccinations, travel medicines and prophylactics
  • Premium alcoholic beverages
  • Tips and gratuities for camp staff, guides, rangers and trackers
  • Visas and travel & personal insurances
  • Optional personal purchases, tours and extra activities

Booking and reservation process
Costs are per person sharing. A deposit of $2,000 is required at the time of booking. Balance is payable no later than 90 days before the start of the tour. If you cancel more than 90 days prior to the start of the tour, the deposit (less $200 processing fee) is refundable. Cancellations within 90 days prior to departure will be refunded in full provided (less processing fee) we can find another guest to take your place.

As a limited number of spaces are available, if a guest is unwilling to share with another guest of the same gender, then a single supplement will be charged. Although we will try to accommodate requests for single occupancy, this cannot be guaranteed.We reserve the right to make changes to the itinerary if conditions warrant such an action. We will attempt to notify participants of changes with as much notice as possible. Changes having an impact on the schedule or on costs will be borne by the participants.

Physical health requirements
This is a great opportunity for you to take pictures of the environment and observe animals in the wild. Most travelling is undertaken in air-conditioned vehicles but some images are best taken away from the vehicle and involve moderate walking. Climbing the dunes is optional – you should be able to climb into and out of a safari vehicle and walk unaided for short distances. Guests must complete a standard liability waiver  before participating in this safari.

Physical health requirements
This is a great opportunity for you to take pictures of the environment and observe animals in the wild. Most travelling is undertaken in air-conditioned vehicles but some images are best taken away from the vehicle and involve moderate walking. Climbing the dunes is optional – you should be able to climb into and out of a safari vehicle and walk unaided for short distances. Guests must complete a standard liability waiver  before participating in this safari.

Important Information
This safari tour visits two luxurious and well appointed lodges, one located just south of the Sand River in the lower concession area alongside the world renowned Kruger Park and the other in the central concession area. The safari departs from Johannesburg International airport (OR Tambo) to Skukuza International airport on a commercial flight and returns to OR Tambo from Hoedspruit airport on a chartered flight. The transfer between the lodges involves quite a bit of travel by road – about a 3 hour drive – in an air conditioned vehicle fro the exclusive use of the tour group. This has been determined as the most convenient and cost-effective manner to visit the region. Please note that minor changes to the itinerary and/or flight schedules may occur due to local conditions and to better accommodate our group. You will be informed, to the extent possible, in advance of any such changes.

Mandatory Medical Evacuation Insurance
Some of the areas we visit are wild and at a distance from major cities; it is a condition of this booking for guests to carry their own medical evacuation insurance. You will be asked to provide independent documentary evidence of such cover, failing which cover will be provided for you at your cost and added to your account.

Please provide the office with the insurance company’s name, contact number and your individual policy number. Thank you for understanding that this policy exists in the interest of our guests’ safety.

Travel Arrangements to and from the Departure Point
This safari starts and ends in Johannesburg, South Africa. Your travel arrangements must ensure that you arrive in Johannesburg, South Africa at OR Tambo airport no later than 5 pm on the first day of the tour. That evening the group will meet for a group introduction and welcome cocktails offered by the organizers. This tour ends at 4pm on the last day – please arrange departures from OR Tambo Airport, Johannesburg no earlier than after 6 pm on the final day. If you plan to participate in an add-on side trip to Cape Town, the routing will determine the itinerary at the time of reservation.

2017 dates to be confirmed

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Are you interested in taking photos of
Check out our galleries from previous trips.

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