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Wild Namibia Photo Safari

11 days with Natural Habitat Adventures   Rating: Deluxe

Itinerary
Click for Dates and Prices
Day 1: Windhoek, Namibia 
Our Namibia photo safari begins in Windhoek, the country's contemporary capital whose eclectic skyline is peppered with German castles, glass skyscrapers and cathedral spires. We meet our Expedition Leader on arrival and settle in to our boutique hotel in one of Windhoek’s leafy and tranquil neighborhoods. Over a leisurely welcome dinner, get acquainted with fellow travelers and learn about the vast landscapes and wildlife we’ll be photographing during an orientation overview.
 
Day 2: Kulala Private Reserve—Sossusvlei Sand Dunes 
After breakfast, a mid-morning flight by light aircraft lands us at Little Kulala, a luxury desert retreat within the private 90,000-acre Kulala Wilderness Reserve at the edge of Namibia’s great sand sea. The word “namib” in the Nama language means “vast,” an apt name for this ancient arid expanse—the world’s oldest desert. From this profoundly secluded vantage point, we’ll have a chance to photograph some of Africa’s most arresting vistas, including vermilion sunsets and black skies glittering with stars. 
 
Days 3 & 4: Kulala Private Reserve—Sossusvlei Sand Dunes
We rise early each morning on dawn excursions to Sossusvlei, Namibia's most legendary landscape. This flat salt and clay pan surrounded by Earth’s tallest sand dunes is a nature photographer's fantasy, as the changing light continually alters the dramatic scene before us. Wildlife drives at sunrise take us into the shape-shifting, ochre-colored dunes at the Namib Desert’s lonely center. Framed by intense blue skies, the dunes glow deep red, transfiguring to burnished orange, then ochre and gold, changing minute by minute as the sun ascends. Inside are diamonds, tucked into the sand mountains by currents, waves and wind. 
 
While wildlife is sparsely distributed in this austere landscape, we have a chance to capture photos of desert species including oryx, ostrich, springbok, spotted and brown hyena, aardwolf and bat-eared fox. The rare dune lark’s entire range is confined to this habitat. We discover the desert’s subtle magic on short walks and safari drives, plus there is an opportunity to soar in an early-morning hot air balloon flight over the dunes, a thrilling chance for photographers to capture dramatic aerial views of this wondrous landscape in the rosy glow of sunrise. 
 
Days 5–7: Skeleton Coast—Palmwag Concession
Fly north toward Namibia’s Skeleton Coast, whose evocative name references the dried bones of wrecked ships that lay half-buried on beaches battered by fierce Atlantic storms. Our destination, Hoanib Skeleton Coast, is a hospitable outpost amid one of Africa’s last great wildernesses. Set in one of the most fragile ecosystems on Earth, the low-impact camp enjoys a scenic location at the confluence of two tributaries of the dry Hoanib River in the northern part of the private million-acre Palmwag Concession, next to Skeleton Coast National Park. Few safari locales offer the level of isolation found here in one of the most remote regions of the Kaokoveld. 
 
We spend three days immersed in these rugged mountains, vast plains, dune fields and dry riverbeds, with one excursion to the coast itself. A range of activities is designed to maximize photography opportunities, and we explore via nature walks, 4x4 drives and hides for wildlife viewing. Our bewitching environs are inhabited by a remarkable array of desert-adapted plants and animals, with surprising photo subjects at every turn. Almost miraculously, a multitude of species thrives in the stark inland environment, including Namibia’s largest population of desert elephant. With cameras poised, we hope for sightings of giraffe and lion, oryx, springbok and steenbok. On bush walks, look for scrub hare and inquisitive ground squirrels. During our stay we have one opportunity to visit the beach, driving out and flying back (weather permitting; coastal fog is a regular presence here). Huge colonies of Cape fur seals line the endless shoreline, and we may spot black-backed jackal and elusive brown hyena near the beach. Birdlife is diverse, with many southern African endemics, and we're likely to spot jaegers and skuas around the coastal seal colonies.
 
Days 8–10: Etosha National Park—Ongava Private Game Reserve
Transfer by light aircraft to the Ongava Game Reserve on the border of Etosha National Park. The Etosha Salt Pan is the remnant of a huge lake that existed here two million years ago. Bare and dry today, the depression offers Namibia’s best wildlife photography opportunities, with elephant, black and white rhino, lion, leopard, cheetah, giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, hartebeest, springbok, oryx, kudu and the diminutive dik-dik drawn to its life-sustaining waterholes. Birdlife is abundant, and we may see ostrich and raptors. We stay on the private reserve adjacent to the park, far from any other accommodations. From camp we take guided walks (safety permitting) and night drives on the reserve, venturing into the park by day to photography wildlife and scenery.
 
Day 11: Windhoek / Depart
Our grand Namibia photo safari concludes today as we fly from Ongava back to Windhoek to connect with flights onward.
Map
All This Included
Namibia is one of Africa’s best-kept secrets for photographers. Less well known and less visited than the game parks of East and South Africa, Namibia’s treasures remain more hidden, revealed to those in search of a truly distinctive safari adventure. Here amid one of the world’s greatest deserts, we find a surprising collection of hardy wildlife that has managed to adapt to its harsh environs. Yet this is also an arrestingly beautiful land. From soaring sand dunes to broad, dry rivers, from jumbled rocky mountains to lonely beaches, photographers will find Namibia profoundly alluring. A more civilized highlight is our luxury camps, replete with amenities and enveloped by silent wilderness.
  • Internal scheduled light aircraft flights
  • Accommodations
  • Meals from dinner Day 1 to breakfast final day
  • Non-alcoholic drinks at camps and in vehicles
  • House alcoholic beverages in camps
  • Services of NHA Expedition Leader, local guides and lodge staff
  • Some gratuities
  • All permits, entrance fees and taxes
Highlights
  • With guidance from our Expedition Leader, photograph desert-adapted wildlife, including elephants, against a varied backdrop of Namibia’s striking topography
  • Capture stunning landscapes as we explore the vast private nature reserves of Kulala and Ongava—plus the remote Skeleton Coast—where scenic drama and silence reign
  • On two dawn excursions to Sossusvlei, photograph the world's tallest sand dunes as the rising sun plays on their surface, altering color and contrast
Accommodations
Windhoek: Utopia Boutique
Kulala Wilderness Reserve: Little Kulala
Skeleton Coast: Hoanib Skeleton Coast
Etosha National Park: Ongava Tented Camp
Pre and Post Add-ons
Okonjima Extension
Join the AfriCat Foundation for close-up photography and interactions with Namibia's wild felines on this private 55,000-acre wildlife sanctuary dedicated to carnivore rehabilitation.
3 Days / Year-Round, From $1555
 
Cape Town Extension
Discover the natural and multicultural highlights of one of the world's most captivating cities. Drive the Cape Peninsula, visit the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve and tour the Winelands.
4 Days / Year-Round, Custom Pricing
 
Custom Southern Africa Safari Camp Extension
A fly-in extension to the most out-of-the-way safari camps in Botswana, South Africa, Namibia, Zambia, or Zimbabwe. 
Year-Round, From $2875
Notes
  • Group Size Limit: Approximately 8 Travelers.
  • Not Included: Travel to and from start and end point of trip, premium alcoholic beverages, some gratuities, passport and visa fees, optional activities, items of a personal nature (phone calls, souvenirs, etc.), airline baggage fees, airport and departure taxes, optional travel insurance, and required medical evacuation insurance.
  • Physical Requirements: Easy to Moderate. There is no strenuous activity involved during this safari, though the 4x4 vehicles frequently offer a bumpy ride over rugged terrain. Wildlife drives often involve long hours of sitting and sometimes bouncing around. While we don't consider this strenuous, it can be uncomfortable and pose a particular type of physical demand on the body. All travelers must be able to climb into and out of our raised 4x4 safari trucks. They must also be able to walk to and from the vehicle to our camp accommodations, which sometimes involves walking over uneven ground (including sand) or on boardwalks. Safari accommodations and vehicles are not climate controlled and, depending on the seasonality, temperatures can range from quite cold to extremely hot, so it is crucial that travelers come prepared. 
  • Since the areas we travel to on this trip are remote and wild (that's why we go there!), we require medical evacuation insurance for our guests' safety. If you decline the medical evacuation insurance coverage offered by Natural Habitat, we request that you send us documentation of the independent coverage you have selected. We will add the cost of a medical evacuation policy to your tour invoice until you provide our office with proof of coverage including your insurance company's name, contact number and your individual policy number.
  • Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
Terms and Conditions
For Natural Habitat Adventures terms and conditions, please click here.

* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines.