Namibia is a massive, desolate landscape and boasts the title of the 4th least populated country in the world. With an average distance between towns of 200km, its endless vistas will be permanently etched into your soul. Namibia’s desert winds have sculpted the world’s highest dunes out of red sand and it is these dunes that make the Namibian landscape like no other on earth. In some places the dunes rise out of endless fields of grass and in others the dunes are as high as mountains. In a special place the sand cut off the water supply to a seasonal wetland and today the result is the petrified trees of Deadvlei. In the far South, fine silica sands are now reclaiming what was once the site of a great diamond rush - the ghost town of Kolmanskop. To the West, a special combination of rocky ground and hot, arid conditions have created one of the most alien plants on earth; the Quiver Tree. Where the Fish River flows over an ancient plateau, it has cut the 2nd largest canyon on earth into the rock. Join us for an opportunity to experience and photograph these one of a kind landscapes under top professional guidance, from the ground, road and air.
Hougaard Malan has won 1st Place in the Carolyn Mitchum Category in the Epson Pano Awards 2016 for his image the 'Will to Live', photographed at the Ruacana Falls, Namibia. Hougaard Malan will be leading this tour with Isak Pretorius, we only have a few spots left so book your place on the extrodinary Landscape Photography Safari.
Nowhere is the change that water brings more apparent than where it is needed the most and we’ll be visiting in the rainy season, hoping to witness a few thunderstorms sweeping their dark curtains of rain across the landscape.
Join C4 Photo Safaris’ guide Isak Pretorius and Hougaard Malan from Capturearth in this fascinating destination. Both Isak and Hougaard have been travelling to Namibia for many years, capturing its amazing beauty. They are experienced and knowledgeable about the country, its landscapes and where to be for the best photo. They know the country intimately will share and show these to you in the best light available. Expect excellent tuition, guidance and tutoring that will take your images from good – to great. Additionally, you will also find that Isak and Hougaard, who have worked many times together excellent working partners while in the field, which ensures that you will be taken care of expertly and professionally. This is simply the ultimate way in which to photograph Namibia.
Upon arrival you will be collected from Hosea Kutako (Windhoek) International by a private driver and taken to our guest house, just outside Windhoek city. Once the whole group has checked in, we’ll go for dinner at one of Windhoek’s best restaurants. Everyone will have a chance to tell their photographic story and the guides will give a breakdown of the days to come and what to expect.
*If you wish to fly in a day or two early to sleep off the jet lag, we are more than happy to arrange all the logistics for you.
QUIVER TREE FOREST
After an early morning breakfast you will be driven south (5-6 hours drive) from Windhoek to the Keetmanshoop area. This is where the famous quiver tree forest lies and the Giants Playground. You will be stay in the Quiver Tree Forest Rest Camp for one night.
Found only in Southwestern Africa, Quiver “Trees” are actually very large succulent plants. With their cracked golden-white bark and remarkable shape, they make great photographic subjects. We’ll arrive at our destination early afternoon, leaving plenty of time for everyone to familiarize themselves with the trees. After sunset we’ll have dinner at the lodge and get to bed early.
The next morning, we’ll get up around 4am to capture Quiver Trees with the starry Namibian skies above. As darkness fades to twilight we can capture the red predawn glow on the trees and prepare to capture the colours of sunrise.
FISH RIVER CANYON - The world's 2nd largest Canyon
After a delicious breakfast at Quiver Tree Forest, we’ll head West on Namibia’s most desolate paved road. Along this road you will see some captivating expanses. About 150km from the coast, we’ll turn South on a small road and head to the 2nd largest canyon on the planet. Most visitors usually go to the national park’s viewing points, but we’ll be visiting one of Namibia’s best kept secrets: The Fish River Lodge, which is perched on a cliff edge overlooking the depths of the canyon. This hotel is constantly rated as one of the most breathtaking in Namibia and it offers brilliant photographic opportunities. We’ll spend the afternoon exploring the cliff edges for foregrounds that complement the endless expanse of the canyon and shoot the transition of sunset colours over the landscape. This location also offers great opportunities to photograph quiver trees in case you feel you didn’t get enough at the forest.
The mornings at this lodge will be the highlight of convenience on the workshop as we photograph a quiver tree on the cliff edge from the lodge’s pool deck. After breakfast we’ll have a relaxing day for classroom sessions, getting to know each other and just taking in one of the best views in Namibia.
KOLMANSKOP - The Ghostly remains of a Diamond rush.
After departing the Fish River lodge early morning, we’ll head back North and then further West to the coastal town of Luderitz. We’ll spend a long afternoon familiarizing ourselves with the many colourful, sand filled rooms of Kolmanskop.
Situated just 5 minutes inland from Luderitz, Kolmanskop is the long forgotten site of one of the greatest diamond rushes in human history. Just after the turn of the 19th century, German mining companies invested a fortune to build an entire town in the middle of nowhere. Everything from the door frames to the paint was imported from Germany and today the desert is reclaiming this once-glorious town. Despite being flooded with sand, the dry climate has done an amazing job of preserving the colourful rooms. There are well over 25 rooms worth photographing, so everyone can do their own thing. The guides will assist everyone to identify a room with an east-facing window for the next morning.
On days 5 + 6 we’ll get up for an early coffee and depart for the Ghost town in darkness. Hougaard and Isak will make sure that everyone is in place for a beam of orange sunrise light as the sun crests the horizon in the East. After a quick morning shoot we’ll head back to the hotel for breakfast. We’ll return to Kolmanskop just before noon to make sure we capture the shadows of open roof slats under a 1 o’ clock sun, and then have another relaxed afternoon exploring the Ghost town.
DEADVLEI - The World's highest dune & Aerial Photography
Early the next morning you will head north to Sossus Dune Lodge in Sossusvlei. Sossusvlei is a one of a kind landscape created by an ancient river flowing into the desert. Like several other rivers in Namibia, the Tsauchab River used to flow from the mountains, through the desert, all the way to the coast. Thousands of years ago it was cut off from the ocean by the expanding desert and this created a seasonal wetland amongst the dunes. Over the millennia, this wetland has retreated inland as the Namib Desert slowly reclaims the valley that the river cut through the dunes.
As it stands today, Sossusvlei is about 60 kilometres from the coast, but still 40 kilometres into the towering red dunes of the Namib Desert. Although the river only flows all the way to Sossus a few times every decade, the valley still sustains a large population of wildlife amongst the dunes. There is always the chance that we may witness the river in flood and since it hasn’t flooded since 2012, the statistics are in our favour.
Vlei - Afrikaans for Wetland
Deadvlei – At the end of the Tsauchab Dune Valley is the famous deadvlei, which was cut off from Sossusvlei by a low dune an estimated 700-800 years ago. The lack of water, arid climate and hard wood of the Namibian Camel Thorn tree has kept the trees of Deadvlei from decomposing. The result is a collection ghostly trees rising from a cracked white clay surface. The pan is deceptively large and offers about 50 of the oddly shaped trees to photograph. The location can be overwhelming at first, but Hougaard knows the location well and will assist everyone to find the best trees and photograph them adequately.
Dune Spines - The photos of snaking dune spines are all captured along the 40km drive into the Tsauchab Dune Valley. Thanks to the valley’s East-West orientation, sunset creates deep black shadows on the Eastern side and bright red colours on the Western side of the dunes. This offers great opportunities for telephoto shots of snaking dune spines. The afternoons can often go up to 45 degrees Celsius, in which
case we’ll opt for this more convenient sunset shoot.
Aerial Photography - The workshop includes a 120-minute doors-off helicopter flight over the Sossusvlei park. Flying over this landscape and capturing it from above is a once in a lifetime experience and it offers amazing photographic opportunities. The helicopter operator has two Robinson Raven II R44’s, which can take 3 passengers at a time.
The standard route over the park is a 60-minute flight, which doesn’t offer much time to deviate from the route and circle above subjects of interest. A 120-minute flight offers the opportunity to fly all the way to the coast and still have 30 extra minutes to circle above subjects of interest.
WOLWEDANS - Mountains, Red Dunes and picture perfect African trees.
After a final morning at Sossusvlei, we’ll depart for the Namib Rand. This landscape of mountains, grass and picture-perfect trees on the edge of a red desert is like nothing else on earth. Valleys look like they were carpeted in ivory white and red dunes rise from the earth in the most unexpected places.
Wolwedans is consistently rated as one of the best lodges in Africa and one of the best eco lodges in the world. Expect a unique and memorable 5-star African experience from a team of dedicated chefs, staff and guides. Most of all, expect 5 star photography on the exclusive 60000 hectare property that few people have the privilege to visit.
Depart after breakfast and head north to Solitaire, then west crossing the Tropic of Capricorn, through the Gaub and Kuiseb Canyons via the Namib Gravel Plains to the Skeleton Coast. Either via Walvis Bay to Swakopmund, or (recommended) detour via Ganab to the Welwitschia Plains and Moon Landscape. Half a day is set aside for this lovely area where Walvis Bay offers a wide range of photographic opportunities such as: Swakopmund is famous for its colonial German architecture and has the second largest urban population in Namibia. Photographically, the focus is on two areas, both outside of town. The first is the Living desert tour into the sand dunes and the second is the scenic flight down the coastline and into the Namib.
Head inland to the Spitzkoppe granite outcrops, where you will be staying at the Spitzkoppe Lodge for 1 night. The Spitzkoppe, situated between Usakos and Swakopmund, are popularly known as the Matterhorn of Namibia due to the rock spires and rock arches formed out of the granite and sandstone of the region. The incredible blue skies of remote Namibia, accompanied by the red-coloured sandstone, create a beautiful combination of landscape colours. There are a few quiver trees growing against the sides of the mountains, which will add great detail to your compositions.
After Breakfast you will be driven back to River Crossing Lodge for your final nights stay in Windhoek, before you leave the next morning for your flight back home.
After Breakfast you will be taken with the lodge’s shuttle to the Airport for you flight home. This unfortunately the end of the safari.
River Crossing is located on a pristine 6500-hectare game reserve and rediscover the nuances of a bygone era of farm life and offer the discerning traveller all the modern amenities. The main lodge building comprises a dining room, a centrally situated bar, a lounge with fireplace, a wellness room, a curio corner, and a conference room seating up to 65 delegates. Nestled outside between the lounge and dining area is the pool. The elevated wooden deck offers a fairy tale view of Windhoek.
The Lodge and the rooms have been designed to emulate old German farm houses –and pots of geraniums. The 20 guest chalets consist of 14 twin chalets and 6 double chalets (all chalets have en suite bathrooms with showers, loos and basins). All rooms have the feather duvets wrapped in 100% cotton, the environmentally friendly guest amenities and the unparalleled service and hospitality is well known.
Located on the farm Gariganus just 13 km north-east of Keetmanshoop on road M29, offer tourists comfortable accommodation amid a pristine Namibian landscape. On the farm visitors can explore the ancient and famous Quiver Tree Forest and the dolerite rock formations of the Giants Playground at their leisure.
Fish River Lodge in southern Namibia is the only lodge perched directly on the rim of the Fish River Canyon offering guests breathtaking views of the canyon from sunrise to sunset. Set in a grove of ancient Quiver trees (Aloe dichotoma), the Lodge has been carefully designed to echo the terraced and rugged terrain as well as the colours and textures of the landscape. With 45 000 hectare situated in Canyon Nature Park, including 75 km of river frontage, here you have space to explore, time to relax and friendly staff to make you feel welcome. With only 8 meters from the rim of the Canyon, at Fish River Lodge you will truly feel as though you are on the edge of eternity.