Namibia Photo Safari
Namib Desert – The Coast – Damaraland – Palmwag – Etosha National Park
This exclusive Namibia photo safari offers the opportunity to improve your photographic skills in one of the most beautiful regions of the world.
This Workshop has been developed with workshop leader Stefano Levi in order to fulfill the specific needs of photographers. Both amateurs and professional photographers will benefit from this exclusive tour as they will experience the best spots of the country in a small group of maximum 6 participants. There will be no boring lectures but interesting discussions about images, storytelling and we will analyze the work done a look for new input. Professional photographer Stefano Levi will share his knowledge about photography, in these two weeks he will be an open book, revealing his way of seeing the world through the lens. All activities are planned in order to ensure best lighting conditions. Good mood, fun, images, and adventure are the keywords of this exclusive tour. We will spend the night in medium-high end lodges. You will be able to experience true wilderness and the classic safari feeling in Palmwag Concession. We will camp two nights in the bush in order to maximize the experience with nature. Bush-camping is definitely different if compared to the idea of Western camping – the bright Milky Way seen at night above the Palmwag Concession is an experience which you will never forget in your life. This is the only true way to experience and photograph the authentic Africa. Photographers who intend to carry along a large tele lens (200-400mm / 600mm) and would like to use both an entire row of seats, can book in advance with an extra surcharge. Depending on the photographers’ requirements we will use one or two vehicles with maximum six photographers. Non photographing partners are very welcome and will equally enjoy the beauty of the country. All guides speak English, while Stefano Levi coaches the photographers in English, German or Italian according to the need.
Example of Workshop Program
DAY 1 – ARRIVAL IN WINDHOEK After arriving at Hosea Kutako airport you will be picked up and brought to Casa Piccolo in Windhoek, a small, tastefully furnished housing. Depending on arrival time in Windhoek you will have the opportunity to spend time on your own. We can arrange an optional, individually guided tour to Katatura, an interesting district of Windhoek. There you will be able to get the first glance of African everyday life. Dinner and briefing for the tour will take place in town at „Joe’s Beerhouse“, a Namibian restaurant where you will meet with Stefano and meet the other travelers. – dinner and breakfast –
DAY 2-3 NAMIB DESERT In the early morning we will drive westbound through Khomas highlands into the deep plains of the Namib Desert. There we will be able to experience impressive views. The Namib Desert covers 750 kilometers in width, about 44 kilometers in depths and accommodates the highest sand dunes on the planet. At sunrise and sunset, we will have the opportunity to capture fabulous landscape pictures and to climb 300 meter-high sand dunes. Here we will experience the silence of the Namib Desert and photograph the famous Sossusvlei. We will stay at “Desert Homestead & Horsetrails”. The lodge is close to the Naukluft mountains with view on the distant dunes of the Namib Desert and offers horse riding events such as horse-riding sundowner drink. We strongly recommend the optional balloon ride (c.a. 300€ extra) in the early morning which enables to take incredible pictures of the dunes from above. – full board –
DAY 4-5 WALVIS BAY AND SWAKOPMUND Our Namibia Photo Safari leads through the Namib Naukluftpark, passing through the watering places Hotsas and Ganab through the „Welwitschia“ plain and crossing moonscape-like landscapes towards the coast in Swakopmund. During the Second World War, the two German geologists Henno Martin and Hermann Korn lived for 2 ½ years hidden in this area escaping the war. (Book: The Sheltering Desert by Henno Martin). At the coast, we will experience the ocean. On a boat trip starting from Walvis Bay, we will photograph marine wildlife. With a bit of luck, we will spot giant colonies of seals and dolphins. Flamingoes, cormorants and other bird species are very common to this area. Optionally a scenic flight can be organized. The small Cessna hovers for 1 ½ hours over the “Forbidden Coast” offering to photographers incredible sandy landscapes. The airplane reaches low altitudes over the desert: about 30 meters from the ground. Upon request, the right front door of the small Cessna can be removed in order to take better pictures. Overnight we will stay at the comfortable Central Guesthouse in Swakopmund. – breakfast and lunch pack –
DAY 6 FROM THE COAST TO DAMARALAND Early in the morning we leave Swakopmund passing the southern Skeleton Coast Park up to Palmwag Lodge. The journey leads along the western coastline with its gigantic seal colony. Here we will have a photographic stopover. At Cape Cross Reservation live between 100.000 and 200.000 seals. Most of the young seals are born between the end of November and beginning of December. On late afternoon we will reach Palmwag Lodge, where we will stay overnight. – half-board and lunchpack –
DAY 7-8 PALMWAG CONCESSION – THE BUSH CAMP EXPERIENCE Right after breakfast our destination will be the 5000 km² wide concession area, where a stunning landscape scenery with a number of wild animals is waiting for you. In search of the endangered black rhinoceros and the famous desert elephant, the route passes canyons and crystal-clear water springs. The numerous wild animals can be watched up close again and again: Springbok, Oryx, Kudu, Ostrich, Jackal, Zebra, Giraffe and Hyena roam the untouched nature. With a bit of luck, you will catch a glimpse of a lion, a cheetah or the shy leopard. The manifold bird life rewards bird lovers and every photographer blossoms at this spot. A support team will set up the tented camp while we are on the game drive. At night the guides will prepare food on the fire while the guests can enjoy the view or chat about the experiences of the past days. This is the right time for night shots or for having a refreshing drink on the campfire. This way of camping is the true adventure experience in Africa’s untouched nature. Most likely we will be the only human being within a radius of 50 km. – full board –
DAY 9 THE HIMBA AND HOBATERE Today we drive via the Grootberg mountain pass and Kamanjab towards the western border of Etosha National Park to Hobatere Lodge. On the way, we will be visiting an Ovahimba village. The Himba are an ethnic group of about 20.000 to 50.000 people, living in northern Namibia. The stopover offers an excellent opportunity to get an insight into the Himbas daily routines and capture their habits on film. It also helps to support less fortunate Himba children. In the late afternoon, we will reach the Hobatere Lodge where we will stay the night. If time allows there will be the chance to go on a night game drive in the territory of the lodge, where wild animals can be observed at the nearby waterhole. – half-board and lunch pack –
DAY 10-11 ETOSHA NATIONAL PARK We continue our Namibia Photo Safari through the western gate at Otjivasondu into the Etosha National Park. Access to Etosha National Park through the western gate is only possible by a special permit. Once more you will realize how it feels to be almost alone on a range of 200 km. Within the next two days we will experience Namibia’s wildlife close-up again. This is one of the journey’s photographic highlights. The Etosha National Park offers marvelous opportunities to discover and photograph wild animals in their natural environment. There are 114 different mammals, 340 species of bird, 110 kinds of reptile, 16 miscellaneous amphibians, as well as surprisingly only one fish species. The word “Etosha” means “large white square” due to the large salt plan dominating this area. Etosha is a great spot for bird-watching. On game drives through the Etosha National Park we will detect elephants, giraffes and lions. With a little luck you can even spot and photograph rhinoceroses, leopards and cheetahs. We will stay at the Okaukuejo Camp for two nights, very close to the waterhole. This is a photographic highlight, and offer photo-opportunities by day and by night. Sitting at few meters from the waterhole, one can enjoy and photograph wildlife for hours. Often elephants, lions and rhinos are spotted at the waterhole. – full board –
DAY 12 – FRANS INDONGO LODGE, OTJIWARRONGO Today’s ride brings us south to Frans Indongo Lodge, where we will stay overnight. We will try to reach the place by early afternoon, in order to fully enjoy its beauty and relax. The lodge is based approx. 40 km north of Otjiwarongo, in the middle of the characteristic thornbush savannah. In the afternoon you can join an optional game drive or you simply relax and chill at the swimming pool. The lodge offers great spots to capture sunset pictures before having dinner. There is a small waterhole illuminated at night, with a possibility to spot various antelopes. Often rare Nyala, Black Springbok and White Blesbok, Sabel and Roan antelopes show up there. -Full board –
DAY 13 – CHEETAH CONSERVATION FUND, OTJIWARRONGO – WINDHOEK In the morning we will be visiting the Cheetah Conservation Fund which was founded in 1990 by Dr. Laurie Marker. This organization aims to protect the endangered cheetahs and to preserve their natural habitat in the wild. With about 2500 animals Namibia possesses one of the largest populations of cheetahs worldwide. The CCF information center is not only entertaining but also instructive. Cheetahs that cannot be brought back into the wild for various reasons are held in large housings close to the information center. There you will have the special opportunity to photograph the running cheetahs. The so-called “Cheetah-run” is a unique chance for extraordinary photos. By joining this activity you directly support the work of Laurie Marker’s group fighting against the extinction of these wonderful creatures. Additional activities such as the „Belebeno Safari“ or the „Eland Drive“, which both offer further great photo scenes, are possible to be booked on the same day right on the spot. After the exciting adventures at the Waterberg, we drive from via Otjiwarongo and Okahandja back to Windhoek airport Hosea Kutako – right on time to check in for your return flight back home. – breakfast and lunch-
PARTICIPANTS: Small groups of max. 12 PARTICIPANTS
PRICE PER PERSON (DOUBLE OCCUPANCY): Prices for 2015 are being prepared, please contact us
SINGLE ROOM SURCHARGE: +20%
All photographers will have window seats at all time, however, we offer the possibility of booking two seats (entire row of seats) in the jeep, in case a photographer would like to have at disposal right and left side at the same time.
ADDITIONAL FEE FOR BOOKING AN ENTIRE RAW OF SEAT IN THE JEEP: PLEASE CONTACT US
WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE PRICE?
- Casual photography lessons and Q&A evenings
- All Game Park fees and all listed activities
- All accommodations, based on double occupancy
- All meals except dinner on the first day
- Services of guides and drivers
- Land transportation in safari dedicated jeeps.
- Airport transfers to and from hotels
- Bottled water at all times
WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED IN THE PRICE?
- International Flight to Windhoek International Airport – We are happy to book it for you if needed
- VISA and immigration taxes
- Travel and Medical Insurances
- Tips, laundry, personal items
- Additional tips for staff such as guides and camp staff
- Fees for passport, visas, immunizations, and insurance
- Beverages while on safari other than bottled water
- Laundry, phone and other items not specified in the offer
- Cost of hospitalization and evacuation if necessary
- The EXTRA scenic flight and/or Balloon flight mentioned in the description
We recommend that you take care of our own travel/cancellation insurance in order to be covered for the entire trip. Also medical insurance is highly recommended in order to ensure cost-free hospitalization and/or transfer home in the unfortunate case of. These insurances are usually not expensive, but prevent you a lot of trouble in unfortunate situations.
HEALTH AND VACCINATIONS
We want to make sure you stay healthy and happy throughout the whole journey. For any question, please do not hesitate to contact us. Due to the hot and dry climate Namibia is virtually free of tropical diseases; therefore health certificates are not normally required. Vaccination requirements change from time to time. We suggest you consult your local doctor or health department. However, you should ensure your polio vaccination is up-to-date before traveling to Namibia and if necessary refresh your vaccination. It is recommended to carry proof of the vaccination with you. Malaria exists in the Northern part of Namibia throughout the year, but you can reduce the risk of malaria by using prophylaxis, which should be started before arriving in Namibia and with your doctor’s guidance. It is generally wise to wear light-colored, full-length clothing at dusk and dawn and in the dark and to avoid sitting outside. One should sleep under a finely woven mosquito net or protected by an insect repellent, if at all possible. In the Northern and Eastern part of the country, most stagnant waters are infected with bilharzia, which can give rise to a dangerous illness. It is not advisable to swim in stagnant waters or put one’s hands or feet into the water – also because of the presence of crocodiles!
Flexibility is key for a successful Namibia Photo Safari. The described itinerary may be affected by changes due to unpredictable circumstances (Cultural, political, environmental or related to the migration of animals). Remember that Africa is not like Europe and although changes of the itinerary are normally not the case, this is a possibility to take into account and we reserve the right of doing so. We will inform you about any changes I will make sure to inform everyone as soon as possible in case of changes.
HOW TO BOOK
You would like to take part to this Namibia Photo Safari. What to do next? Contact me by email or get in touch with my partners at Abendsonne-Afrika. Because I like to give very personal attention to our customers, I would appreciate if you could write something about yourself. Telephone: +49 (0)7343 929 98-0 Telefax: +49 (0)7343 929 98-29